The Sega Console That Never Happened — Enter Pluto

A Sega employee held the secret of the unreleased Pluto until 2013

Cameron Eittreim

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Photo Credit: Heritage Auctions

The rise and fall of Sega of America is one of the most awe-inspiring stories in the video game industry.

Throughout the 1990s, Sega was experimenting with new console designs to be at the forefront of technology.

While the Sega Saturn console ended up being a massive flop, Sega was working on a revamped version of the console. Named Pluto, the console never managed to come to fruition.

This black beast that there were only two known examples of is the Sega Pluto. During the 1990s, Sega released many revisions to their home consoles, perhaps more than any other video game company ever.

And this was part of the downfall of Sega, because the company saturated the market to be number one. While the company did have a lot of new technology, it wasn’t enough to preserve the company’s position.

There is no denying that the Saturn’s initial price was costly, more than most gamers were willing to pay. Especially considering the lack of notable games for the console at all.

Sega needed to build a more affordable Saturn console, and the Pluto was going to be this revision. Unfortunately, the company shifted gears toward the Future, and the future was the Dreamcast game console.

A Steamlined Design

The first and most notable thing that you will notice about the Sega Pluto is the addition of the built-in NetLink adapter. This was an optional cartridge for the Sega Saturn, and you can tell that Sega wanted to explore online play.

By incorporating the NetLink modem into the Pluto console, the company could reduce the expensive manufacturing costs of the Saturn and its accessories, which were a sore point for Sega.

The exterior of the Pluto is also a lot smoother than the Saturn, instead of being a tall box like the original console. The outward appearance almost looks identical to a Phillips CD-i instead of a…

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Cameron Eittreim

Podcast host, traveler, published author. Editor of MindProse. Contact at arkietraveler.com