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Virtua Fighter 2 - Saturn 60 FPS Performance CD-R - Tokyo Toy Show '95

Tongara

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Found an interesting tweet last night, might interest some people here...


"Oh, this is the 60 FPS performance Demo Disc of the Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 2 that was first shown at the Toy Show."

Yes, this is the very same disc that was shown at Tokyo Toy Show '95 to show off the then upcoming Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 2 in it's full 60FPS glory.

Some footage of this demo at said event can be seen here (06:51 - 08:42 & 24:25 - 24:45):

And here, too (11:24 - 12:32):

In addition to the above, part of this footage can also be seen (albeit in low quality Cinepak...) here via "Saturn Super Vol. 2" (0:56 - 1:55):

ALSO, Here on the Sega Saturn UK VHS Tape - Thanks, @Allie! (07:45 - 09:16)

So, this is obviously something VERY cool!
 
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Allie

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Footage of this same tech demo can also be found on the VHS tape included with the first issue of the UK Official Sega Saturn Magazine, which appears to be one of few examples I can find showing direct feed material likely sourced from its contacts within Sega Euope (rather than the result of someone literally holding a camera up to screens that had "no recording" messages present in the bottom left corner). Even though it's non-playable code, I really do hope the disc's contents are released...

P.S. The early build of Virtua Cop from this event turned up in the hands of a well-known collector a few years ago, but I don't believe it was ever uploaded anywhere.
 

pato

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Footage of this same tech demo can also be found on the VHS tape included with the first issue of the UK Official Sega Saturn Magazine, which appears to be one of few examples I can find showing direct feed material likely sourced from its contacts within Sega Euope (rather than the result of someone literally holding a camera up to screens that had "no recording" messages present in the bottom left corner). Even though it's non-playable code, I really do hope the disc's contents are released...

P.S. The early build of Virtua Cop from this event turned up in the hands of a well-known collector a few years ago, but I don't believe it was ever uploaded anywhere.

Almost sure it didn't, Virtua Cop 2 proto was released years ago though.
 

PrOfUnD Darkness

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Hopefully the owner will make a video of it.
 

dark

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Neat rolling demo, the graphics basically look like the final game to me. Is there something notable to the graphics that I'm not seeing?
 

dyer60

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Very cool looking Demo, it’s tricky to tell from the footage how much better/smoother it is vs the final release.

It would be great to see it running live to judge, big ask though given the owner! Fingers crossed
 

Tongara

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Footage of this same tech demo can also be found on the VHS tape included with the first issue of the UK Official Sega Saturn Magazine
I thought I forgot something! I've added it to the OP~

Should be noted the owner is a former Sega dev, so there's zero chance they'd ever dump it.
Yep, pretty sad...

Neat rolling demo, the graphics basically look like the final game to me. Is there something notable to the graphics that I'm not seeing?
According to one of the videos:
"Lion and Shun have different and decidedly worse models (It looks like Lion is missing his fingers and Shun's belt is only visible sometimes) and it seems the other character models seem quickly edited from Virtua Fighter Remix instead of the final game's models."
A much clearer VHS source was added to the OP, too, and it shows it a bit better.
 
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Tongara

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Double post, but yeah...


So, apparently this disc contains just Pai and Lau... should have noticed that written on the disc!
4558_Screenshot_20191203-161234_Twitter.jpg
This means the parts with Shun and Lion were probably on another disc also being shown on the same day, probably in displays right by one another.

Something else interesting, the original tweet also talked about Pai's character image song from her GC collection disc entitled "Oh My Shinin' Star" and that also just happened to be what first plays over the fighting demo of Pai and Lau on the Sega Saturn UK VHS (07:50 - 08:28)...

So, this 48 seconds of footage is probably the exact same as what is on the disc, and there could be more to it that we've ever seen, too. Interesting!
 
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Allie

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Very cool looking Demo, it’s tricky to tell from the footage how much better/smoother it is vs the final release.

Contemporary reports described this earliest public tech demo for Saturn VF2 as running at 60fps, which is identical to the (NTSC) retail build. Of course, it doesn't have to worry about controller input, collision detection, AI or even the same level of polygonal and texture detail in character models as the final game, so hitting this performance target shouldn't be as much of an issue. A detail I always remember from previews was that AM2 had to create a new compression format just to squeeze all of the Model 2 version's moves onto a system with far less memory overall, which they pushed even further when Fighters Megamix incorporated select commands from VF3 as well. Much like the previous high resolution tech demo of Daytona USA on Saturn, a lot of this prototype's code was the work of lead programmer Keiji Okayasu, who recently made his return to being Yu Suzuki's right hand man for the development of Shenmue III.
 

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Contemporary reports described this earliest public tech demo for Saturn VF2 as running at 60fps, which is identical to the (NTSC) retail build. Of course, it doesn't have to worry about controller input, collision detection, AI or even the same level of polygonal and texture detail in character models as the final game, so hitting this performance target shouldn't be as much of an issue. A detail I always remember from previews was that AM2 had to create a new compression format just to squeeze all of the Model 2 version's moves onto a system with far less memory overall, which they pushed even further when Fighters Megamix incorporated select commands from VF3 as well. Much like the previous high resolution tech demo of Daytona USA on Saturn, a lot of this prototype's code was the work of lead programmer Keiji Okayasu, who recently made his return to being Yu Suzuki's right hand man for the development of Shenmue III.

I thought of your posts about VF3 Saturn from AssemblerGames recently when this tidbit from an interview with Keiji Okayasu came up:

Although significant work had been put into the Saturn version, the decision was made to remake it for the new Dreamcast console.

"That was tough", reflects Okayasu. He explains that in fact this would be its second remake. The team had already remade it once in order to run on a Saturn that had been specially expanded with an acceleration board. "Then a while after that, we were told that a new console would be coming out, so to move onto that. We were like, 'Are you serious?'" he says, with a rueful chuckle.


I posted about it on ResetEra as well, really surprised more people didn't look into this. I remember you talking about an "Eclipse" upgrade for the Saturn, wonder if that was this "acceleration board".
 

Allie

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Now I'm confused - Yu Suzuki previously confirmed that both Saturn Virtua Fighter 3 and the 32-bit prototype of what later became Shenmue (as seen in that "Shenmue Saturn Version" footage) was running on stock hardware. From what I can tell, Sega of Japan wasn't even aware the Eclipse project existed until after the fact, since this was being developed by SOA's internal R&D team simultaneously with the Black Belt console proposal that was turned down in favour of the alternative Katana design, supposedly because a Sega executive was golfing buddies with the head of NEC, which provided the Dreamcast's PowerVR2 graphics processor. Then again, Keiji Okayasu suggests that Shenmue was first remade using an accelerator board that very much sounds like the Eclipse upgrade cartridge before switching platform to the Dreamcast, and that part is definitely news to me. I was under the impression that Shenmue had been in development for roughly 18 months between AM2's other coin-op and console projects, with all Saturn work on this game ending in mid-1997. Considering that Eclipse was also scrapped around the same time, it's possible the team did some work using this device and then moved on later the same year, as I seem to recall the first Katana SDKs reaching third parties a few months ahead of the console's official unveiling as Dreamcast in May '98. I really wish someone would ask Yu and Keiji more about this period, especially now it seems they're less reluctant to discuss these two cancelled Saturn games... Maybe they really were previously restricted in what they could say due to existing NDAs? An insider at Sega Europe once suggested to me that the company's policy was to keep such information under wraps for 20 years, which may explain why so many details from the Saturn era have only just recently started to surface, as with Jon Burton suddenly opening up the GameHut channel on YouTube to empty out his old Traveller's Tales archive.
 

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Now I'm confused - Yu Suzuki previously confirmed that both Saturn Virtua Fighter 3 and the 32-bit prototype of what later became Shenmue (as seen in that "Shenmue Saturn Version" footage) was running on stock hardware. From what I can tell, Sega of Japan wasn't even aware the Eclipse project existed until after the fact, since this was being developed by SOA's internal R&D team simultaneously with the Black Belt console proposal that was turned down in favour of the alternative Katana design, supposedly because a Sega executive was golfing buddies with the head of NEC, which provided the Dreamcast's PowerVR2 graphics processor. Then again, Keiji Okayasu suggests that Shenmue was first remade using an accelerator board that very much sounds like the Eclipse upgrade cartridge before switching platform to the Dreamcast, and that part is definitely news to me. I was under the impression that Shenmue had been in development for roughly 18 months between AM2's other coin-op and console projects, with all Saturn work on this game ending in mid-1997. Considering that Eclipse was also scrapped around the same time, it's possible the team did some work using this device and then moved on later the same year, as I seem to recall the first Katana SDKs reaching third parties a few months ahead of the console's official unveiling as Dreamcast in May '98. I really wish someone would ask Yu and Keiji more about this period, especially now it seems they're less reluctant to discuss these two cancelled Saturn games... Maybe they really were previously restricted in what they could say due to existing NDAs? An insider at Sega Europe once suggested to me that the company's policy was to keep such information under wraps for 20 years, which may explain why so many details from the Saturn era have only just recently started to surface, as with Jon Burton suddenly opening up the GameHut channel on YouTube to empty out his old Traveller's Tales archive.
I'd say you're right. I think enough time has passed where they are starting to feel comfortable speaking about such things.
 

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Now I'm confused - Yu Suzuki previously confirmed that both Saturn Virtua Fighter 3 and the 32-bit prototype of what later became Shenmue (as seen in that "Shenmue Saturn Version" footage) was running on stock hardware. From what I can tell, Sega of Japan wasn't even aware the Eclipse project existed until after the fact, since this was being developed by SOA's internal R&D team simultaneously with the Black Belt console proposal that was turned down in favour of the alternative Katana design, supposedly because a Sega executive was golfing buddies with the head of NEC, which provided the Dreamcast's PowerVR2 graphics processor. Then again, Keiji Okayasu suggests that Shenmue was first remade using an accelerator board that very much sounds like the Eclipse upgrade cartridge before switching platform to the Dreamcast, and that part is definitely news to me. I was under the impression that Shenmue had been in development for roughly 18 months between AM2's other coin-op and console projects, with all Saturn work on this game ending in mid-1997. Considering that Eclipse was also scrapped around the same time, it's possible the team did some work using this device and then moved on later the same year, as I seem to recall the first Katana SDKs reaching third parties a few months ahead of the console's official unveiling as Dreamcast in May '98. I really wish someone would ask Yu and Keiji more about this period, especially now it seems they're less reluctant to discuss these two cancelled Saturn games... Maybe they really were previously restricted in what they could say due to existing NDAs? An insider at Sega Europe once suggested to me that the company's policy was to keep such information under wraps for 20 years, which may explain why so many details from the Saturn era have only just recently started to surface, as with Jon Burton suddenly opening up the GameHut channel on YouTube to empty out his old Traveller's Tales archive.

Well Shenmue will be 20 years old in eight days.
 

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really hope these beta discs (VF2 and Shenmue Saturn) will be dumped in future.

It would be great if VF3 saturn would finally surface and dumped as well...
 

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Whats the deal with " Saturn 60 FPS Performance"? the game runs in High resolution mode and 60 fps on a retail Sega Saturn.
 

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Whats the deal with " Saturn 60 FPS Performance"? the game runs in High resolution mode and 60 fps on a retail Sega Saturn.
Demonstrating the game's performance prior to release.
 
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