SEGA Posts Screenshots of Cancelled Sonic X-treme Game for Saturn

SEGA has recently posted photos on their X account of the cancelled Sonic X-treme game from the 1990s, which was supposed to be released on the SEGA Saturn. The photos seem to show off some early development work on the game, which was a hybrid of 2D and 3D platforming.

This may seem strange for now, but back in the day, those were times when gaming was slowly transitioning over from 2-D to 3-D, and this was somewhere in between. However, like we’ll see next, this may’ve not been the best idea.

Sonic X-treme was originally announced in 1994 as a follow-up to the popular Sonic the Hedgehog series. Initially, it was meant to be a fully 3-D game that would come after Sonic & Knuckles from 1994, but soon the developers working on the game faced several problems from the very start.

The game was meant to be developed for the infamous SEGA Saturn, but the game lacked clear hardware specifications and guidelines.

At first, it was decided that the game would be made for the 32X, but then the development was shifted over to the Saturn, and due to the complexity of the Saturn, the company faced a high developer turnover, and eventually led to communication issues between SEGA’s Japanese and American branches.

The development was a mess. The project was had all sorts of problems, stemming from company politics to an unfavorable visit from Japanese Sega execs. The team also didn’t find it easy to operate the game engine they were using, including the one from Sonic Team that was used for Nights into Dreams in 1996.

As a result, Sonic X-treme was eventually cancelled in 1996. There’s no official statement as to what was the main reason behind the cancellation, but the general consensus was that the game was simply too ambitious for the Saturn.

See, the Saturn was a powerful console, but it was also very complex to develop for. Due to this, many other games that were originally announced for the Saturn were eventually cancelled including Tomb Raider II, Sonic Adventure, and Sonic the Fighters.

Now, SEGA has refreshed the memory by posting development screenshots of the game. The photos that are released, showcase what the game might have looked like. They show off some of the game’s environment, and characters.

The levels are rendered in a 2D style, but they feature some 3D elements, such as parallax scrolling and rotating backgrounds. The characters are also rendered in a 2D style, but they have some 3D features, such as animated sprites.

The cancellation of the game was not easy, and was a major blow to SEGA. The game was supposed to be a flagship title for the Saturn, and its cancellation eventually led to the console’s commercial failure. However, the game’s legacy lives on. SEGA had released a port of the Genesis game Sonic 3D Blast, as a replacement title.

The most obvious hole in the Saturn’s software lineup was Sega’s mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. A 3D Sonic title called Sonic X-treme was in development by STI while the core Sonic Team worked on Nights into Dreams, but multiple snags led to its cancellation. The Saturn was the only standalone Sega platform to not feature a unique mainline Sonic title. “Clearly, it would have helped so much to have a great Sonic game on the Saturn launch,” [SEGA of America CEO] Kalinske says. “It would have made all the difference in the world.”

GameInformer on “How A Series Of Bad Decisions Led To The Sega Saturn Failure

Well, this is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.