Sega Saturn Mini Console Showcased at TGS2023?
Technology company 達成電器 (Tatsuju) showcased a mini console capable of running Sega Saturn discs at the TGS2023 event. The device, which gives the impression of a “Sega Saturn Mini,” was discreetly positioned at the farthest end of Tatsuju’s booth. Although it’s primarily a prototype for a technical demonstration, visitors could play “Darius II” for the Sega Saturn on this console.
The design of the console prompts the question:
- Is this the Sega Saturn Mini?
The primary highlight of this technical demonstration is the adoption of FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) technology. Here’s a comparison between FPGA and emulators:
- Emulators: Simulate hardware through software.
- FPGA: Reproduces hardware on semiconductor chips.
Benefits of FPGA
According to Tatsuju:
- FPGA boasts a higher fidelity compared to emulators.
- It allows for the direct operation of original peripherals, cassettes, and discs associated with the Sega Saturn.
- This presents a significant advantage over traditional emulation.
Other FPGA Exhibits
Another exhibit featuring FPGA technology is the “Retron FPGA.”
- The aforementioned Sega Saturn console is merely an application demonstration.
- “Retron FPGA” is the primary prototype targeted by the manufacturer.
- At the exhibit, an American version of the Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge was inserted into an external terminal.
- Players could enjoy “Duck Hunt” using a dedicated light gun, showcasing the high level of replication.
- “Retron FPGA” is currently in the prototype phase.
- Tatsuju plans to commercialize it between late 2024 and 2025.
- Initial support will begin with 8-bit consoles like the Famicom.
- However, the technology is also capable of replicating 32-bit consoles.
- This leads to the application demonstration of the Sega Saturn, with potential extensions to consoles like the PlayStation.
The utilization of FPGA in cutting-edge re-release projects is an initiative worth anticipating.