What first comes to mind when you think of Sega? Is it their old arcade games from the 60s and 70s? Their home consoles? Or is it the absolute masterpiece that was Micheal Jackson’s Moonwalker?
Chances are, your answer was “none of the above.” Instead, your answer probably involved a well-known hedgehog by the name of Sonic. Of course, everyone knows of their titular mascot. He’s the fast, fun-loving, blue ball of fur. Best known for collecting power-up rings, and defeating the notorious Eggman. But there’s more to this company than meets the eye. The story of SEGA is one of short-lived prosperity, uncharted potential, and a surprising loss of opportunity.
As much of a fan we are of Sonic, one has to wonder why SEGA isn’t known for more. To answer that question, we gotta take it back to the very beginning. This is the rise and fall of SEGA.
How it All Started
Surprisingly enough, SEGA started out as two different companies. Companies that didn’t even focus on video games. You see, in 1940 there was this small company located in Hawaii, called Service Games. They were best known at the time for selling slot machines and jukeboxes for the American soldiers. Soon enough the company relocated to Tokyo, Japan.
It was there when they met with another small American company, Rosen Enterprises. They ended up merging together, and forming SEGA Enterprises. The cool thing about this name is that SEGA is derived from the first two letters of each word in “Service Games.”
SEGA mainly operated in Japan but they also had headquarters set up overseas. Most notably, they had an American establishment. Throughout the 1960s, SEGA began to create their own arcade machines that were relatively successful. Expensive, but still proving to be popular.
As technology evolved, so did the company itself. In the 1970s, they generated a plethora of successful arcade games. Soon enough, SEGA wanted to dip its toes into the world of home consoles. This is where they started to face some trouble. You see, by the 1980s, the home counseling industry was crazily oversaturated. It was very hard for them to compete.
And still, with all of the competition amongst game consoles, there was one that stood on top. And you know it wasn’t SEGA. It was Nintendo. Nintendo was the main shareholder when it came to the video game consoles in the 1980s. For a long time, it has dominated the market. And for a while, SEGA wanted to create something that could compete with them.
Add even more fuel to the fire, Nintendo and Sega once released a new console same day. Though of course Nintendo’s gained much more success. Continuing to develop technology and games, SEGA experimented with multiple mascots that could potentially rival Mario.
Nothing truly stuck until they created what’s known in America as the SEGA Genesis. Probably their most successful gaming counsel to date. The SEGA Genesis was moderately successful at the time, though still didn’t sell too well.
SEGA realized that they had to bring something totally different and out there to rival other counsels. Something that would change the scope of their company forever.
Introducing: Sonic The Hedgehog
The original Sonic the Hedgehog is a platformer game, released in 1991. Though to understand how we got here, we must take it back to 1988. Remember when I said that Sega was in the interest of creating a character to rival Mario? Yeah well, this process went on for 3 years. And that’s where Sonic came in.
Sonic was created by Naoto Ohshima. His idea prevailed against the slew of suggestions involving armadillos, kangaroos, and squirrels. Basically, they wanted to create an iconic character, among the likes of Mickey Mouse.
Meanwhile, SEGA America was desperate to find a way to give it’s brand a leg up. They contacted Tom Kalinske; a well-known figure who’s worked in the toy industry, and knew quite a bit about product branding.
When offered the position as the new president of the American division, Kalinske was promised to have full control. He was to do whatever he wanted with SEGA America.
Now from my perspective, that sounds like a cool ass deal. I mean, the control freak in me LOVES the idea of power over everything. So of course Kalinske took the freaking deal. I would too. And once he got on board he made a total of 4 suggestions.
First, he wanted to throw out the current game that came with SEGA Genesis, and replace it with Sonic the Hedgehog. Then, he wanted to lower the price of the system overall. He wanted SEGA to rebrand itself as hip, cool, and edgy. And he wanted to create games that resonated with a western audience.
When Sega Japan got ahold of these requests, they HATEDit. Though reluctantly, they went through it with Kalinske’s plan.
