Sega Visions is the name of the official magazine published by Sega of America and produced by one of several outside firms in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sega’s equivalent to Nintendo Power, it was available for free to Sega console owners for most of its run.
There are three chapters in the history of Sega’s game magazines, easily identifiable by the people who created them.
Sega’s first stab at an official publication was Sega Challenge, a small full-color newsletter launched in the winter of 1987 as an incentive to Master System owners. Renamed Sega: The Team Sega Newsletter not long after Sega sold the rights to the Master System to Tonka in 1988, the title was similar to the Nintendo Fun Club News of the day, with a small smattering of previews and a page or two of mail-order games and merchandise.
The final issue of Team Sega Newsletter was released in late 1989, and there was a half-year lull before Sega Visions was launched in mid-1990, coinciding with the Genesis hitting American stores. This magazine was produced in conjunction with The Communique Group, a Boston-based marketing firm, and while still advertising-oriented, the new title was much larger and contained a far wider range of game and kid-oriented lifestyle coverage. It also featured the writing talents of Bill Kunkel, Arnie Katz and Joyce Worley, who contributed to Sega Visions on a freelance basis while working on VideoGames & Computer Entertainment.
In late 1992, Sega dropped The Communique Group and switched to Infotainment World (the IDG-owned outfit that published GamePro) as its publishing partner. This led to major changes in Sega Visions’ look and feel; in addition to going bimonthly, the title aggressively grew its page count and adopted a new, colorful, screenshot-laden design scheme similar to the GamePro of the era. These moves were made in an attempt to begin charging for the magazine, but Sega was never successful at this and ultimately decided to wind down the title in 1995, soon after the Saturn’s US launch.
Although Sega Visions was in a similar position as Nintendo Power, the magazine lacked any major exclusive coverage and still mostly read like an advertisement until the very end, two weaknesses that Nintendo consistently avoided with its magazine.