Sega 32X upgrade sees a sold-out Yule.
At press time, Sega's newly introduced Sega 32X upgrade had already sold nearly 50 percent of the company's projected 600,000 units scheduled to be shipped to retailers in 1994. By mid-December, approximately 280,000 Sega 32X units had been sold, with 100,000 units alone sold during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, said Bob Lindsey, Sega group director of marketing for 32X.
Genesis 32X, a 32-bit upgrade system for the Sega Genesis, reportedly provides enhanced arcade-quality graphics, power and speed. It has a suggested retail price of $150. Sega 32X was launched nationally on Nov. 21 with four software titles.
More than one million 32X units were pre-ordered by retailers for the holiday season; however, Sega was only able to manufacture only 600,000 units for last year's Christmas holiday season.
Lindsey said Sega was actually able to meet its initial projections of selling 600,000 units by Christmas earlier than planned.
Based on a Dec. 5 retail sell-through report of 32X sales in New York, L.A., Chicago and San Francisco, Lindsey said most retailers selling 32X had only a few units on hand. "We have fewer than three units of hardware in most of these stores because of sell-through," Lindsey said.
Retailers in the sampling included Wal-Mart, Sears, Electronic Boutique, Babbages, Software, Etc., Target and Kmart.
Lindsey said the report indicates that Sega may actually be missing potential sales by not keeping the supply line open. "That's unfortunately what we're going through," Lindsey said.
"Its a good news/bad news problem," Lindsey said. "The good news is that they like it; the bad news is that we're probably missing some opportunities [since] we haven't got distribution channel fully supplied from our supply lines to the trade warehouses, right to the store."
Cathy Preston, game software buyer for Software, Etc., said Sega 32X has sold well since the retailer received its first shipment in late November. She said the chain won't have any problem selling their allotted amount of 32X units.
"The introduction of 32X comes at a pivotal time for retailers," Lindsey said. "While video-game sales are up 10 percent from last year, consumer-electronics sales in general are down; retailers are looking for new ways to regenerate those sales by adding value to existing products."
Added Lindsey: "32X is another way that Sega is driving the market as it not only boosts sales as an add-on but will stimulate additional sales of Sega hardware including Genesis and Sega CD.
Sega 32X titles launched to date include Doom, Star Wars Arcade, Virtual Racing Deluxe and Cosmic Carnage. Twenty titles--including 32X CD games--are expected by March '95, and more than 100 first-and third-party titles will be available by December 1995.
Sega plans to introduce combination Sega Genesis and 32X in a stand-alone console in the second half of 1995. The Neptune will have a $200 suggested retail price.