Former Sega Enterprises, Inc. president and CEO Thomas Gill Petit has passed away

Sad news for SEGA fans. We’ve learned that Tom Petit, co-founder of Sega Enterprises, Inc. (USA) and president and CEO of the company for eight years, passed away at his home in Durango, Colorado on November 21, 2017. Tom worked in the video game industry for more than 28 years, with leadership positions at Atari, Nintendo and SEGA.

I’ll admit, in assembling information about Tom’s time with SEGA, I could not find a lot. I still do not have a firm idea of when he was at SEGA, though he did appear in news stories from 1986-1991. I came across an interview he did when the SEGA arcade game Time Traveler released in 1991 (seen above) and found this fun article on Tom and David Rosen at the 1986 JAMMA Arcade Game Show where OutRun was unveiled. I am also under the impression that Tom was the president and CEO of the coin-op side of things for America.

In 2004, Tom retired from the industry and started a career in ranch real estate development. His hobbies included fly fishing and scuba diving. A memorial service is planned for the summer of 2018, and you can leave a tribute here. We’ll provide more information on Tom Petit’s career as we find it.

SEGA Talk: Our Favorite OutRun Spin-offs

The SEGA Talk Podcast hit the open road last week with the first episode featuring SEGA’s iconic OutRun. Now, as promised, we have our first SEGA Talk video highlighting our discussion of our favorite OutRun spin-offs! The OutRun franchise is unique, as while there are really only two main series games, there have been a whole assortment of spinoffs – all existing in the racing/driving genre. Learn our favorites in the video above, and in the comments below sound off on YOUR favorite OutRun spin-off.

If you enjoy our SEGA Talk YouTube series segments, make sure you subscribe to our channel as we try to update it weekly. Thanks!

SEGA Talk Podcast #01: OutRun (1986)

Here at SEGAbits, we’ve been thinking about ways to expand our content. If you guys didn’t know, SEGA Talk was a show on our YouTube channel, but we have decided to transform it into a podcast. If you are subscribed to our YouTube channel, don’t fret! We will be uploading small segments of the podcast with some visual dazzles to entertain your eyeballs. So what is the SEGA Talk podcast all about? Each episode of SEGA Talk will focus on a SEGA game, a big SEGA event or a SEGA console. Listen in on our debut episode as we chat about the history of OutRun, OutRun spin-offs and discuss themes behind the game. If you like the episode make sure to give us a review on iTunes, we would appreciate it.

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If you want to give us feedback, suggest a topic for the next podcast or want to ask a question for us to answer on the next episode you can add them as a comment below or send theme directly to our email. Make sure you use subject line ‘SEGA Talk’ and as always, thanks for listening!

Yakuza 6 adds Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown and Puyo Puyo to play spots

2978944-screen+shot+2015-12-14+at+11.47.46+amYakuza series is known for having a variety of play spots, mini-games throughout the map to enjoy and Yakuza 6 is no exceptions. While Yakuza 5 had a full playable arcade port of Virtua Fighter 2, it seems that Yakuza 6 will have Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown which is freaking amazing. I think I’m getting a little a ahead of myself with excitement so let’s talk about all the new Yakuza 6 play spots that have been revealed by Famitsu:

The SEGA Five: SEGA Games That Would Thrive in Virtual Reality

SEGAVRWhile not every single gamer is sold on Virtual Reality just yet, mostly due to the fact that it is rather expensive to even get a headset and compatible computer, the people that have experienced it all think its the future of gaming. While this is still open to debate, what I do know is that Virtual Reality has opened the door for older types of genres that SEGA pioneered in their long history to thrive. So today on The SEGA Five we will be discussing five genres that SEGA can revive with the help of Virtual Reality.

Before we get started I just want to say that these ideas are to make the games Virtual Reality compatible and not exclusive. I think this would mean that more gamers will be able to enjoy the games, VR headset or not.  The number of gamers with Virtual Reality headsets is too low to spend money on exclusives right now. So let’s get to it.

