The Dreamcast[a] is a home video game console released by
November 27, 1998 in Japan, September 9, 1999 in North America, and
October 14, 1999 in Europe. It was the first in the sixth generation
of video game consoles, preceding Sony's
PlayStation 2, Nintendo's
GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox. The
Dreamcast was Sega's final home
console, marking the end of the company's 18 years in the console
In contrast to the expensive hardware of the unsuccessful
Dreamcast was designed to reduce costs with "off-the-shelf"
components, including a
Hitachi SH-4 CPU and an
NEC PowerVR2 GPU.
Japan to a subdued reception, the
Dreamcast enjoyed a
successful U.S. launch backed by a large marketing campaign, but
interest in the system steadily declined as
Sony built hype for the
PlayStation 2. Sales did not meet Sega's expectations despite
several price cuts, and the company continued to incur significant
financial losses. After a change in leadership,
Sega discontinued the
Dreamcast on March 31, 2001, withdrawing from the console business and
restructuring itself as a third-party publisher. 9.13 million
Dreamcast units were sold worldwide.
Dreamcast had a short lifespan and limited third-party
support, reviewers have considered the console ahead of its time. Its
library contains many games considered creative and innovative,
including Crazy Taxi,
Jet Set Radio
Jet Set Radio and Shenmue, as well as
high-quality ports from Sega's NAOMI arcade system board. The
Dreamcast was also the first console to include a built-in modem for
Internet support and online play.
2 Technical specifications
3 Game library
4 Reception and legacy
Released in 1988, the
Sega Genesis (known as the
Sega Mega Drive in
Europe and Brazil) was Sega's entry into the fourth generation
of video game consoles. Selling 30.75 million units worldwide, the
Genesis was the most successful console
Sega ever released. The
successor to the Genesis, the
Sega Saturn, was released in
1994. The Saturn was a CD-ROM-based console that displayed both 2D
and 3D computer graphics, but its complex dual-CPU architecture made
it more difficult to program for than its chief competitor, the Sony
PlayStation. Although the Saturn debuted before the
Japan and the United States, its surprise U.S.
launch—which came four months earlier than originally
scheduled—was marred by a lack of distribution, which
remained a continuing problem for the system. Moreover, Sega's
early release was undermined by Sony's simultaneous announcement that
PlayStation would retail for US$299—compared to the Saturn's
initial price of $399. Nintendo's long delay in releasing a
competing 3D console and the damage done to Sega's reputation by
poorly supported add-ons for the Genesis (particularly the
Sony to establish a foothold in the market. The
PlayStation was immediately successful in the U.S., in part due to a
massive advertising campaign and strong third-party support engendered
by Sony's excellent development tools and liberal $10 licensing
fee. Sony's success was further aided by a price war in which
Sega lowered the price of the Saturn from $399 to $299 and then from
$299 to $199 in order to match the price of the PlayStation–even
though Saturn hardware was more expensive to manufacture and the
PlayStation enjoyed a larger software library. Losses on
the Saturn hardware contributed to Sega's financial problems,
which saw the company's revenue decline between 1992 and 1995 as part
of an industry-wide slowdown. Furthermore, Sega's focus on the Saturn
over the Genesis prevented it from fully capitalizing on the continued
strength of the 16-bit market.
Due to long-standing disagreements with
Sega of Japan,
Tom Kalinske became less interested in his position.
On July 16, 1996,
Sega announced that
Shoichiro Irimajiri had been
appointed chairman and CEO of
Sega of America, while Kalinske would be
Sega after September 30 of that year.
Sega Enterprises cofounder David Rosen and
Hayao Nakayama had resigned from their positions as chairman
and co-chairman of
Sega of America, though both men remained with the
company. Bernie Stolar, a former executive at
Entertainment of America, was named
Sega of America's
executive vice president in charge of product development and
third-party relations. Stolar did not support the Saturn due
to his belief that the hardware was poorly designed and publicly
announced at E3 1997 that "The Saturn is not our future." After
the launch of the
Nintendo 64, sales of the Saturn and Sega's 32-bit
software were sharply reduced. As of August 1997,
Sony controlled 47
percent of the console market,
Nintendo controlled 40 percent, and
Sega controlled only 12 percent. Neither price cuts nor high-profile
games were proving helpful to the Saturn's success. Due to the
Saturn's poor performance in North America,
Sega of America laid off
60 of its 200 employees in the fall of 1997.
