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Sega Dreamcast: The Greatest Video Game Console Ever Made?

By Edited Jun 3, 2016 2 3

Sega Dreamcast
Ever since the existence of video games systems, Nintendo was always the name that came to mind immediately. Nintendo changed video gaming forever when it introduced the third-generation gaming console, the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) in 1985. Over time, other Japanese video game development companies decided to enter the market. Sega eventually became one of Nintendo's biggest competitors. Sega introduced several systems that went head-to-head with Nintendo and were fairly successful. Some of Sega's systems consisted of the SG-1000, the Sega Master System, and the Sega Genesis.

Sega

Eventually, Sega released the Sega Saturn. The Saturn was supposed to be the system that would give Sega the upper hand in the industry. Although the Saturn had 32-bits and CD-ROM quality, Sega only sold around 10 million units worldwide. This fell short of the companies goals. Moreover, it cost Sega an estimated $700 million in losses.

 

Sega Saturn

Sega executives were forced to rethink a new strategy and figure out something fast. Ultimately, they designed a new system called “Sega Katana” (which means long sword in Japanese). Eventually, the name Katana was dropped and was renamed Sega Dreamcast.  

In November of 1998, the Sega Dreamcast officially came out in Japan. The system was smaller in size compared to other systems that Sega manufactured in the past. Sega executives built the Dreamcast with new innovative components that many of its competitors lacked. For example, the system had a 56k modem built inside. This was considered state-of-the-art in 1998, especially when only commercial and home PCs had an internet connection. The system used hardware and software from companies such as Microsoft, Hitachi, and NEC. The Dreamcast offered 128-bit graphics, CD quality sound, and a wide selection of games.

 

Sega

Another interesting feature that the Dreamcast offered were motion controllers, which no other system had at the time. The controllers were designed to hold a memory card, which can easily store saved games and other information. In addition, the system came with the option of having up to four players plug directly into the console for games that had multiplayer. 

Sega

Just like the Genesis, the Dreamcast had several accessories that the consumer could buy. There was a mouse, keyboard, hard drive, microphone, arcade stick, and digital camera which could all have been purchased. Sega designers wanted to expand the accessory line and add an MP3 player, DVD player and a Zip Drive, but these ideas were later scrapped.

 

Sega

At first, the console broke a record of having more than 200,000 per-orders before coming on the market. This eventually broke Sony Playstation's record. Dreamcast was seen as the system that was going to redeem Sega for their past failures. The only problem was that Sony had a trick up it's sleeve. In March of 2000, Sony released the long-awaited Playstation 2. Instantly, it became a success and Sega executives became anxious rather quickly. The Dreamcast tried to compete with the PlayStation 2, but sales began to take a hit. 

In 2001, Sega officially decided that the system would be discontinued. Shockingly, the consoles were still sold in Japan up until 2007, due to the popularity there. Although the system had such a short life span, it received mainly positive reviews. BusinessWeek said that the Dreamcast was “ The best product of 1999” and in 2001, Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the console a “9.2 out of 10”.     

Even though the Dreamcast was a sixth generation game console, many of it's components and characteristics can still be seen on other consoles today. According to some, the Xbox console was inspired from the Sega Dreamcast. Online game play was also one of the key features that Dreamcast started. In the end, the Dreamcast cost Sega almost $500 million in losses. On paper, the Dreamcast will go down as a loser from a business perspective. Fortunately, from a gamers perspective, the Dreamcast may very well be the greatest console of all time!

 

Dreamcast Collection - Xbox 360
Amazon Price: $26.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 3, 2016)
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Comments

Nov 5, 2014 8:56am
Joey_Batz
I remember the Sega Saturn. It didn't have too many good games on it. Except for Sonic Jam and Solar Eclipse. The big flagship launch title was Nights into Dreams, which is now on Xbox Live Arcade.

Speaking of which, it's amazing how many Dreamcast games you see on Xbox Live Arcade. I have both Sonic Adventures games as well as Crazy Taxi. I'm sure there's a lot more. And I remember that Sonic Adventure had a little minigame that you played with the little Tamogachi-looking thing that went into the controller, where you could care for the Chao that you took as a pet.
Nov 5, 2014 8:56am
Joey_Batz
This comment has been deleted.
Nov 5, 2014 8:56am
Joey_Batz
This comment has been deleted.
Nov 6, 2014 1:17pm
Abyatur
Sega Dreamcast was an amazing console with a plethora of great games. It was always a mystery to me why it failed in the U.S. From my perspective, and all those around me, it was a huge success. Apparently we were the minority considering the numbers. That being said, I have never met a person who had a negative thing to say about the Dreamcast. Only fond memories. I still have mine in a box with my other "retired" systems. I would have them all hooked up if I had the space though as I often long to take a trip back in video game history and relive the days of my youth. Long live the Sega Dreamcast!!
Nov 6, 2014 1:17pm
Abyatur
This comment has been deleted.
Nov 7, 2014 1:20pm
DubeluWriter
True, the Dreamcast was an awesome system. I still have mine and I might take a look online to see which games are still for sale.
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