Slipstream takes to Kickstarter with the spirit of SEGA’s sprite-scaling racers

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We’re always ones for a good SEGA-inspired Kickstarter here at Bits, and it’s that time again; with Noctet Studio’s Slipstream being the latest object of our affections.

We’ve covered a few SEGA-themed racers such as Drift Stage and The 90’s Arcade Racer in the past, but rest assured; Slipstream is aiming for something very different to those games. It’s more focused on being a pure driving game than just a racing game, a la OutRun. And it’s not just in gameplay either; Slipstream makes clever use of sprite-scaling to deliver an authentic look that’ll be plenty familiar to fans of the 80’s and 90’s heydays for SEGA driving titles such as Rad Mobile, and the aforementioned OutRun, all on a custom engine at a smooth 60fps. The influences even stretch beyond the racing classics of SEGA’s past; because we can’t not look at that Casino district and see Casino Night from Sonic the Hedgehog 2!

The History of Sega Japan R&D, Part 1: The Origins and the 80s

THE ORIGINS

Sega is an interesting company when it comes to their origins. There are companies like Namco, Taito and Konami that started in the 60s with electromechanical games and there are those like Capcom and Square that started in the 80s with video games. Sega is different.

Sega had its roots even earlier with slots and jukeboxes in the 1940s in Hawaii, when they were known as Standard Games. Today, Sega of Japan would rather say that Sega didn’t start until it was moved to Tokyo and renamed to Service Games in 1951. However all that expertise in manufacturing slots and jukeboxes during the Standard Games days really gave Sega the boost they needed when they entered the market to manufacture their very first “Amusement Machine” in 1965, Periscope, which the company still prides itself for as it was their first worldwide commerical success.

Contest: Win a 3D OutRun download code for Nintendo 3DS

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3D OutRun releases tomorrow to the Nintendo 3DS, and we’re so excited that – thanks to our friends at SEGA – we’re giving away copies of the game to fans on all of our social networks! The contest is open to fans in the Americas and EU, and we are giving away codes on the following networks:

  • Twitter – Follow SEGAbits and retweet the dedicated contest tweet – 3 Americas and 3 EU codes will be awarded
  • Facebook – Like SEGAbits and share the dedicated contest post -3 Americas and 3 EU codes will be awarded
  • Instagram – Follow SEGAbits and leave a comment telling us your region – 2 Americas and 2 EU codes will be awarded
  • SEGAbits.com (you’re already here!) – Leave a comment below telling us why you’re excited to play 3D OutRun and tell us your region, use a valid email address when leaving your comment – 1 Americas and 1 EU code will be awarded

Fans can enter on any network, and there is no limit to how many networks you enter on. The more networks, the more chances you have to win! Contest ends Sunday, March 15th

Official Nintendo listing reveals 3D OutRun release date

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Nintendo 3DS owners looking to add to their SEGA 3D Classics library needn’t wait long, as Nintendo’s official site lists 3D OutRun for a March 12th release! Priced at $5.99, the game includes all of the original’s content, two new songs and 60 fps gameplay. Check out the full description below:

3D Out Run™ is the critically acclaimed 1986 driving game designed by Yu Suzuki, re-mastered and enhanced for the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. 3D Out Run includes all of Out Run’s original content, alongside two new songs and runs at 60 frames per second, which is twice the speed of the original version. The game features a built in Stage Select option that allows players to save and resume progress mid-game, has adjustable difficulty settings, and includes unlockable car customization options. Additionally, players are able to choose from a number of real-life arcade cabinets wherein everything from the appearance to the environmental sounds of the specific cabinet are recreated, providing a true and authentic arcade experience.

Drift Stage: An OutRun inspired driving game gets early alpha demo

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Drift Stage is a driving game inspired by mid-late 80’s racing games, particularity SEGA AM2 games like OutRun. The game finally got its first ‘early alpha’ demo on Windows, Mac and Linux computers. If you’re a fan of early SEGA driving arcade action, this is a game you won’t want to slip through your radar.

This early alpha demo contains a single time trial event for you to challenge three target time ghosts (novice/intermediate/expert) and your personal best.

