Did the Sega Saturn Backup Memory use battery power or PS1-like memory?



  • I'm trying to find out whether the Sega Saturn Backup Memory, the memory card for the Saturn, used the battery-requiring form of memory that Nintendo used for their Nintendo 64's Controller Pak, or the no-battery, permanent storage memory kind used by Sony for their PlayStation memory cards.

    Among other sources, I have looked at https://obsoletemedia.org/sega-saturn-backup-memory/ as well as the Wikipedia page for the Sega Saturn. I also made image searches, but while some images do show a battery, that might actually be the memory card for the Sega CD rather than the Saturn, so it's ambiguous.

    Furthermore, if it does use a battery, is it soldered on (like in the Controller Pak) or easily replaceable today by somebody without a soldering iron and the relevant skills?

    I'm basically wondering if I can safely buy one today for my Sat or if it will have a dying/dead battery that has to be replaced.



  • Console:

    By the looks of https://www.retrogarden.co.uk/features/how-to-replace-the-battery-on-a-sega-saturn/ , it does make use of battery-backed up RAM.

    One piece of advice to you would be don’t bother buying a backup cartridge, the internal memory does just a good enough job, however – if you are buying it on ebay, you may find that this greets you every time you boot up your machine.

    ...

    This basically means your battery backup is screwed.

    The battery isn't soldered directly to the board, but the connector is. It looks like a CMOS battery you'd find on a computer motherboard, and the specific battery type is a CR2032 3V which are commonly used for this application:

    battery spot

    It even looks like this battery is accessible without having to fully take apart the console (image from first link):

    battery spot 2

    So I think it's safe to buy one second hand, and replacing this battery is probably a common thing to have to do all these years later.

    Back-up Memory Cartridge:

    The https://segaretro.org/Saturn_Backup_Memory did not have a battery by the looks of the motherboards seen in the link:

    backup memory MB

    You can also see in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vFqpvbJdT8 that no battery is present.


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