Sonic was marketed to be the punkish rival to the goody-two-shoes Mario. And boy, did it work. Sonic is what games Sega its name. The company blew up with this new marketing strategy and its unique character. The Sega Genesis blasted its way into the mainstream gaming industry. Just as they wanted.
Of course, we wouldn’t be here today if things didn’t go astray. Unfortunately, things didn’t stay all that great for SEGA.
The Fall of SEGA
As technology continued to evolve, SEGA tried to evolve with it. They released numerous experimental projects, including the SEGA CD and the Game Gear. Most notoriously however, SEGA was very excited about releasing their newest console, the SEGA Saturn.
Perhaps the biggest setback what’s the constant head-butting between SEGA America and SEGA Japan. Back in America, Kalinske wanted to collaborate with other companies to improve on Sega Saturn. But SEGA Japan wasn’t really having it. They turned down multiple collaborations that would ultimately provide the hardware needed for a successful consolel release. Kalinske pushed for in offer with Sony. Show me wanted to manufacture a piece of Hardware with SEGA, and then proceeding to create games in collaboration with each other.
SEGA Japan, however, was stubborn. They had the idea for Sega Saturn, and they were sticking to that. Such a shame, really, because what Sony was creating ended up becoming known as the PlayStation.
SEGA vs. PlayStation
So, around the time of Sega Saturn, they were facing some pretty big, competition. In the American Market PlayStation was also advertising itself as edgy and cool. Only this time it was made worse considering the fact that PlayStations were targeted at older people rather than kids. This meant that they could advertise with munch raunchier content.
On May 11th, 1995, SEGA made a mistake at a Los Angeles video game conference. They excitedly announced the release of the Sega Saturn for $399. It was already on shelves, while the upcoming juggernaut that was PlayStation was still in the works.
What they didn’t think about was the fact that PlayStation executives had yet to make a speech. So, once SEGA got off stage, Sony was up next. The Sony spokesperson simply walked up on stage, and said this before immediately walking off;
In a way, SEGA never quite recovered from that ultimate diss. Yeah, it may sound like just a funny one off situation, but this is what set the gears in motion for PlayStation’s success. Due to the console not releasing just yet, they were able to build up hype and momentum. They also focused on tweaking their games and software so that it could compete with SEGA Saturn.
Safe to say, the gaming console which SEGA was so excited for flopped. And they missed a huge opportunity to work with Sony on developing the PlayStation. Not too long after this situation, Kalinske decided to step down. I would too, Kalinske. I get it.
It had a few other projects since then, such as the Dreamcast. But ultimately, they were not able to rival their competitors.
As of 2022, SEGA is known for producing video games. And that’s about it. No more consoles, and no more trying to outdo competitors. Instead they focus on their Flagship character Sonic the Hedgehog. They create games for many different platforms, including the Nintendo switch.
Sonic has honestly taken on a life of his own. He makes up the majority of SEGA revenue, with a long history of video games, comics, and even TV shows. Hell, SEGA was even willing to collaborate with Nintendo on multiple occasions. Anyone remember those Sonic and Mario games for the Wii? Cause that was the ultimate cross-over of my childhood.
Contrary to normal rise and fall stories, SEGA is still around and still achieving success in the industry. It’s just not what they were originally going for. And you know what? That might be fine for them. Rumor has it that SEGA Japan has a new console in the works. If these words are true, SEGA we’ll have a massive fan base ready for their return.
Top 10 Gaming Headphones That Are Hot Right Now
Esports have become a billion-dollar industry right now. And many big companies are using this niche to promote their products through top-performing eSports players and teams. This includes gaming headset manufacturing companies. Whether you’re a neophyte or a professional gamer, here are the top 10 gaming headphones you might want to check out.
Steelseries has been innovating gaming headsets for over twenty years to improve gaming performance. Hailing from Denmark, Steelseries has been one of the pioneers of eSports products since 2001. The company invented the first gaming mousepad and high-resolution audio system, making their headphones top-of-the-line.