"I thought the Saturn was a mistake as far as hardware was concerned.
The games were obviously terrific, but the hardware just wasn't
—Bernie Stolar, former president of
Sega of America giving his
assessment of the Saturn in 2009.
As a result of the company's deteriorating financial situation,
Nakayama resigned as president of
Sega in January 1998 in favor of
Irimajiri. Stolar would subsequently accede to become CEO and
Sega of America. Following five years of
generally declining profits, in the fiscal year ending March 31,
Sega suffered its first parent and consolidated financial losses
since its 1988 listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Due to a 54.8%
decline in consumer product sales (including a 75.4% decline
overseas), the company reported a consolidated net loss of ¥35.6
billion (US$269.8 million). Shortly before announcing its
Sega revealed that it was discontinuing the Saturn
in North America, with the goal of preparing for the launch of its
successor. This decision effectively left the Western market
Sega games for over one year. Rumors about the upcoming
Dreamcast—spread mainly by
Sega itself—leaked to the public before
the last Saturn games were released.
As early as 1995, reports surfaced that
Sega would collaborate with
Lockheed Martin, The 3DO Company, Matsushita, or Alliance
Semiconductor to create a new graphics processing unit, which
conflicting accounts said would be used for a 64-bit "Saturn 2" or an
add-on peripheral. Development of the
Dreamcast was wholly
unrelated to this rumored project. In light of the Saturn's
poor market performance, Irimajiri decided to start looking outside of
the company's internal hardware development division to create a new
console. In 1997, Irimajiri enlisted the services of IBM's Tatsuo
Yamamoto to lead an 11-man team to work on a secret hardware project
in the United States, which was referred to as "Blackbelt". Accounts
vary on how an internal team led by
Hideki Sato also began development
Dreamcast hardware; one account specifies that
both teams, while another suggests that Sato was bothered by
Irimajiri's choice to begin development externally and chose to have
his hardware team begin development. Sato and his group chose
Hitachi SH-4 processor architecture and the VideoLogic PowerVR2
graphics processor, manufactured by NEC, in the production of their
mainboard. Initially known as "Whitebelt", this project was later
codenamed "Dural", after the metallic female fighter from Sega's
Virtua Fighter series.
Yamamoto's group opted to use
Voodoo 2 and Voodoo Banshee
graphics processors alongside a
Motorola PowerPC 603e central
processing unit (CPU), but
Sega management later asked them to
also use the SH-4 chip. Both processors have been described as
"off the shelf" components. In 1997,
3dfx began its IPO, and as a
result of legal obligations unveiled its contracts with Sega,
including the development of the new console. This angered
Japan executives, who eventually decided to use the Dural chipset and
cut ties with 3dfx. According to former
Sega of America vice president
of communications and former
NEC brand manager Charles Bellfield,
presentations of games using the
NEC solution showcased the
performance and low cost delivered by the SH-4 and PowerVR
architecture. He further stated that "Sega's relationship with NEC, a
Japanese company, probably made a difference [in Sega's decision to
adopt the Japanese team's design] too." Stolar, on the other hand,
"felt the US version, the 3Dfx version, should have been used. Japan
wanted the Japanese version, and
Japan won." As a result, 3dfx
filed a lawsuit against both
NEC claiming breach of contract,
which would eventually be settled out of court. The choice to use
PowerVR architecture concerned
Electronic Arts (EA), a longtime
developer for Sega's consoles. EA had invested in
3dfx but was
unfamiliar with the selected architecture, which was reportedly less
powerful. As recounted by Shiro Hagiwara (a general manager at
Sega's hardware division) and Ian Oliver (the managing director of
Sega subsidiary Cross Products), the SH-4 was chosen while it was
still in development and following a lengthy deliberation process
because it was the only available processor that "could adapt to
deliver the 3D geometry calculation performance necessary." By
Sega had renamed the Dural "Katana" (after the Japanese
sword), although certain hardware specifications such as random
access memory (RAM) were not yet finalized.
