The Sega Saturn was a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console released in North America on May 11, 1995. This overlooked console was considered a domestic failure despite selling well in Japan. Only 258 games ended up making it to US release, while Japan saw 1,265. A combination of bad timing, bad marketing, and high price eventually ended the Saturn. Now remembered only by a strong cult following for a handful of legendary games, the Saturn has finally been reborn thanks to new optical drive emulators (ODE) and the ability to play disk backups over 25 years later!
Let’s look at three solutions to bring your old Saturn back to glory!
The Rhea / Phoebe
Beginning as a prototype back in 2014, the Rhea was a Sega Saturn ODE solution from Deunan, also the creator of the original Dreamcast GDEMU. (The Phoebe the name of a model of the same ODE created for 21-pin Saturn boards.) These were the original and extremely highly sought after Saturn backup solution. As with all ODEs this board replaced the optical disk drive in the Saturn, allowing it to run disk images off an SD card. While still under development and receiving updates, the Rhea/Phoebe was never released as a fully commercial product and is only released in limited numbers and sold via the creator’s website.
A marvelous device and the original ODE solution bringing the Saturn back into play after decades of abandonment
Still under regular development
Often difficult to purchase due to limited availability, randomly opened windows for sale
Requires Saturn disk backups to be converted into GDI/CDI format for play, which can be time consuming and difficult. (Most dumps are BIN/CUE.)