For Sega, future wasn't dreamy

September 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: Sega Puts The Sonic Into Panasonic Mobile Phones

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 show in the US, ...

An Achilles' heel for Wii's popularity?

April 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 February (Xbox 360: ...

iPod Touch offers video-game fun

February 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, white model with ...

Tokyo Game Show's soaring allure

September 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'

March 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

When words, structured data are placed on single canvas

October 22, 2017

If "ugh" is your favorite word to describe entering, amending and correcting data on the rows and columns on spreadsheets you are not alone. Coda, a new name in the document business, feels it's time for a change. This is ...

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.

1 comment

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.