As the competition between the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo raged on during the early 1990s with neither company taking firm control over the home video game market, the SNES would eventually beat out the Genesis in the United States thanks to later titles like Donkey Kong Country. Sega decided that it would be the first to take their hardware to the next generation, which made sense considering that a huge part of the Genesis’s success was the fact that it was first to market. However, there was bad communication between Sega of America and Sega of Japan, and this would prove to be extremely costly for the company as a whole.
Both Sega of America and Sega of Japan were working on 32 bit systems, but Japan was focused on the standalone Sega Saturn, while Sega of America wanted to prolong the life of the Genesis by building an add-on that would allow it to play 32 bit games. This add-on would be known as the 32X, and it would effectively end Sega’s ability to compete with Nintendo in the United States or anywhere else. The problem was that the 32X and the Saturn were released in the United States literally within months of each other, and so even Sega fans did not understand why they ought to spend their money on an add-on for the Genesis when the Saturn was being released that same year.
While the Saturn had some marginal success, the 32X failed miserably, with only a handful of titles ever being released for it, and most of those titles not really being able to compete graphically or in gameplay with other 32 bit systems that were scheduled for release, such as Sony’s Playstation video game console.