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Former Sega employee reveals Sega Pluto prototype console

Sega has been out of the home console market for over a decade, with the last Dreamcast rolling off the production lines in early 2001. But a new console was revealed yesterday, albeit it an old one that never made it past the prototype stage.

The console is called the Sega Pluto, and apparently only two prototype units were ever made. The one you see in the gallery above is owned by a former Sega of America employee who somehow ended up with it on his desk at Sega. When he got laid off the Pluto was placed in a box and taken home.

Since then, the owner, known by the name Super Magnetic on the ASSEMbler forums, moved to Japan and left his Pluto in the US. But some 14 years after acquiring it he now has it in Japan, sourced a power cable for it, and decided to share some pictures. Unfortunately it’s a region locked NTSC unit and he doesn’t have any US games to play, but it does boot.

As for what’s inside the Sega Pluto, it looks to be a modified Saturn that includes the NetLink 28.8kbit/s modem as standard. It allowed Saturn consoles to be linked up using a dial-up connection for multiplayer gaming, with support built into games including Daytona (NetLink Edition), Duke Nukem 3D, Saturn Bomberman, Sega Rally, and Virtual On.

The Sega Pluto never made it past the prototype stage, but the casing carries the Saturn logo suggesting Sega intended to market it under that name. You can also see it is a very different design to the standard Saturn. Most notable is the flip-top optical drive.

According to the discussion on ASSEMbler, the Pluto was nowhere near seeing a release. The casing is CNC machined and the black painted on, showing how early this unit is. Super Magnetic is considering opening the Pluto up for further shots, but is also considering selling it due to the predicted high value of the unit. A disc has also been found by another user that is an internal Sega Saturn CD-R that holds a terminal specifically for Pluto.

segapluto

I don’t think this is the last we’ve heard of the Sega Pluto. Regardless of whether it gets sold or not, we’re sure to see videos of it running games before too long, and hopefully images of its internals, too.

Now read: Sega’s classic consoles reborn as fancy laptop lids in Japan

  • Sega Pluto front view

  • Sega Pluto left view

  • Sega Pluto rear view

  • Sega Pluto underside

  • Sega Pluto booted

  • Sega Pluto optical drive

  • Sega Pluto rear battery/cartridge slot

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