Fan Auctioning Off Rare Sega Saturn Prototype

Fan Auctioning Off Rare Sega Saturn Prototype


For several thousand dollars, you could be in the running for a functional Sega Saturn prototype and its integrated modem.

In a console generation, systems don't simply launch, have game releases, and then make way for the next iteration. Manufacturers are always finding ways to improve the hardware before it becomes obsolete, fixing design flaws and expanding features along the way. One such example is Pluto, the codename for a Sega Saturn prototype that would include full online support, but was cancelled in its early stages. Reports state that only two Pluto systems were ever constructed, and one lucky gamer had the good fortune to snatch up a unit for $1 at a flea market. That Sega Pluto is currently available at an online auction, but don't bother bidding unless you have some serious cash; at the time of writing, the Pluto's value sits at $7600 after three bids.

The Pluto was your typical Sega Saturn, but with a integrated NetLink modem built directly into the unit. It's a simple change that greatly increased the size and weight of the system, as can be seen in attached pictures. "This thing is a beast, and definitely the heaviest console I've ever held in my hands," says the Sega employee who first revealed the Pluto's existence. "The front features two controller ports, and on top you have a flip-top drive bay, a cart slot, a Power button, and the venerable Reset button ... The left and right sides feature beautiful-and-exotic vents, while the back is standard Saturn, save for the Netlink ports." Standard Saturns previously allowed for a specialized 28.8k modem to be installed via the cartridge slot.

Shortly after pictures of the Saturn-that-wasn't appeared online, a Destructoid community member noticed the similarity to a flea market purchase, and decided to sell it through an online auction. Outside of a broken lid that won't stay shut, the system remains fully functional, and supports all NTSC supported games. I've never been a Saturn enthusiast myself, but if you happen to have a few games in your library, now's your chance to put a price on nostalgia and snatch it up.

Source: Game Gavel, via Destructoid


Damn, just look at that little Genesis in the back, it really shows the size of this beast!, heck, it looks even bigger than the Saturn itself (!). Other than that, it's pretty interesting just for the historic value that this could be the precursor for the Dreamcast as we know it today.

Wow, that's quite interesting. It looks like it was also prepared to be a combo unit more than just a console with online functionality - The fact that Sega was willing to provide compatibility for two previous generations (and expansions) is some serious playerbase dedication we haven't seen since the release of the Game Boy Advance, and that kind of ability is still desired by gamers even in the upcoming generation.

$7600.00 (1) 4/20/2013 5:48:58 PM EDT xderekrx (-- )
$7500.00 (1) 4/20/2013 5:44:53 PM EDT socalmike (751 )
$50.00 (1) 4/20/2013 5:23:03 PM EDT hamburgerman (1 )

I would genuinely liked to have known how a console in such a limited quantity ended up in a flea market lol

Wonder what happened to the other one...

That's one hefty console, but probably still not as big as an Atari 5200. Now that was monolithic.

Wonder what happened to the other one...

One prototype belongs to a Sega employee currently living in Japan.

The other to the random fan who once picked it up at a flea market. It's this one that has been put up for auction.

Yeah, I don't have that kind of money to spend on such collecting. I have no use for such a system other than just collecting that I am aware. I already have a Japanese and an American SEGA Saturn.

That system was great, by the way. For a long time I considered it better than the PlayStation. It is too bad the PlayStation won. The SEGA Saturn is, in my opinion, SEGA's best. The Saturn had so many unique and amazing games. And that generation is the one generation I feel that SEGA deserved to win.

The amount of creative and unique games on the SEGA Saturn was unreal. It really deserved to win that generation.

Also, is one is a Japanese import gamer and a retro gamer, a Japanese SEGA Saturn is a must-have system. The Japanese exclusives for the system are top notch. It's impossible not to recommend this system to a collector and/or player of old Japanese games.

Does the modem or internet connection actually do anything on the system?

Is there any kind of web browser of any working online connectivity on the system?

$1 at a flea market?

What, was it stolen or something? XD
((like, how... how can it have turned up like that, surely whoever had it before it ended up at the market must have known it was worth alot, or even just worth as much as a regular saturn at the least, how could it end up at a place like that for $1 short of being like totally broken? :X))

It's cool and all, but I can't help but really, really hate someone that has $7600 to drop on a highly obsolete gaming system.

I would genuinely liked to have known how a console in such a limited quantity ended up in a flea market lol

Wonder what happened to the other one...

it's likely somebody found it in a box somewhere in a pile of junk, thought it was a normal sega saturn, and stuck it up for a dollar

It's cool and all, but I can't help but really, really hate someone that has $7600 to drop on a highly obsolete gaming system.

The system's hardware may be, but the games are timeless.

But I do imagine how powerful of a computer I could build for $7600.
Four GeForce Titans. An i7 3970X CPU. More SSD memory that you've ever seen.

And some letters in the mail for developers to release for the PC. Well, at least with the Sega Saturn it'll age better. There are people saying a cell phone will have the computing power of a $7600 computer before too long.

I think I'd rather have the computer that is going to be awesome to 10 years or more instead, though.


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