The Steelseries Arctis gaming headphones are designed to keep players comfortable and focused throughout games. It offers performance fabric ear cushions, keeping your ears cool while you play all day. The steel-reinforced adjustable headband locks in a true surround sound gaming experience. Finally, the Arctis models produce an audiophile-grade sound that ensures clear communication with teammates.
Price range: $69.99 to $379.99
Founded in 1994, Corsair is a leading state-of-the-art technology and gear manufacturer for content creators, PC enthusiasts, and gamers. The company also offers esports coaching services and premium streaming equipment on top of high-quality gaming headphones. Corsair is proud to sponsor the top eSports talents who want to pull off the impossible using their high-performance gear. With plush comfort and exceptional sound, the Corsair gaming headsets offer advanced audio sound customization compatible with consoles, Mac, and PC.
The Virtuoso Pro offers many features that professional gamers will enjoy. It has incredible true-to-life audio with open-back ear cups. It also dons a lightweight aluminum-reinforced design that exudes an elegant and stylish appearance. The ear cups are also cushioned with memory foam for long streams and playthroughs.
Price range: $99.99 to $199.99
Audeze is one of the top American award-winning brands that makes the world’s most advanced audio systems. The company comprises Grammy-winning audiophiles, engineers, medical facilities, and top eSports athletes. Audeze’s engineering team has worked tirelessly to craft the best-sounding gaming headphones for over a decade. Audeze takes pride in its best headphone feature—the attached earpads.
The company has tried different ways to attach earpads to their best-selling headphones. They use adhesives to connect these earpads to Audeze’s best-selling upper-end headphones.
Price range: $299 to $899
Razer isn’t only known for its high-performance gaming laptops with the best software platform, but the company also boasts high-quality gaming headphones. Founded in 2005, Razer now has 19 offices worldwide and is recognized as the best brand for gamers in Europe, China, and America.
Razer is well-known for its gaming headset with Hybrid ANC technology. The THX achromatic audio amplifier is the best headset for exceptional sound. Plus, Razer prides itself on its SmartSwitch Dual Wireless, which makes streaming and playthroughs efficient.
Price range: $49.99 to $249.99
Creative spearheads the top categories in the gaming industry, especially with its Sound BlasterAxx audio enhancement technology. On top of these gaming headphones, Creative sells highly acclaimed modular wireless speakers and gaming-related gear. Their Super X-Fi USB-C gaming headset with Bluetooth is Creative’s best invention to date.
The Super X-Fi garnered 23 ‘Best of CES” awards within two years since 2019. It delivers high-definition holographic audio, making it feel like your headset has a high-end multi-speaker setup. This model also customizes your sound profile based on your ear and head anthropometry.
Price range: $19.99 to $99.99
HyperX is known for its award-winning gaming products. From keyboards, mice, and consoles to mousepads and headsets, they’ve been honing their craft for years. The company consistently delivers products with optimum performance, comfort, aesthetics, and reliability. HyperX gaming products are the top choice for pro gamers, tech enthusiasts, celebrity ambassadors, and everyone in eSports.
HyperX’s Cloud Alpha gaming headset is the first ever headset with more than 300 hours of battery life. Professional gamers can play nonstop for days on a single charge! It offers a 2.4GHz connection that offers wireless freedom without compromising audio quality. HyperX’s Spatial Audio also helps amp up your audio experience with impeccable and precise sound localization.
Price range: $29.99 to $169.99
If you’re looking for the longest-running headset manufacturing company, Beyerdynamic has been creating and innovating for almost a hundred years. Based in Germany, the company boasts new developments in the gaming gear industry with the help of its 400 highly qualified employees.
Beyerdynamic’s best-selling gaming headphone is the T1, which boasts a high-end stereo sound for sophisticated audio. It offers a double-sided detachable connection cable for ultra-high-purity OCC7N copper covered with fabric. It’s breathable, with replaceable velpus ear pads!
