Sega exited the video game console business in 2001 after stiff competition from Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo forced the struggling company to shift gears. Now, more than 10 years later, Sega is back with new video game hardware… but it’s definitely not the kind you might expect. Unveiled late last year, Sega’s “Toylet” is now available in Japan and the surrounding region. The system connects to a urinal, allowing users to play a variety of interactive games by urinating on a sensor connected to the main device. A screen above the system then displays each game to the player, examples of which include filling virtual coffee cans and blowing wind up a cartoon news anchor’s dress. The Toylet costs roughly $1,750 and each game runs an additional $125, but it’s likely money well spent for bar owners, at least until the novelty wears off. A video demo of the Toylet (not in action, thankfully) follows below along with a pair of images that show examples of Toylet installations in Tokyo. More →
Sega has confirmed that personal data from 1.3 million user accounts was stolen during a recent security breach, according to Reuters. Hackers obtained email addresses, encrypted passwords, birth dates, and names of Sega Pass network users. Unlike Sony’s recent security breach, however, the hackers did not access credit card data. As a result of the attack, Sony has pulled its Sega Pass network offline. “We are deeply sorry for causing trouble to our customers. We want to work on strengthening security,” Yoko Nagasawa, a Sega spokeswoman, said. Lulzsec, the hacker group behind Sony’s attack, has not taken credit for the Sega breach. More →
Who doesn’t remember the 9-9-99 launch date? What about the VMU controller accessory which never took off? Sega’s Dreamcast console was the first to enable Internet connectivity through what was called SegaNet, and it was pretty mind blowing to play a multiplayer game with a friend in a completely different location over the internet (via a 56k dial-up line nonetheless). A couple of the launch titles were Sonic Adventure, Hydro Thunder, and Soul Caliber. As far as specifications went, the Dreamcast featured a 200MHz CPU, a PowerVR2 graphic chipset, 16MB of RAM, and was capable of outputting video at 480p. Unfortunately, Dreamcast was short lived and was Sega’s last foray into the home console business. It launched in September of 1999 for $199.99 and was discontinued in March of 2001 in the U.S. Following the end of Sega’s home console production, Sega has gone on to license and develop new and existing game titles for other platforms including their previous competitors.
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets, games, and software of yesterday and yesteryear.
In the previous installment of Throwback Thursday, we flipped the calendar all the way back to 1977 and took a look at the Atari 2600. This week, we’re easing things up and bit and giving a shout out to the Sega Game Gear, circa 1991. From the get go, the Game Gear had its work cut out for it. Bulkier, slower and more than double the price of Nintendo’s Game Boy ($199 versus $90), the Game Gear never managed to steal Game Boy’s thunder as it was expected to do by Sega’s top brass. But thanks to a 3.2″ 160×144 32bit color display and a string of best sellers like Sonic the Hedgehog, Mortal Kombat, and Aladdin, Sega did at least manage to make money off of the system until it pulled the plug… err, six batteries out of it in 1997.
BGR Throwback Thursday is a weekly series covering our (and your) favorite gadgets of yesterday and yesteryear.