Psy-Q Sega Saturn Development Kit

Edit on Github | Updated: 8th November 2019

Introduction to PSY-Q Saturn

The PsyQ Sega Saturn development kit was developed by a partnership of Psygnosis and SN Systems in order to make it really easy to develop for both the Sega Saturn and PS1 using the same sort of development approach.

How it worked

Instead of relying on modified console such as their competitors Cross Products they used purly retail hardware with the aim of reducing costs for development studios as the retail hardware and repair costs are much cheaper than specialist hardware.

In order to turn the retail consoles into a development system they used cartridges that plugged into the retail console that has software written in assembly to control the hardware.

The cartridge would have a SCSI port for connection between the cartridge inside the console and the development PC. The saturn version was no different and slotted into the memory expansion slot above the CD drive.

Ther is an advert in the UK magazine EDGE issue 20 for the PSYQ Sega Saturn development kit, which would be competing against the Official Cross Products development kit also advertised in the same issue:

Development Manual for PSY-Q Saturn

The excellent wiki known as SegaRetro has uploaded the full development manual for using the PsyQ development kit for Sega Saturn. It is unknown where they managed to get it from but it is much appreciated by the whole sega saturn community.

PSY-Q Development System Manual

SegaRetro has the programmer manual available for download.

Games that were built with PSYQ

Not many Sega Saturn games were actually developed using the PsyQ development kit unfortunetly, but there were a small number of quality titles that we have confirmed use the PsyQ SDK.

The Games are:

  • Bubble Bobble also featuring Rainbow Islands
  • Batman Forever - The Arcade Game
  • Battle Stations

On Windows/DOS systems PSYQ the PSYQ SDK was normally installed to the root of the main harddrive, so it is very common to find games that have references to the location built into the executables, such as:

  • c:/psyq/
  • d:\\psyqsat (in the game BattleStations)

From these games we also know that the PSYQ SDK install folder contained at least these folders:

Folder Name Purpose
include Holds all the PSYQ .h header include files
segalib Holds the sega libraries for saturn

PSYQ Includes

As PsyQ Saturn was a C-based development kit, it was common to provide an api via c header (.h) files. Since there is no version of PsyQ Saturn available on the internet we have had to data mine a few games that have left over symbols in them. These are presented in the list below:

File Purpose