The year was 1996. I was at a friends apartment. Another friend came over with his new video game system. A Sega Saturn. Sure Virtua fighter was a good fighting game. But could it possibly be as good on a home console? I was as impressed with the game as I was with the arcade version.
Then while on a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure, I saw these big Sega signs all over. They were sponsoring and showing a new Saturn game. NiGHTS into Dreams. All over the park were these Sega kiosks set up with Saturn's and NiGHTS playing on them. What hype :) But in between rides on the great American scream machine I stopped to see what the game was all about. The graphics were so strange. Mountains that were upside down. Weird little critters wandering around on the ground. And even stranger FMV intros. And I must mention the bulky new 3D control pad. I kind of forget what this whole Sega marketing thing was aimed at. But it was almost convincing enough to make me buy a $189 Saturn. Almost :) Remembering the fate of the SegaCD and 32X stopped me. But only for 2 years.
In 1998 I was in an electronics boutique and I saw the used Sega Saturn's listed for $49. Opening one up I saw two different demo disks and the AV cable besides the joystick. I couldn't pass up the deal. Along with that I got a hockey game and a second joystick for $10 more. A trip to funcoland nabbed a Virtua fighter 2 and a few other common Saturn games for less than 5 bucks each.
Now I could compare it to the Sony Playstation. And for the life of me I couldn't figure out why it hadn't done better.