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Sega NetLink (also known as SegaNet in Japan) was an attachment for the Sega Saturn intended to provide Saturn users with internet access, a web browser, and access to email through their console. NetLink consisted of a 28.8 kbit/s modem that fits into the Sega Saturn cartridge port, although there was a cheaper version that only included the NetLink software. The unit sold for US$199, or US$400 bundled with a Sega Saturn.

While the NetLink was not the first accessory to allowed console gamers in America to play games online, it was the first to allow players to use their own Internet Service Provider (ISP) to connect. While Sega recommended that players used (Concentric), NetLink enabled you to choose any ISP that was within its technical specifications. The device was capable of connecting at a 28.8 kbit/s connection in America and 14.4 kbit/s in Japan. The success of the NetLink was limited by factors such as high cost, the small number of Saturn owners compared to the competition, and lack of games that took advantage of NetLink capabilities.

The NetLink modem was an XBAND device, which had previously made the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis modem games. The NetLink had a card "holder," which was used for smartcards with prepaid credits. These smartcards or "Saturn media cards" cost 2,000 yen and one game credit was 20 yen, which means that you could play about 100 games per card. The Saturn had a Floppy drive and printer cable converter which could have been used with the NetLink. A web browser from PlanetWeb was included and a mouse and keyboard adapter was also available to simplify navigation.

While the NetLink was not made available for wide release in Europe, Sega performed a test release in Finland before deciding not to widely release the unit in the European market.

Despite the Saturn's relative lack of success in America, the NetLink had a decent amount of users, and 5 games had been released that supported it. Sega of America originally wanted to sell 100,000 NetLinks [1] Sales records suggest that the unit only sold 15,000 to 25,000 units.

Contents

Games compatible with NetLink

NetLink games can still be played today, as the NetLink modem use direct-call to connect two players to each other. Many players use The Sega Saturn NetLink Leagueto find other NetLink users and arrange potential matches.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ News Article from cnet written before release http://news.cnet.com/Sega-catapults-to-the-Net/2100-1023_3-239291.html.

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