GWJ Plays: The Sega Channel! (1994 Week)

Steve Gillham uses the powers of Blast Processing to travel back to 1994, when Sega released one of the first downloadable game services: Sega Channel!

Comments

I can't believe I never thought to track down anything Sega Channel related. When I was a kid, the SC was my holy grail. I had neither the net capability, money, parental interest or cable provider to get it, but the idea of having tons of games and DEMOS was too much. I thought it would be like having a mini game rental store in my living room.

Looking at it, it's really, really way ahead of its time. (Aside from the Nickelodeon esque squiggle backgrounds which I swear to heaven has a design school/philosophy name somewhere).

I can see an attempt to sell Sega Visions, hype for Eternal Champions... Pretty much just needed some chat or forums functionality to be killer. Its too bad that the thing wasn't treated as a premium channel on cable (like an HBO).

Totally awesome look at a service that was sadly too niche for its own good.

What foule sorcery be this, that I might scry from afar the playings of another being inst their den?

Surely it were not part of the Grand Deisgn for each soul to hold such infernal power in their abode! Woe etc.

Nickelodeon esque squiggle backgrounds which I swear to heaven has a design school/philosophy name somewhere

That's called "ToeJam & Earl is the greatest game of all time."

I loved SEGA Channel, and I will forever hate TCI for merging with Jones Intercable and then cancelling the service.

wordsmythe wrote:
Nickelodeon esque squiggle backgrounds which I swear to heaven has a design school/philosophy name somewhere

That's called "ToeJam & Earl is the greatest game of all time."

Fun fact: my roommate only just this weekend discovered that Panic on Funkotron was the second game, and was flabbergasted that the first one was top-down and completely different.

ccesarano wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
Nickelodeon esque squiggle backgrounds which I swear to heaven has a design school/philosophy name somewhere

That's called "ToeJam & Earl is the greatest game of all time."

Fun fact: my roommate only just this weekend discovered that Panic on Funkotron was the second game, and was flabbergasted that the first one was top-down and completely different.

Yeah, the original is a total trip.

Just think: it could have been Ready, Aim, Tomatoes!, the Toe Jam & Earl pack-in game with the Sega Menacer light gun:

Yes, it was actually called the Menacer. No, sadly, it wasn't released in 1994. (1992, to be precise.)

The colors! I can't believe I got through the 90s without bleeding eyes.

Great video! I remember hearing about Sega Channel as a kid, but never had it. The Genesis is still one of those consoles I can go back to for a nostalgic kick.

wordsmythe wrote:

Yeah, the original is a total trip.

I had the realization a while back - Toejam & Earl is a roguelike. A slow one, but exploration, randomization, and permadeath (those lives go fast), it's all there, except for being turn-based.

For me it was a whole mind=blown moment. And man, a co-op roguelike. We need more of that, stat.

BeriAlpha wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:

Yeah, the original is a total trip.

I had the realization a while back - Toejam & Earl is a roguelike. A slow one, but exploration, randomization, and permadeath (those lives go fast), it's all there, except for being turn-based.

For me it was a whole mind=blown moment. And man, a co-op roguelike. We need more of that, stat.

I am a big fan of this comment.

Wow, never even knew this existed.
I like so much the environment design aesthetic of side scrolling megaman games. What do we call that? Future industrial?
Alien soldier looks like it still holds up.

Marchantia wrote:

The colors! I can't believe I got through the 90s without bleeding eyes.

It really is amazing how far we've come into really the depth available of just brown and red since then.

I remember hearing about the SEGA Channel growing up, but I never owned a Genesis back then. I also lived in the middle of nowhere, so I, or anyone I knew would ever get to try the service. I remember that my friend and I thought it would be the coolest thing ever though. Like SEGA often did, the SEGA Channel was a great idea ahead of its time.