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The Sega Dreamcast appreciation thread

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11 hours ago, pastry said:

To what extent do you guys think that the DC's "failure" was down to the PS2 having a DVD player and the DC not? I still maintain it was a huge factor – at that time DVD players were still expensive, the PS2 was effectively a bargain – console and DVD player in one.

No doubt there was a PS1 installed base who simply wanted a PS2 and not a DC, but I think it put a lot of people off adopting the DC.


Whilst it had a sway I think two other things harmed it more. Sony’s marketing, touting toy story levels of graphics, emotion engine etc. Segas lack of cash. The first year for PS2 was rough and Sega did release a dreamcast and DVD player bundle for the price of a Ps2. The Ps2 still would have gained the lead easily but I think a few more people would have considered a dreamcast in that first launch year especially with nfl online and the Dreamcast just getting into its gaming stride at the point of cancellation.

 

They weren’t far off their internal goal of sales to keep the Dreamcast going.

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11 hours ago, pastry said:

To what extent do you guys think that the DC's "failure" was down to the PS2 having a DVD player and the DC not? I still maintain it was a huge factor – at that time DVD players were still expensive, the PS2 was effectively a bargain – console and DVD player in one.

No doubt there was a PS1 installed base who simply wanted a PS2 and not a DC, but I think it put a lot of people off adopting the DC.

 

The Saturn is one of my favourite consoles ever, but that's mainly the Japanese Saturn and it's amazing wealth of Arcadey games that I feel builds on the lineage of both the Megadrive and even the PC Engine and that vibe of videogames. Sega of American/Europe absolutely fucked up so badly the marketing and localisation of the machine with a lacklustre software library and that horrible all-black redesign of the machine. 

 

I think this decimation of their marketshare from the Megadrive/Genesis to the Saturn just had a massive knock on effect on the sales of the Dreamcast. People moved on from the 16-bit generation straight to the PlayStation and just continued on from there. The Market was already decided even before the PS2 was launched. 

 

I totally think some people bear a grudge to the PlayStation brand for effectively killing off Sega from the Hardware market. A grudge that you can totally tell some people still have :D

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Dreamcast was a "snack to  have between PlayStations" whilst PS2s were in demand  by terrorists because the Emotion Engine had the power to launch missiles.

 

Sony's marketing destroyed the Dreamcast before it even hit store shelves, whereas Sega spunked their measly ad budget on sponsoring a football team.

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1 hour ago, Kevvy Metal said:

The Market was already decided even before the PS2 was launched. 

 

I totally think some people bear a grudge to the PlayStation brand for effectively killing off Sega from the Hardware market. A grudge that you can totally tell some people still have :D

 

This is pretty much exactly what I remember. The Dreamcast was out, a really cute machine with a host of novel games, but no-one in the mass-market was interested - the PS2 had already won before it even launched. It's like they only had eyes for the PS2; the Dreamcast wasn't even an option. It was so comprehensive, my gut feeling is even a DVD drive would have made little difference. 

 

As for bearing a grudge...I remember seeing a PS2 pod in the Virgin Megastore. At the time my I could feel my anger building at how everyone was so focused on the PS2, with its launch lineup of crap, and just couldn't understand why the Dreamcast had so little love.  I was staring at this demo pod, about to walk away, when I realised I was gripping my lip balm tin in my pocket, possibly in anger, and had somehow managed to cover my hand in Vaseline. I still feel a sense of shame about what I did next. 

 

I grabbed a PS2 joypad, smeared, and walked away. 

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It’s no surprise that I went from the Dreamcast to the Xbox and almost entirely skipped the ps2 until much later:

 

4 joyports, runs a version of Windows, and has loads of Sega titles on it? Yes please!

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27 minutes ago, Broken Thumbs said:

 

This is pretty much exactly what I remember. The Dreamcast was out, a really cute machine with a host of novel games, but no-one in the mass-market was interested - the PS2 had already won before it even launched. It's like they only had eyes for the PS2; the Dreamcast wasn't even an option. It was so comprehensive, my gut feeling is even a DVD drive would have made little difference. 

 

As for bearing a grudge...I remember seeing a PS2 pod in the Virgin Megastore. At the time my I could feel my anger building at how everyone was so focused on the PS2, with its launch lineup of crap, and just couldn't understand why the Dreamcast had so little love.  I was staring at this demo pod, about to walk away, when I realised I was gripping my lip balm tin in my pocket, possibly in anger, and had somehow managed to cover my hand in Vaseline. I still feel a sense of shame about what I did next. 

 

I grabbed a PS2 joypad, smeared, and walked away. 

