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Retro Theater: Sega Made TVs Before Games

Sections: TVs, Video

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Picture from SegaRetro.

Sega is known for classic games like Zaxxon and After Burner. They made gaming hardware for about 15 years before throwing in the towel in 2001 and becoming a software-only company that still dabbles in the arcades, mostly in Japan. But before Sega  found temporary success in video games, they were making something else: televisions.

Sega always had a reputation for being ahead of their time–so far ahead in fact that they usually dropped the ball, with someone else picking it up a half decade down the line with more success. They pioneered a Netflix-style service for games called The Sega Channel that ran off a standard cable system; they developed the modern open-world game with Shenmue later made successful by Grand Theft Auto III; they introduced out-of-the-box online gaming that was perfected by Xbox Live; and finally they were one of the first to build rear-projection TVs (RPTVs), which Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and a host of others spent over 25 years making quite profitably.

Sega-Vision (not to be confused with their later portable media player of the same name) was an RPTV that, as was customary in the 70s, came in a giant wooden cabinet that must have weighed a ton. Clocking in at a then-immense 50-inches, there is very little remaining about these TVs other than that they existed and were sold via mall outlets, and had some problems (perhaps the $2,395 price tag?) that kept them from being successful. As you can see from the Playboy article below, that was a lot back then. They quote $200 a square foot. According to inflation calculators, that would be about $9,211 today.

 

Segavision_playboy

Via:[The Retroist]

 

 

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