For Sega, future wasn't dreamy

Sep 18, 2009 By Rob Watson

Last week marked a momentous occasion in gaming for me and I am sure for many others as well. Sept. 9 was the 10th anniversary of the release of Sega Dreamcast. Yes, yes, I know. It got whupped in a very short amount of time by the success of PlayStation 2, but that is the last time I can remember getting so excited about the debut of a new console.

Part of it was because I had spent most of my formative gaming years with Sega, saving my own money to buy them all, from the Master System to Genesis, Saturn, even the disastrous 32X.

Sure, I had the early Atari and systems as a kid, but those consoles and games were all pretty much presents of some kind or another. Sega made me a discriminating buyer.

So, when the Dreamcast launched on Sept. 9, 1999, I was one of the first to buy it at KB Toys. It was the first time I actually played football against another person not sitting next to me thanks to the Visual Concepts 2K series and the included 56k modem. It was hard to believe at the time. Then came "Shenmue," "Soul Calibur," "Metropolis" "Street Racer" (which went on to become "Project Gotham Racing"), "Quake III Arena," "Dead or Alive" and the list went on. Gamers even had their choice of the standard controller, or let's see ... a fishing rod, maracas, flight sticks, bongos, steering wheels -- man, it offered so many different controllers to play games.

While the games were good, Sega did an awful job of marketing and creating relationships with developers, often creating confusion with release dates and technical capabilities.

Then, while DVD players were still costing at least $300, Sony's DVD-ready debuted just over a year later with a tiny game catalog but something the Dreamcast didn't have: backward compatibility with PS1 games and the aforementioned DVD player capability. It was only a year later, in October 2001, that Sega quit making Dreamcast. For many Sega fans who suffered through a number of botched decisions from corporate headquarters, it was the final straw and probably doomed any future hardware considerations from Sega.

So I dug up my Dreamcast last week, throwing in "Fur Fighters," "Crazy Taxi," and "Re-Volt" just for kicks.

They were still as fun as they once were; it's a shame I can't say the same about the company that made the console I was playing them on.

(c) 2009, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Visit Philadelphia Online, the Inquirer's World Wide Web site, at
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Standalone wireless info display device an easy fit

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Sega Puts The Sonic Into Panasonic Mobile Phones

May 20, 2005

Panasonic today announced that it has secured the rights to feature SEGA’s blockbuster game, Sonic The Hedgehog, on its new series of mobile phones. As previewed on SEGA’s booth at the E3 premier game ...

An Achilles' heel for Wii's popularity?

Apr 15, 2009

Awhile back, I had questioned the staying power of Nintendo's Wii. An almost ridiculous notion considering the eye-popping sales numbers the console continues to enjoy. Selling more than 750,000 units in ...

iPod Touch offers video-game fun

Feb 25, 2009

My video-game addiction took on a new, smaller footprint after the holidays. Resigning myself to the fact that my four-year-old iPod was never going to die of its own accord, I proactively put the clunky, ...

Tokyo Game Show's soaring allure

Sep 20, 2005

Long gone are the days when computer games were seen as a bastion for awkward teenagers. From the commuter eagerly playing a game on his cellular phone on the train to tiny tots playing games with characters from their favorite ...

Qualcomm backs game console for 'next billion'

Mar 23, 2009

(AP) -- A startup called Zeebo Inc. is betting that people in emerging markets want to play good video games just as much as people in the U.S., Western Europe and Japan do.

Recommended for you

Standalone wireless info display device an easy fit

18 hours ago

A Latvian team has come up with a good-looking WiFi display device, connecting to the Internet using WiFi, which runs on a high-capacity built-in battery and tracks what's important to you. This is a standalone ...

Technology improves avalanche gear for backcountry skiers

19 hours ago

As outdoor recreation companies increasingly cater to skiers and snowboarders who like to venture beyond the groomed slopes at ski resorts and tackle backcountry terrain, they've put a special emphasis on gear and equipment ...

Your future office desk may remind you, hey, to move it

Jan 23, 2015

Workers in all industries know by now that having a "desk" job might have its perks but frequent exercise is not one of them. Ample warnings from health experts have been headlined in the press reminding ...

Hands-on with Microsoft's hologram device

Jan 23, 2015

Microsoft didn't use skydivers or stunt cyclists to introduce what it hopes will be the next big leap in computing technology. Instead, with its new HoloLens headset, the company is offering real-world examples ...

Review: New TV tech focuses on better picture

Jan 22, 2015

It's taken them a while to get there, but TV makers now seem to think that the way to improve the boob tube - and sell more sets at higher prices - is by having it display a better-looking picture.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (2) Sep 21, 2009
Random article! Never had a dream cast, had master system and mega drives! Recelntly bought a mega drive two! it rocks!!!

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.