When The Sega Saturn Meets 4K

When The Sega Saturn Meets 4K

Sometimes, things are better left the way they are.

We’ve written before about how good Nintendo games look through the prism of modern emulators like CemU and Dolphin. But they’re not the only emulators that can put a new lease of life on retro consoles.

Yabause is an emulator exclusively for the Sega Saturn, with three coders and one web designer looking after the project. As a result, it’s nowhere near as stable, or feature complete, as something like Dolphin. But for the most part it brings Saturn games back to life, and with a custom OpenGL plug-in it’s possible to get classics like Daytona USA and Panzer Dragoon going at high resolutions.

A thread has been running on NeoGAF for a while, acting as an appreciation for all things Sega Saturn. But as you’ll quickly see, not everything upscales well. The games with higher quality polygon counts for models, like Virtua Fighter and Wipeout 2097, hold up OK:

Images: NeoGAF (u/xbudz)

This shot seems tailor made for a caption competition:

So overall, not too bad. It’s certainly no Mario Kart at 4K though. But not everything stands the test of time:

Images: NeoGAF (u/xbudz)

There’s plenty of Sega Saturn games that don’t work at all under emulation, and plenty others beset with crippling bugs. Still, it’s heartening that development is working on that part of gaming history, even if the end result is a bit brutal on the nostalgia.

You can view the original thread here.


  • I remember using Yabause a few years back to play Panzer Dragoon Saga, the game ran near flawlessly except for a few missing textures here & there. It’s an amazing game that still holds up.

    • Getting a hold of import games was tough and bloody expensive during the psx/Saturn era, I always regretted not being able to find English language versions of Grandia and PDS. Definitely gonna have to try out the emulator.

  • Never really been a fan, the old games look weird with such sharp edges on low-poly models with low-res textures. Looks better at native res to me.

    • It would look a hell of a lot better with texture-filtering. I mean, if N64 textures clean up alright with filtering, then the Saturn’s comparitively higher-res textures would look a lot better too. Still, I’m with you, I love my 32-bit games chunky and low-res… the way nature intended 🙂

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