Sega Saturn buying questions

BORTZ

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Ever since @Foxi4 created that editorial piece about the Sega Saturn, I have been hard up to get one. I had a few questions that I thought you guys might be able to answer.
1. What issues would I run into buying a japanese Saturn? Is there a way to make the Saturn region free easily? I ask because I am only really interested in this model:
nyXYj.jpg Sega-Saturn-JP-3D-Pad.jpg
Its a japanese exclusive, but it's my favorite looking model. According to my research, it's a model 2 which some youtubers say it comes with a better controller too. So that's a small plus.

2. Is there a reliable way to pirate for the system? There isn't really a Saturn Everdrive yet is there? I have no problem buying a few legit games, but man. There are a LOT of expensive titles out there.

3. Do only some games work with the 3D controller? (that second controller I posted)? I want one because I plan to give Nights into dreams a play at least.

4. I hear there is a Saturn emulator on the Dreamcast. Is that legit? What's the compatibility like?

Thanks guys.
 
Last edited by BORTZ,

TVL

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The standard controller on the White Japanese system is not in any way better than the black model 2 controller sold everywhere else in the world. There was a first version of the Saturn controller that was bulkier and more uncomfortable (IMO) though and that's most likely what those people on youtube were talking about.

3D controller works with all games, there is a switch that's beneath the red start button because some games will get wonky if you have analoge mode activated (which is of course useless for most games, except NiGHTS, Burning Rangers, Sonic R and some racing games, and maybe something I'm forgetting).

As for pirating there is an ODE https://gdemu.wordpress.com/ordering/ordering-phoebe/
 

BORTZ

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Amended the OP with a new question. I hear there is an emulator for the Saturn on the Dreamcast. How good is that? What's compatibility like? What do you need to run Saturn isos on a Dreamcast?
 

Lumstar

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Never heard of a Saturn emulator for Dreamcast before now.

Most imports are easy to play. The rare picky stuff is like if a game demands use of the cart slot (King of Fighters 95 etc)
Toggling 50hz/60hz is a hardware mod. So this model will default PAL games to run and display in NTSC format.
 
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Foxi4

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1. You don't need to buy any additional hardware to make the Saturn region free, all you need is the Sega Region Patcher (SRP) and some blank CD's and one original game from your region to swap trick. If you don't like the hassle, get an Action Replay.
SRP3.0GE.jpg pa.1694.3.jpg

2. The most reliable (and expensive) way is an ODE, they've been released for the system recently (Rhea for 20-pin drives, Phoebe for 21-pin ones), however, they are exceedingly rare and expensive, so you might have a hard time finding one of your own. If you decide to follow this path, check the GD EMU site often and hope that the author starts another order run soon. If you want to stick to optical media, chips for the Saturn are cheap these days. You'll need to find out how many pins are on your drive ribbon, the rest is relatively simple. The cheapest way is the swap trick - all you need is some tape to depress the disc drive lid sensor, an original game and a burnt CD you want to swap, that's all. Takes some practice, but it's relatively easy and works with 99% of games. I personally swaptrick to great success, it's literally free and easy to learn.

sega-saturn-auction_1844,,Sega-Saturn-Modchip-20-pin.jpg rheav3.jpg

https://gdemu.wordpress.com
http://www.racketboy.com/retro/learn-how-to-perform-sega-saturn-swap

4. Saturn emulators on anything other than PC are terrible - avoid. Nevertheless, Yabause had a Dreamcast release - it's no SSF, but it will run the simpler games.

https://yabause.org

I understand your aesthetic considerations, but ideally you should be aiming to get a Saturn in your appropriate region, ideally a Model 1, unless you're willing to spend more than what's reasonable for your Saturn. The White shell is nice, I get it, but it's not worth it and it'll be a lot hassle in the long run.

https://segaretro.org/Sega_Saturn#Models

Long story short, as I said in BFWWIWA, the Saturn is collector-friendly - you can spend a whole lot or next to nothing on it depending on your desired setup. If you want my advice, forget about cosmetic matters, get a regional Saturn, preferably Model 1 and learn the swaptrick. Once you've familiarised yourself with it, grab the Action Replay and/or chip to play all of those sweet Japanese games that need additional RAM/pesky backups with additional security checks. Finally, once you can't live without the thing, spring for an ODE, but only if you feel that it'll give you a good return on the investment - they aren't cheap, so you must *really* love the Saturn to buy one.
 
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