Price range: $69 to $799
Audio-Technica was founded in the early 1960s in Tokyo, Japan. When the founder, Hideo Matsushita, hosted listening concerts, he was frustrated with how challenging it was to achieve high-fidelity listening. He created the first affordable phono cartridge, the AT-1, in Shinjuku, Tokyo.
One of Audio-Technica’s best-selling products is the ATH-WB2022, carefully crafted from intertwined marbled walnut, maple, and mahogany wood. But this model goes beyond aesthetics; it offers the most balanced audio output system, with an independent DAC and an operational amplifier.
Price range: $59 to $2,700
9. Turtle Beach
Deemed the first company known to pioneer first-to-market patented innovations and features in comfort-driven headsets, Turtle Beach combines a genuine passion for designing the best gaming products with German innovation.
Turtle Beach’s most popular gaming headphone is the Stealth Pro headset for the Xbox. It has exceptional audio from 50mm Nanoclear Drivers. The model offers unrivaled, adjustable active noise cancellation and dual swappable battery system.
Price range: $69.95 to $279.99
Logitech is another leading manufacturer of gaming-related products. From its gaming sensor HERO to its game-driven RGB technology LIGHTSYNC, Logitech prides itself on pushing the boundaries of play and tech.
Logitech’s best-selling gaming headset is the Astro A450 Wireless headphone for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC/MAC. It provides detailed frequency response and enables precise sound localization. You’ll enjoy crisp, controlled mids and distortion-free bass.
Price range: $39 to $249.99
Top 10 Gaming Headphones Under $70
Good-quality gaming headphones are a must when dipping your toes (err, hands) into eSports. For newbie gamers, buying a quality headset might be pricey. But don’t fret. We’ve compiled 10 of the most affordable gaming headphones under $70. Enjoy!
Logitech is known for its computer peripherals and for perfecting gaming headsets for years. One of its cheapest yet reliable models is the G Series G435 LIGHTSPEED wireless gaming headset. Expect powerful and clean sound that reduces background noise. It’s also made with about 22 percent post-consumer recycled plastic. This model is Logitech’s most sustainable gaming headset.
It also comes in a stylish appearance with three distinct colorways. You can select one that matches your personality and style. A gaming-grade wireless technology, LIGHTSPEED, is integrated into this wireless headphone. With about 18 hours of playtime, this is the headphone for you.
Another contender in the wireless gaming headset division is HyperX’s CloudX Stinger Core. The official Xbox licensed wireless headphone is crafted for the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. It offers a direct Xbox wireless connection for exceptional audio. You’ll also enjoy a comfortable gaming session with its memory foam ear cups made of smooth leatherette and lightweight design.
This model offers 40mm drivers that deliver quality sound and help you stay focused. You can then expand your in-game audio with Windows Sonic for that improved and clear surround sound. It also offers durable steel sliders for reliability and a customizable fit. Finally, take control of communication with your team via its noise-canceling mic and mic monitoring.
Creative’s Zen Hybrid 2 brings you performance, design, and versatility all in one affordable package. It provides gamers with five built-in noise-cancelling microphones. This model is also expertly tuned to offer users clear highs and well-balanced mids via its custom-tuned 40mm dynamic drivers. Expect 100 percent focus because of its tuning-out system that removes ambient noise of up to -30 dB.
The Hybrid 2 offers seamless audio streaming using Bluetooth 5.2 and Multipoint Connectivity. Answer calls while streaming audio from two separate audio devices! Plus, enjoy uninterrupted gaming with about 67 hours of battery life!
If you want total compatibility with Xbox One, Mac, PC, and PS4, grab the Razer’s BlackShark V2 X gaming headset. It offers a standard 3.5mmm port to connect to any output/input. It has a toggle to turn the mic and volume on and off on the ear cup.
This multi-platform wired eSports headset provides a unique Razer HyperClear Cardioid Mic for better and more transparent communication. The earpads are also made from memory foam, making them breathable and comfortable.
