The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation video game console that was first released by Sega on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America and July 8, 1995 in Europe. Commercially successful in Japan but largely overlooked in America and Europe, the console is known for its excellent 2D graphical capabilities and excellent range of arcade style games.
There were two major revisions of the hardware, known as Model 1 and Model 2. Model 1 consoles have oval-shaped face buttons, whereas the Model 2 consoles have round buttons. Model 1 consoles are regarded as having a very slight advantage in picture quality. However, this can be misleading as early Model 2 consoles had exactly the same motherboard as the Model 1.
There were also several other Japanese only variations, including special colours and consoles manufactured under license by Hitachi, JVC and Samsung.
Warning - Differences between PAL and NTSC consoles
The video connector on the Sega Saturn differs between PAL and NTSC machines. Pin 1 on the Japanese machines outputs sync (raw/pure composite sync). The same pin on a PAL console outputs 12 volts instead. NEVER connect a composite sync (usually described by the seller as either composite sync, raw sync or pure sync) cable to a PAL machine! If you do, it is quite possible to damage your display or upscaler.
Model 2 Japanese Sega Saturn (tested on XRGB3, Mini and OSSC).
XRGB-2 Specific settings
XRGB-3 Specific settings
No special settings are required. Using a composite sync (raw/pure sync) RGB cable is highly recommended. This prevents the screen from blanking when bright and also eliminates the dot-crawl or chequer-boarding effect that can be seen on certain colours. See the warning above about differences between PAL and NTSC consoles before using a composite sync cable.
XRGB-Mini Specific settings
No special settings are required. Remember that some Saturn games (Virtua Fighter 2 for instance) run in interlace mode.
OSSC Specific settings
Some adjustment of the Analog sync LPF setting may be required, otherwise no special settings are required.
The Optimal Timings page has some suggestions for using the optimal modes with the Sega Saturn.