I want a new Console. PCE Engine vs Saturn

I never owned either and have no nostalgia for either. The thing is, I really want a new sprite based system for shooters and 2d games. Both seem to be extremely focused on the Japan market so if you could have one what would it be?

I didn’t figure in pricing yet but I know the Core duo with a recap and RGB mod is $300-450ish which I think is too steep to jump into that system. I was thinking about just getting a standard PCE, a Everdrive & try to do the RGB mod myself or buy something already recapped and rgb modded.

Saturn consoles seem to vary a lot in price and to be honest, I am leaning towards this system more just because I can get it region modded fairly easy with the AR but I will still have to shell out money for the cables and possibly a recap.

I am trying to keep an open mind here but I think I am going to jump in, in the next few months I just want to let my honeymoon period end with my Super NT before I make the call.

The biggest problem with either of them is finding the games. For me, locally, it seems more difficult to find Turbo stuff than it does Saturn stuff. I’m not sure if you have local stores you frequent, but if you do, check their retro stock and see what low hanging fruit is available to you.

The Saturn 2D is on a whole other level from the Turbo systems because it’s a lot more powerful (32 vs 16/8-bit) so you’ll be able to play some really beautiful pixel art games, and it has some really great 3D stuff as well. That’s especially true with imports in the mix, but even as a US only system it has a good catalog.

The Action Replay makes it easy to play imports as you note, and I have never needed to recap a Saturn and I’ve owned two. It seems rather durable IMO.

Turbo games are likely cheaper overall if you’re hoping to build a big collection, but you also are getting a system that’s from an earlier era that isn’t as impressive graphically so I think paying more for Saturn games makes sense, let alone the scarcity of games over time, especially in complete original boxes given they’re not the most sturdy (even though I love those heavy ass jewel cases).

Anyway, stuff to think about!

I am a pirate so I don’t care. I only buy games I love. So buying new games isn’t going to affect me more than the cost of an everdrive or burning discs. The thing is, I generally don’t buy disc based media because they are a ticking time bomb. If there isn’t a way to put everything on a harddrive I usually steer clear. Which really makes the rhea phoebe and whatever professor whats his face is working on for the Saturn.

I should say, I love cart collecting for Nintendo & Sega Systems and I have a decent sized PS1/PS2 & Gamecube/Wii/Wii U/PS4 collection but I know as soon as I mod my PS2 to read off a hard drive I am likely going to sell off games that are worth money. I’ve heard blu rays hold up better and Sony put another layer on their CD & DVD games so I think those are likely to last longer than anything Sega or NEC did. I can’t say how happy I am that Switch is back on cart type devices.

Saturn definitely unless you’re wanting to play something that’s a turbo exclusive. Some of Saturn’s exclusives are too good to ignore.

Get a Saturn.

I agree with @DaveLong that sourcing affordable games is the biggest barrier to entry, but be patient and get a RHEA/PHOEBE. It will completely open up the library.

Getting RGB out of the system is as easy as sourcing the proper cable, and it has some of the best CPS-2 and Neo Geo ports and a very unique library. It and it’s successor the Dreamcast are my two favourite systems of all-time, so I am very biased but it’s such a fun system.

I’d go with Saturn, easy. Unless you are going for a CoreGrafx or something, the Saturn hardware will be cheaper and it’s much easier to play imports on. I’d recommend a Japanese one, since a great portion of shooters never made it to the US.

Saturn just due to the quality of the games.

Both are must-haves. Saturn probably moreso.

By now many top games are largely prohibitively expensive for each. But good condition working Saturn hardware will be a lot cheaper.

I would say Saturn as well. The initial cost will be lower and you won’t have to RGB mod. I’m assuming that professor abrasives satiator will be released this year as well.

Has there been some word on a possible release or are you speculating? I ask because I was under the impression it’s still a big ol’ question mark, but I may have missed something. Haven’t been following it until very recently.

Edit: Checked out the most recent Patreon update. Seems like things are moving along…I hope your assumption is correct :smiley:

Saturn. Some of the best looking 2D games on the system and the hardware is plentiful and cheaper.

1 Like

Yea, that’s the thing I like most about it. The 2D graphics on Saturn beat out every other sprite based console that game before it. It even beats out a lot of sprite based graphics from subsequent consoles due to the abandonment of 240p.

It was eye opening when I discovered how damn good some Saturn games can look.

There are a couple games that will look better on a PS1 due to the minimum resolution.


Then you should definitely check out some of the Saturn’s 3d games as well. Panzer Dragoon Saga is a must play.

There’s no reason to restrict yourself to one. If budget is an issue pick up a PCE with a Turbo Everdrive, or even Wii with RetroArch.

I’d pick the Saturn. It’s the pinnacle of 2d sprite work (not including modern indie games) and saturn emulation is quite poor (the last I heard)

I will warn you that it’s tough to find good saturn rips out there in the pirate seas. In my experience it’s the hardest console to “acquire” games for.

Retro gaming budget is pretty large. I could probably buy anything I wanted to but the thing is, I weigh it against other things i want to do. Such as, do I want a Neo Geo or do I want a new Surfboard or Paddle Board. I totally would want a new board over a Neo Geo. I guess its fun per dollar ratio that hangs me up on expensive shit.

I have some nostalgia for the TG16 so there is enough reason to know there are at least 5-10 games I know I like. The only game I have played on a Saturn is SF Alpha 2. While, I have played a lot of the games on xbox or the arcade

I have a friend with a Saturn, maybe i should go hang out with him a bit and play it. I just know all the 2D games that i watch on YouTube look amazing

You should hang out with him and rip his games lol.

If you’re looking for the best 2d art you should probably go for a NeoGeo over a Saturn. Look at this!

1 Like

Wow… that would be hard for me to decide between Saturn and Neo Geo. I think because I could play a bunch of Geo on the Saturn, I’d get that first, but a Neo cabinet in the home is IMO, the pinnacle of a gaming setup. Something I’m angling for down the road.

Just jump in when you’re ready! Save the play until you acquire the games. It’s more fun to play them that first time you get them home for yourself. It’s like traveling back to 1996. :grin:

Oh I think that Analogue will eventually make a fpga neo Geo. I think I can hold off a few more years to see if they or even snk gets some new hardware out. The nice thing about neo Geo is that you can actually buy some of the games on modern consoles to see if you even like enough to own the system. Saturn and PCE seems like these weird forgotten by most treasures.

This is concerning to me. I want to be able to get games for it but I am not dropping $200+ on a cd game that will be blank eventually. If the pirate’s life is too hard I might skip this thing

1 Like