INTERVIEW: Tom Kalinske @ CES 1992

From: Sega Power #34 (September 1992)


Tom: This summer and autumn we've got a line-up of titles that will take people into a brand new league of game-playing - just have a look at David Robinson's Supreme Court Basketball or Taz Mania!

S.P: You've got some demo levels of Batman Returns on show here. When will that be ready?

Tom: We think it'll be out in September. We're going for seven big levels with knife attacks, gas attacks - just about everything. Another film tie-in that's shaping up nicely is Home Alone 2 which we think will be a huge hit at Christmas. We're also working on a version of Disney's "The Little Mermaid". We're taking a lot of care with the graphics because the film just looked so beautiful. I think we're going to capture that feel. It's going to be particulary popular with our younger players.

S.P: Anything else?

Tom: Well, there's going to be another Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck game later this year. We're also bringing out versions of X-Men, Wolverine and Cyclops in December. Another game I must not forget to mention is Streets of Rage 2. We've really improved the graphics - and now you can do more things (throw motorbikes through the air, for instance!) - loads of stuff. We'll have that one out in October of November. Then, of course, there's the long awaited Sonic 2...Due out in November.

S.P: What kind of things can you tell us about Sonic the Hedgehog 2?

Tom: I can tell you it's magnificent - it really is. Sonic showed you the kind of speed that had never been seen before - but now Sonic 2 breaks new groundas well. You really will see things here that you've never seen before.

S.P: There still seems to be some doubt about the Sega CD drive?

Tom: Well, the drive has caused a lot of excitement at the show.

S.P: But it's not on display!

Tom: True, but we do have some prototypes up and running, and we've been doing a few demonstrations. Everyone that's seen it has said "Wow! That's better than I thought it would be."

S.P: Does the Sega CD have Full Motion Video?

Tom: Yes, but it's at 15 frames per second instead of 30 frames per second.

S.P: We know exactly what you mean, Tom, but a lot of our less gifter readers will be a bit confused. What exactly is all this Full Motion Video stuff about?

Tom: Well, all the Saturday morning cartoons are shot at 15 frames per second, you see - that's the same as the Sega CD. Movies and a lot of live action TV programmes, on the other hand, are shot at 30 frames per second. What we're offering then isn't quite movie quality, but it's still awfully good. It's certainly better than anything you've seen on a video game before.

S.P: Can you tell us what sort of new games will be available for the Sega CD when it finally comes out?

Tom: I'll tell you about one in detail and then you can see what kind of thing we're working towards. Night Trap features real life actors and actresses, video footage and real human voices. It starts off very simply. A family invites four teenage girls to go on holiday with them in a house by some lakes. You then find out that some terrorists are planning to kidnap the girls - so it's up to you to save them.
Back at the house you can click on any room and then roam around and listen for clues as to where the terrorists might be. Remember: you're actually listening to the actor's real voices - not just typed messages on a screen. What you have to do is get to the room where the girls are under threat and then you have to act real quick to stop the terrorists. Get to the bedroom in time , for exampler, and you've got to trap the enemy in a foldaway bed. Get to the bathroom, however, and you're in for a treat.

S.P: Hmm, that sounds interesting...

Tom: Yes, it is. It's a truly "multimedia" game. It's big too because once you've sorted out the house, you move straight onto another scenario against different terrorists.

S.P: What else is coming out for the Sega CD?

Tom: Well, we're going have a CD version of Batman Returns that will use video footage from the film. We're also going to have Final Flight [sic - S.F], a stunning version version of Joe Montana, a huge D&D adventure Ultima Underworld - and then next year we've got a whole new Sonic game!

S.P: Will any of these be bundled with the Sega CD?

Tom: No. What we're going to do is bundle together over $400 worth of software and include a disc of Sherlock Holmes (an adaption of a PC CD game) with the Sega CD. All this shows off the machine very well - and features Full Motion Video and some great animation. We'll also be putting a compulation disc with five classic Mega Drive arcade games. We're including a special kind of disc too - an audio CD which contains accompanying still images. You hook it up to your TV and can view the images while listening to the songs. There will also be one standard audio CD included. It's important not to forget the audio capabilities of the Sega CD - it's up there with the higher end machines.

S.P: How much are third party people contributing to the Sega CD?

Tom: Some of them are up to speed - Lucasfilm, Sierra, JVC. They've all got titles on the way with games like Young Lady, King's Quest 5, Leisure Suit Larry, The Secret of Monkey Island - plus some more action-type games like Shadow of the Beast, Terminator and Super Star Wars.

S.P: You've also signed some sort of deal with Sony, the biggest entertainment company in the world. What's that about?

Tom: They're a crucial ally for us. They'll have three games out for the Sega CD by Christmas and they'll all be licensed under their empire. One of the licenses they're going to bring to the Sega CD is Hook - and that's going to be spectacular.

S.P: But it's not just games they're working on, is it?

Tom: No, that's true. There's a bit more to it than that.

S.P: Are you working on a hardware platform together?

Tom: We are working on some special projects, but I can't say more than that.

S.P: When we talked last year (Sega Power #21), you talked about a new generation of console - initially called th Gigadrive. Just how is that project coming along?

Tom: It's still some way off. For 1992 and 1993, we're concentrating on building up the Sega CD. The earliest date for the Gigadrive would be in late 1993 or even 1994. When we do introduce something new, the most important thing to us is backward compatibility. Games you're saving for and buying today will not be made redundant.



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