When it was at the peak of its powers, something strange happened to SEGA. They started releasing new things all the time. The SEGA CD, the 32X — consumers got a little confused and jaded so by the time SEGA actually released its next ‘proper’ console, the SEGA Saturn, people were loath to care. But that didn’t stop SEGA from building more prototypes for different types of hardware. You’ve heard of the Dreamcast, of course, and the name ‘SEGA Neptune’ wasa whispered in playgrounds like a weird urban myth — but the SEGA Pluto? You probably haven’t heard that name, but apparently it existed and only two prototypes were made.
Revealed by forum user Super Magnetic, who apparently worked at SEGA throughout the tail end of the 90s, the SEGA Pluto was an online enabled SEGA Saturn. He was given it by an employee who was made redundant in his office.
“Sega is a company with a history of turmoil,” he explained. “Employee turnover is a sad theme, and the Sonic Reaper (as we call him) strikes all too frequently. As such, the past gets forgotten quickly — treasures from the previous generation are quickly cast aside, as a new regime tries to make a name for themselves (or justify their existence). As such, some of said treasures get left on laid-off-peoples’ desks. And in a beautiful twist of fate, this beauty ended up finding its way to my desk, and then in a box with the rest of my stuff when I left Sega.”
Apparently only two of these prototypes were made. This one is number two.
But why does it have the Saturn name on top? Apparently SEGA thought about branding it as a second Saturn.
“This thing is a beast, and definitely the heaviest console I’ve ever held in my hands,” explains Super Magnetic. “The front features two controller ports, and on top you have a flip-top drive bay, a cart slot, a Power button, and the venerable Reset button. Note that the logo still says Saturn, so I’m guessing the Pluto codename was simply that, and they were thinking of branding it with the Saturn name. (The logo is printed on production-style though, so I’m guessing they were fairly serious about this one.) The left and right sides feature beautiful-and-exotic vents, while the back is standard Saturn, save for the Netlink ports. The bottom has nothing of note except for the “PLUTO-02″ sticker (which is, of course, of note).”
Incredibly, the console actually still works. Super Magnetic picked up a power cable and gave it a try. Lo and behold…
According to Super Magnetic the console basically runs like US NTSC SEGA Saturn but still, what an incredible piece of gaming history.
Via Sega Addicts