The Arctis Nova 1 by Steelseries is another high-quality gaming headphone for under $70. The Nova Acoustic system boasts custom-designed high-fidelity drivers for exceptional audio quality. It’s an ultra-lightweight headset with four adjustability points in the ComfortMax System, giving users a perfect fit.
Another feature is the ClearCast Gen 2 noise-canceling that leverages AI algorithms to minimize background noise. Finally, the AirWeave memory foam keeps your ears cool and comfy, allowing you to fully rotate the earcups for convenient transport.
If you prefer an analog gaming headset, try the Beyerdynamic’s MMX 100. This analog powerhouse offers clear, precise sound with natural vocal transmission and low ambient noise. It also has a detachable mic, cable, and accessible spare parts. Beyerdynamic’s acoustic engineers carefully curated every sound technology in the MMX 100.
Gamers will feel an even more realistic experience playing RPGs. Users will also enjoy precise and sound localization, giving you an advantage in multiple situations. MMX 100’s META VOICE is a cardioid condenser mic with a 9.9mm capsule to replicate your voice naturally. Moreover, its intuitive controls let you focus on the game while keeping everything on point.
Drop’s Hifiman HE-R7DX is the first-ever closed-back gaming headphone in the market. This model offers 50mm dynamic drivers and Hifiman’s Topology Diaphragms. It delivers impeccable isolation, open-back level sound staging, and impressive details. This model is undoubtedly a reliable headset for pro studios and homes.
The dynamic drivers ensure midrange focus, low-end punch, and high-end clarity, just what you need when focusing on streaming and playthroughs. This headphone will surely give you an unforgettable experience no matter where you listen.
Nothing can get better with the Roccat’s Syn Pro Air gaming headset. The Superhuman Hearing technology lets you live longer and play better. You’ll enjoy features like immersive 3D audio with 50mm drivers, rapid charge USB-C, ProSpecs memory foam, breathable athletic fabric, and more.
This model uses the TruSpeak mic and an AIMO-compatible 16.8 million color lighting. Users will also receive a two-year manufacturer warranty.
If you’re looking for a wired over-ear gaming headset, the JBL Quantum 100 is your best. It features the QuantumSOUND Signature, which puts you in the center of heart-thrilling action. Enjoy immersive and accurate sound that lets you hear even the slightest explosion. It has a detachable boom mic for clear communications. Plus, it has a lightweight memory foam comfort to let you play for hours undeterred!
Enjoy immersive 3D audio for PS5 with the 50mm powerful speakers for amplified audio. Never let miscommunication hinder game strategies with the Gen 2 Mic for clear communication with your teammates.
The Turtle Beach’s Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB offers glasses-friendly ear cushions if you’re wearing glasses. The game-changing Superhuman Hearing Sound Setting lets you customize your audio listening and gaming experience. Overall, this model is a better fit with a bigger sound!
Top 10 Handheld Gaming Devices Under $300
Handheld gaming devices are all the rage for online gamers. Some want to recapture the magic of the old days, where you could play a game anytime anywhere. However, some want to experience the portability of playing PC or desktop games without losing significant game progress. Whatever your reason for buying a handheld gaming device, we’ve narrowed down your options in buying the best handheld gaming devices under $300!
1. Retroid Pocket Flip
If you’re looking for a handheld gaming device that’s light on your pocket, literally and figuratively, why not go for Retroid? The Android-powered gaming device lets you play your favorite games anytime or launch an emulator, too! But you can dock the Retroid to your TV or PC to play your game on a bigger screen! The Retroid company offers three devices:
- 2S Handheld
- Pocket 3+
However, the best option for any gamer is the Flip. Its active cooling system lets you play games for a long time. It has 128GB of storage, allowing you to store all your favorite games on one device. Plus, it has a touchscreen and customizable buttons!
2. Retroid Pocket 3+
The Retroid Pocket 3+ is another handheld gaming device under $300 to consider. Like the flip, it also has a touchscreen and a game launcher with emulator. Unlike the Pocket Flip, this one has passive heat dissipation, which doesn’t fully cool your device. However, it’s still worth a try since it’s slightly more affordable than the Flip. Plus, with the Retroid Pocket 3+, you have color variants to choose from!
If you want an old-school gaming experience, check out Playdate! It’s reminiscent of the old Nintendo Gameboy devices. You can only play 8-bit games, but it’s still enjoyable! So far, you can play up to 24 games, which you can purchase on the official store. One advantage of this handheld device is storing it in your pocket! Plus, it has a pull-out analog controller from the side to help characters move and do other actions on selected games!
4. Anbernic RG552
Here’s another option to consider if you want old-school-style gaming devices. Anbernic has various models and gaming models to choose from! Most devices are compatible with emulators, allowing you to play games from the past.
But if you want their state-of-the-art device under $300, you can buy the Anbernic RG552. This device has Linux and Android systems, allowing you to play simulators, Android games, and other simulators! Plus, you can expand the storage to play more games.
Here’s another device paying homage to the old Game Boy models. Their Analogue Pocket model is compatible with your beloved Game Boy games! You can stick a cartridge and play like the old days. Unlike other devices on this list, they don’t have emulators.
Despite the 8-bit gaming style, it boasts a high-res screen (1600×1440). Plus, the Pocket is protected by Gorilla Glass, too! However, Analogue isn’t just a gaming system. You can also create music and connect it to your other devices! Additionally, they have a multi-player option, letting you play with your friends!
6. Powkiddy Max2
If you also want to select from various models, Powkiddy also offers them to avid gamers like you! Powkiddy has designs that will remind older gamers of their child. Meanwhile, their devices could also be great to let kids know about handheld gaming devices.
Most of their handheld gaming designs have smaller screens but can accommodate simulators. Additionally, some of their handheld devices have a fast-charging option, allowing you to play games for four hours, even on an hour’s charge. But you have to go with one of their bestsellers, the Max 2.
It has an ergonomic grip, providing comfort when you play for long. It’s compatible with various simulators. Plus, it’s expandable to 128 GB.
Pricing: starts at $154.99
7. Ayn Odin Lite
The Odin Lite is the affordable option of their flagship, Odin. However, it’s still a powerful handheld gaming device. You can customize the game launcher and set the screen mapping. Additionally, you can have fun playing your favorite online games from the Xbox and PS5 with integrated gaming apps to bring them anywhere. Finally, you have two options when buying the Odin Lite: the 4+64GB model or the 6+128GB version.
Pricing: starts at $237
8. Nintendo Switch Lite
Nintendo Switch Lite is a must-have for gamers who grew up playing the Nintendo consoles. Even if you didn’t play the original Nintendo games as a child, it’s also one of the best handheld gaming devices under $300, especially if you want to play various games with friends. You can browse their library with thousands of games compatible with the Switch Lite. Moreover, you can get the latest updates and store screenshots to share with friends.
9. Portal Retro
Pimax also has a handheld gaming device under $300. They specialize in VR gaming, but if you don’t need it, the Portal Retro is the best device. It’s decent with an LCD 2K screen and is lightweight, weighing around 306 grams. Plus, it has a storage capacity of 128 GB with 8GB memory.
10. Evercade EXP
The Evercade EXP is another handheld gaming device to consider, especially if you’re a fan of cartridge-based gaming systems. This is the best gaming console for Capcom fans since it has 18 built-in games from the video game company. However, it’s not only 8-bit games you can play. In fact, you can also play 3D games with this device! Plus, you can turn it vertically for games meant for vertical gaming. Finally, you can play for up to 5 hours and have 4GB built-in RAM.
Nintendo’s handheld gaming consoles aren’t the only ones dominating the market. Your gaming experience can still be exciting when choosing any of these handheld gaming devices under $300. They provide value for money. Plus, some devices make you look back with nostalgia. Nevertheless, you have various options to choose from, considering some have 8-bit capabilities while others have RGB and 3D options!