 

 

The next guy is probably still thinking "i  hope that was Vaseline!" :o

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Everything after the Mega Drive and before the Dreamcast is what killed it. They only had themselves to blame.  Mega CD, 32x and then the Saturn was the final straw for many.  

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8 hours ago, Parappa said:

Everything after the Mega Drive and before the Dreamcast is what killed it. They only had themselves to blame.  Mega CD, 32x and then the Saturn was the final straw for many.  


Everyone other than hardcore Sega fans had lost faith in the brand by 1999. A litany of disasters.

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Yep I would agree with all the above, the PS2 destroyed the DC in many more ways than just one. Those silly 6 million players ads that showed so little of the games and failed to sell the generational leap above PS1, the rather limp attempt at making DC a cultural “thing” through things like official mag positioning.. it was all wrong.

 

But I know a lot of people for whom the lack of DVD put them off buying their own even if they absolutely loved the games (stand up Soul Calibur!)

 

im always curious if it would’ve made enough difference in installed base to take the fight onward. Probably not. Probably the DCs launch timed between generations meant it never had a chance of being a major platform, but I also accept it would’ve been annihilated by the PS2 had they gone head to head.

 

But yes, Sega from 1992-ish to the end of DC is a very curious study of how to implode a brand!

 

 

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I still believe Ken Kutaragi sold his soul to Satan. 
 

What’s really surprising, in hindsight, is how bijou the system is, especially compared to the PS2 which was a bit of a beast at the time (despite what we may now know of the PS5).

 

If only the world had bought into Dreamcast and it’s very special brand of peace, love and understanding; we definitely wouldn’t have had Trump, Brexit or Coronavirus. 


And that’s a true fact. 

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On 19/06/2020 at 01:51, pastry said:

To what extent do you guys think that the DC's "failure" was down to the PS2 having a DVD player and the DC not? I still maintain it was a huge factor – at that time DVD players were still expensive, the PS2 was effectively a bargain – console and DVD player in one.

No doubt there was a PS1 installed base who simply wanted a PS2 and not a DC, but I think it put a lot of people off adopting the DC.

 

We covered this a bit in DreamPod Ep74 :)

 

https://thedreamcastjunkyard.buzzsprout.com/

 

My feeling is that SEGA of Japan and SEGA of US (e.g. Bernie Stolar et al.) were going in different directions. The Saturn was announced as being dead by Bernie, and all focus on the DC. Lots of people thought 'fuck this i will get PS2' in the West, whereas the Saturn was a success in Japan.

 

I agree with all of the points above, but really i think it's corporate mismanagement and generally agree with all points above.

 

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I imagine an awful lot of people weren't even aware of the Saturn at the time. Gaming was "playing PlayStation" back then. National newspapers ran horror stories about how Sony were forcing you to buy a "new PlayStation" before you could play the latest games. They didn't say that about the Dreamcast.

 

Plus Sony were saying "all those PlayStation games you own already? If course you can play them on this! It's a PlayStation. 2."

 

And none of this was helped by the distinct lack of FIFA. Which might not have been the juggernaut it is today, but it was getting there.

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I think the biggest factor in the Dreamcast's failure is also why it's still loved so much - the games were just so weird and creative they were unlikely to capture a mainstream audience in the West.

 

The Saturn catastrophe and Sony's (shall we say) 'optimistic' estimations of what the PS2 was going to be able to do also played significant roles, for sure.

 

I still remember seeing the PS2's abject launch line up and just being amazed anyone could think that was better than the DC. 

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As a fan of the Dreamcast at the time, with stunning games being released monthly that to this day cast shade on the platforms at the time, I really didn't get why it was a failure back then.

 

With that in mind, I vividly remember the quote in Edge magazine the month Sega announced support was ending and they were going multiformat: 'The Dreamcast was killed because of the imagined power of the PlayStation 2.' It stood up to scruitinity at the time. The Dreamcast was priced cheaper, had far better games, far better ports and was such a great console.

 

However, with time you have to look back and understand just how badly Sega fucked up. The Master System and Mega Drive were fantastic from that point in the mid 90's but Sega lost their minds in the home market. Expensive and useless expansions like the Mega CD and 32X, followed by dropping support from them, showed the public they were not sure what to do next and that wouldn't have inspired confidence. Combined with the Saturn, which has a strong following now but at the time, the 3D ports really didn't look great when stacked up against the stunning PlayStation so that hammered another nail in the coffin. So releasing the Dreamcast after that failure and so close to the PS2 was never a great idea. Sadly though, the Dreamcast was an excellent machine but the damage was already done.