This is not a final product. Drift Stage is still in its early stages of development. This early alpha demo is intended to give a general impression of the game’s intent but should not be considered at all representative of the final product. Modes, music, graphics, gameplay, and all other facets of this product are subject to change.

You guys can download the demo here. It is a little under 100mb in size. What are your thoughts on the game? Enjoy what you guys have seen or played?

Developer Retrospective: We celebrate the legacy of SEGA AM2

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SEGA AM2 is just one of those developers that always puts a smile on my face whenever I talk about their games. Not only do they have one of the most vast libraries, but they also revolutionized gaming in general multiple times over the past decades. Let’s look at the developer that popularized sprite-scaling in the 80s, gave us modern 3D with their Virtua series and created one of the most expensive games ever as we walk through their legacy.

Don’t forget to join us all month long while we talk more about SEGA AM2 and all their legendary franchises.

Check out SEGA of Japan’s trailer for the physical SEGA 3D Classics Nintendo 3DS release

Not too long ago, we speculated that a physical release of SEGA’s 3DS 3D Classics was in the works, and shortly thereafter such a release was revealed to be happening! Releasing December 18th, and featuring cover art by Ken Sugimori, the compilation is to include a mix of wave 1 and wave 2 titles: 3D Space Harrier, 3D Fantasy Zone, 3D Outrun, 3D Streets of Rage, 3D Shinobi 2, and 3D Ecco the Dolphin. Also included are two bonus titles, Space Harrier 3D and Outrun 3D which originally released to the SEGA Master System and utilized the 3D glasses.

For a sampling of what to expect from the compilation, check out the trailer above. If you have a Japanese 3DS or alternate means of playing import titles, you can pre-order the game from Play-Asia. In the meantime, I’ll just sit here watching the trailer, fingers crossed for a US release. Tears running down my face.

“Diggin’ in the Carts” interviews Hiroshi Kawaguchi and Yuzo Koshiro

The new series from Red Bull Music Academy, Diggin’ in the Carts, that we previously reported on, has uploaded it’s fourth episode, in which we get brand new interviews with SEGA music legends Hiroshi Kawaguchi and Yuzo Koshiro.

For those unaware, Kawaguchi was behind the soundtracks to several of SEGA’s finest soundtrack work, such as OutRun, Space Harrier, After Burner, Power Drift… we could go on. To this day, he still works at SEGA, and still his output never falters. Suffice to say, he’s probably one of the most talented video game composers of all time, and his list of works is nothing to scoff at.

The same can be said for Yuzo Koshiro, whose works include the soundtracks to the Streets of Rage games, as well as The Revenge of Shinobi. In addition, he’s even worked on the new Super Smash Brothers for Wii U/3DS, and if that wasn’t enough, he too has generally kept a consistent quality throughout all of his work.

He also worked on Shenmue, which is of course no small feat, with the game boasting a breathtaking score.

The episode also mentions Masato Nakamura’s work on Sonic the Hedgehog; somewhat unsurprisingly, he was unavailable for comment. It is quite entertaining to see Flying Lotus and Thundercat’s rendition of Green Hill Zone. There’s also a bit of pretty rare SEGA merch in there, as the vinyl record “SEGA Music” with various arcade SEGA tunes turns up in the possession of J. Rocc!

Overall, it’s a fantastic episode, and one I personally recommend SEGA fans check out. And if that’s not enough, an upcoming episode also features Takenobu Mitsuyoshi, so stay tuned!

You can catch the episode by clicking here!

Yakuza Zero’s Game Center to have playable versions of AM2 arcade classics

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Famitsu has confirmed a few titles that will be in Yakuza Zero‘s Game Center. The titles confirmed so far include:

  • Out Run
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Space Harrier 
  • Hang-On

If you didn’t catch the early information on this title, it is a pre-quel taking place in 1988, so it is fitting that they would include SEGA arcade classics like this. You know who also did this over a decade ago? A little game called Shenmue, you might have heard of it?

Honestly, this is what I wanted to hear when I found out that Yakuza Zero was taking place in the 80’s, classic AM2 arcade hits.