From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

 LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sega Enterprises Ltd. today announced a letter of intent that chooses SOFTIMAGE(R) 3D as the official 3-D development tool for Sega's new SegaSaturn(TM) game platform. According to the terms, Microsoft intends to enhance significantly its popular SOFTIMAGE 3D animation software for the Saturn platform by providing a SOFTIMAGE toolkit for the Saturn platform. In turn, according to the letter, Sega has agreed to purchase a substantial number of licenses for the toolkit and to include the toolkit in Sega's official Saturn development package offered to independent Saturn game developers.

"We selected SOFTIMAGE 3D after evaluating the other major 3-D products on the market," said Yu Suzuki, director of Sega's amusement software research and development headquarters. "Sega has used SOFTIMAGE tools for all of our amusement games for a number of years. SOFTIMAGE 3D offers a shorter learning curve and higher productivity while delivering top-quality results." SOFTIMAGE 3D, a collection of intuitive, integrated tools for creating, animating and rendering three- dimensional imagery, is recognized by game developers for its industry- leading motion-capture technology. The motion-capture module in SOFTIMAGE 3D enables animators to capture and closely reproduce the natural motions of people and live-action models -- a key requirement for today's most popular games.

Today's announcement demonstrates Microsoft's commitment to providing tools that enable developers to tailor their content-production processes and deployment to various environments, such as games platforms and multimedia PCs. SOFTIMAGE 3D, formerly named Creative Environment(R), has been renamed by Microsoft to feature the SOFTIMAGE brand name, which is recognized around the world for high- quality media-creation tools.

The SOFTIMAGE toolkit for Saturn will incorporate a set of extensions to SOFTIMAGE 3D, including Saturn file-output filters that make it easier to move output from SOFTIMAGE animation software to the game-platform file format; a 2-D paint retoucher to paint surfaces interactively and see results in 3-D, resulting in better-looking 3-D objects; an advanced, interactive color-reduction tool that allows users to switch from 24-bit space to an appropriate number of bit planes supported on the target platform; a Saturn file-format online viewer to quickly preview models created using SOFTIMAGE 3D in the Saturn file format; and enhanced UV texture mapping, for more memory-efficient representation of textures.

"Sega's Saturn has created a lot of excitement since it was introduced in Japan in November," said Richard Fade, vice president of the advanced technology group at Microsoft. "Developers are clamoring for top-quality tools to meet the burgeoning demand for Saturn games. We're very pleased to be Sega's 3-D tool vendor of choice."

The SegaSaturn, an advanced 32-bit, next-generation game system, supports game experiences that are far more powerful than those provided by existing game systems. Saturn's advanced graphics capabilities and multiprocessor architecture allow the creation of 3-D polygon graphics and "synthetic worlds" unlike those on any other videogame system.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $3.5 billion company known as a leader in interactive digital entertainment media, with operations on five continents.

NOTE: Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. SOFTIMAGE and Creative Environment are registered trademarks of SOFTIMAGE Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. SegaSaturn is a trademark of Sega Enterprises Ltd.

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CO: Microsoft Corp.; Sega Enterprises Ltd. ST: Washington IN: CPR SU:

JH -- SE004 -- 9867 01/05/95 09:03 EST
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