 

Sega pissed on their own chips by relesing too many poor expansions to the Mega Drive with little support, choose poorly with the hardware capability of the Saturn and never released a Sonic game for their flagship machine. I'm fairly certain that they could have done nothing to save the DC as the damage was too great in the minds of the public.

 

All of which is a real shame as for me, the Dreamcast games of that era stand up so well and remain some of my most fondest ever made.

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I guess we all know about Sega’s mis-steps and we could wax lyrical all day about what-ifs - such a fascinating period and an amazing final send off as a hardware player.

 

As @ScouserInExile said, backwards compatibility was a massive massive bonus, something pretty unheard of at the time.

 

it seems in retrospect that Sony did everything right, somewhat lacklustre launch games aside, though must note the wide and installed base appeal of games like Tekken Tag.

 

All that said I still think the DVD player was a massive bonus that helped sell systems into households that might not have adopted otherwise, or may not have had the PS2 under their family TV.

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I'm sure BC was a big factor in the PS2's success but it wasn't unheard of.

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What do you mean, via addons like the master system converter? I don’t recall it being a feature of mainstream consoles prior.

 

Of course the DC almost had full Bleem support! 

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Something else that’s not been mentioned is piracy. I remember getting Blueyonder cable broadband with something like 1Mbps download and with the power of Usenet, you could literally download a new game days after release, burn it off and then play it on a standard Dreamcast. I remember queuing up several games to download overnight and then burning them the following night. Thankfully I did buy a few of the great games, kind of treating it as a bit of “try before you buy”, but the ease of piracy must have put off publishers, which in turn would have caused new releases to dry up.

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What internet did you have that in 2000 you could download a few hundred megs overnight? Whilst piracy was easy on the Dreamcast I don’t think it was a huge factor and piracy certainly didn’t harm the Psone in any way. The damage was already done before that point.

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Playstation just had all the massive console franchises. 

 

Gran Turismo

Metal Gear

Final Fantasy

Tomb Raider

Ridge Racer

Crash Bandicoot

Destruction Derby

FIFA

ISS Pro (this far outclassed the N64 games by 2000). 

 

Etc etc. These brands were all synonymous with PlayStation. The brand was a juggernaut unlike anything else we ever saw. And the PS2 was very powerful for a 2000 console, GT3 still looks amazing today. 

 

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3 hours ago, Camel said:

I'm sure BC was a big factor in the PS2's success but it wasn't unheard of.


atari 7800 had backwards compatibility...

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When erotic videos were available on DC via video Cd piracy three of my friends went out and bought DCs the following day. 

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If the Saturn cart slot played Mega Drive games it surely would've done a lot better in Europe, especially out the gate.

 

Sega really fucked up the franchises on Saturn though. Playstation had nothing first party, where was Sonic, Streets of Rage, Ecco, the Disney collaborations that sold a million on the Mega Drive? Wild you could buy a Mickey Mouse game on PS1 and not Saturn.

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4 hours ago, pastry said:

What do you mean, via addons like the master system converter? I don’t recall it being a feature of mainstream consoles prior.

 

Of course the DC almost had full Bleem support! 

 

Yes but more so, as SeanR said, the Atari 2600/7800.

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13 hours ago, Down by Law said:

If the Saturn cart slot played Mega Drive games it surely would've done a lot better in Europe, especially out the gate.

 

Sega really fucked up the franchises on Saturn though. Playstation had nothing first party, where was Sonic, Streets of Rage, Ecco, the Disney collaborations that sold a million on the Mega Drive? Wild you could buy a Mickey Mouse game on PS1 and not Saturn.

 

One for the Saturn thread admittedly – but always fascinating to think that SEGA deliberately designed a 2D powerhouse console and DIDN'T have a new 2D Sonic game in development.. surely they did? Surely? 

 

A backwards compatible Saturn could've sold quite well initially in the UK, but nothing could really withstand the PS1's assault on youth culture. A BC DC? I assume not remotely feasible, and nobody wanted it anyway..

 

 

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I don’t think a lack of BC harmed the Saturn. We’d reached a point where many people thought 2D was old hat. The Saturn/PS1/N64 were meant to be the dawn of a new era.

 

When the PS2 launched there were still lots of PS1 games that looked amazing so people naturally wanted to carry that on. 

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20 hours ago, gone fishin' said:

Something else that’s not been mentioned is piracy

Funny one this, because one of the often stayed reasons for the PS1's popularity is piracy.

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The price of the console was great, especially as by '98 it was about £100 and the next generation of titles were coming. Piracy of course was a a think but the games sold millions too. 

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brb, I need to check an old Argos catalogue...

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Been playing Hydro Thunder for the last few hours, amazing fun. I know they did a sequel on the xbox 360 but would love to see a HD remake or something. 

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