The Dreamcast is Sega's fourth and final home video game console. It marked the end of 18 years of hardware development by the Japanese electronics and video game titan. With its orange spiral logo and futuristic name, Sega saw the Dreamcast as the product that would put them back in the video game console market in the late '90s. However, despite hitting the shelves ahead of other sixth generation video game systems like Sony's PlayStation 2, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft Xbox, the Dreamcast ultimately had a short lifespan.
In some respects, the Dreamcast console predicted the direction of the home video gaming industry in the first decade of the 21st century. It was the first home video game console to feature a built-in modem that connected to the internet to support online play, as well as an online community for multiplayer gaming. Released on September 9, 1999, in North America, the Dreamcast U.S. marketing campaign "9/9/99 for $199" combined the date of the release with the price of the unit. Favorite titles included Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Shenmue, Marvel vs. Capcom, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2, and SoulCalibur, a weapons-based fighting game. Despite their popularity, the famous third-party video game publisher EA's decision not to develop games for the Dreamcast was a blow to the Sega team and hampered sales of the product.
While it enjoyed initial success, Dreamcast sales were also struck hard by Sony's pre-promotional campaign for the PlayStation 2, which debuted only six months later. The PlayStation 2, and its inclusion of a DVD player, quickly eclipsed Sega's product. By March 31, 2001, the company had sold only 9.13 million Dreamcast units worldwide, leading them to discontinue the console. Partially in response to these disappointing sales figures, Sega ultimately restructured its business model to pivot away from hardware and focus solely on third-party game development. Over twenty years after the Dreamcast was released, it still maintains a cult following online. Even though Sega no longer supports the console, innovative fans have found a way to continue playing their favorite Dreamcast games via online communities.Item Categories: