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Forums - Gaming Discussion - What did the Sega-CD II cost around the time of the Sega Saturn launch? (Sega Neptune question)

Does anyone know how the cost of the Sega CD (and, especially, the Sega CD II) evolved over the course of its life?  I can find launch pricing, but I'm a little uncertain of how its pricing evolved as it matured.

What I'm trying to imagine is what a CD-based Sega Neptune would have cost.  The Sega Neptune is a cancelled Sega console that was a Genesis and 32X in one.  No pricing for it is known, aside from the fact that it was planned to sell for less than $200 USD.
A CD-based version of the Neptune could have been interesting.  I'm curious how close to the Sony Playstation's $299.99 USD price point such a device could have been (or could it even have been below that?).
While the Saturn was undeniably more powerful than the Neptune, some games showed that the 32X might have been able to come close enough for some consumers, especially if it had a price advantage, and especially since it was offering backward compatibility with Sega Genesis games.  It's interesting to imagine an alternate universe where Sega saw the writing on the wall that the Saturn was going to be too expensive, too hard to develop for, and released only the 32X and the Neptune (especially a CD version of the Neptune).  This would have maintained better consumer goodwill, and left them in a stronger position going into the Dreamcast.

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Very interesting question. Here is my take.

Many consoles have succeded and failed, regardless of power and capabilities. Though most which succeeded were less capable, many had features that made them stand above the rest while staying at a low pricepoint. From my point of view, what matters most in all generations is the ability for the console to provide games.

Due to the difficulty to develop games for the saturn, and the awefully expensive pricepoint of certain fundamental accessories (memory add-ons), the system was lacking games. But, if it were simply close to the genesis as the Neptune would have been, it would be competing with the Super NES and low-graphics games pumped out on the PS (FF remakes, tactics, 2D games like Megaman X), and if the Genesis couldn't beat the SNES the Neptune would not have done much better without some kind of graphical leap which the Saturn offered.

Ultimately, Sega did right with the Saturn, and they had the devs to make a great console, but the system itself needed to be easy to write code for, and needed to support cheap peripherals like memory sticks.

I'm pretty sure my parents paid $149 for the one they got me and my brother in 1994, was $229 at launch in 1993. Not sure if it dropped any more after that.

shikamaru317 said: 

I'm pretty sure my parents paid $149 for the one they got me and my brother in 1994, was $229 at launch in 1993. Not sure if it dropped any more after that.

$149 + something less than $200, with the economies of scale of putting it into one system rather than separate systems, and it sounds to me that they maybe could have got the price down to $299.99.  Interesting.  Thanks for the information!

Sorry OP, but this would have been a huge disaster. Doubling down on two proven failures would have been insane. There's an old saying: When you mix a bucket of ice cream with a bucket of shit, you get two buckets of shit. And both the Sega CD and 32X, again, sorry, both fall into the latter category. Combining them and focusing on this Neptune platform in lieu of the Saturn would have almost certainly tanked Sega as a hardware manufacturer years sooner than it actually happened. I honestly......There's so many reasons. Nobody was supporting either platform as it was. It wouldn't have even sniffed the 3rd party support the Saturn received. Under powered. Already both commercial flops. Existing libraries largely thought to be poor. Even the Saturn, for it's shortcomings, was at least a success in Japan.

- "If you have the heart of a true winner, you can always get more pissed off than some other asshole."