Knowing that the
Sega Saturn had been set back by its high production
costs and complex hardware,
Sega took a different approach with the
Dreamcast. Like previous
Sega consoles, the
Dreamcast was designed
around intelligent subsystems working in parallel with one
another, but the selections of hardware were more in line with
what was common in personal computers than video game consoles,
reducing the system's cost. According to Damien McFerran, "the
motherboard was a masterpiece of clean, uncluttered design and
compatibility." Chinese economist and future Sega.com CEO Brad
Isao Okawa to include a modem with every
Dreamcast despite significant opposition from Okawa's staff over the
additional $15 cost per unit. To account for rapid changes
in home data delivery,
Sega designed the Dreamcast's modem to be
Sega selected the
GD-ROM media format for the system.
The GD-ROM, which was jointly developed by
Sega and Yamaha
Corporation, could be mass-produced at a similar price to a normal
CD-ROM, thus avoiding the greater expense of DVD-ROM
technology. As the
GD-ROM format can hold about 1 GB of
data, illegally copying
Dreamcast games onto a 650 MB CD-ROM
sometimes required the removal of certain game features, although this
did not prevent copying of
Dreamcast version of
Windows CE with
DirectX API and
dynamic-link libraries, making it easy to port PC games to the
platform, although programmers would ultimately favor Sega's
development tools over those from Microsoft.
Sega held a public competition to name its new system and considered
over 5,000 different entries before choosing "Dreamcast"—a
portmanteau of "dream" and "broadcast". According to Katsutoshi
Eguchi, Japanese game developer
Kenji Eno submitted the name and
created the Dreamcast's spiral logo, but this claim has not been
verified by Sega. The Dreamcast's start-up sound was composed by
the Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto. Because the Saturn had
tarnished Sega's reputation, the company planned to remove its name
from the console entirely and establish a new gaming brand similar to
Sony's PlayStation, but Irimajiri's management team ultimately decided
to retain Sega's logo on the Dreamcast's exterior.
US$50–80 million on hardware development, $150–200 million on
software development, and $300 million on worldwide promotion—a sum
which Irimajiri, a former
Honda executive, humorously compared to the
investments required to design new automobiles.
Despite taking massive losses on the Saturn, including a 75 percent
drop in half-year profits just before the Japanese launch of the
Sega felt confident about its new system. The Dreamcast
attracted significant interest and drew many pre-orders. Sega
announced that Sonic Adventure, the next game starring company mascot
Sonic the Hedgehog, would arrive in time for the Dreamcast's launch
and promoted the game with a large-scale public demonstration at the
Tokyo Kokusai Forum Hall. However,
Sega could not achieve
its shipping goals for the Dreamcast's Japanese launch due to a
PowerVR chipsets caused by a high failure rate in the
manufacturing process. As more than half of its limited stock
had been pre-ordered,
Sega stopped pre-orders in Japan. On November
27, 1998, the
Dreamcast launched in
Japan at a price of JP¥29,000,
and the entire stock sold out by the end of the day. However, of the
four games available at launch, only one—a port of
Virtua Fighter 3,
the most successful arcade game
Sega ever released in Japan—sold
Sega estimated that an additional 200,000-300,000 Dreamcast
units could have been sold with sufficient supply. Key Dreamcast
Sonic Adventure and
Sega Rally Championship 2, which had been
delayed, arrived within the following weeks, but sales continued
to be slower than expected. Irimajiri hoped to sell over 1 million
Dreamcast units in
Japan by February 1999, but less than 900,000 were
sold, undermining Sega's attempts to build up a sufficient installed
base to ensure the Dreamcast's survival after the arrival of
competition from other manufacturers. There were reports of
disappointed Japanese consumers returning their Dreamcasts and using
the refund to purchase additional
PlayStation software. Seaman,
released in July 1999, was considered the Dreamcast's first major hit
in Japan. Prior to the Western launch,
Sega reduced the
price of the
Dreamcast to JP¥19,900, effectively making the hardware
unprofitable but increasing sales. The price reduction and release of
Soul Calibur helped
Sega to gain 17 percent on its shares.
"Let's take the conservative estimate of 250,000
Dreamcast units at
presage—that's a quarter of a million units at $200. We'll have a
ratio of 1.5 or two games for every
Dreamcast unit sold. That's half a
million units of software. We think we'll be .5 to one on VMUs and
peripheral items such as extra controllers and what have you. This
could be a $60 to $80 million 24-hour period. What has ever sold $60
to $80 million in the first 24 hours?"
—Peter Moore, speaking to
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly about the
upcoming launch of the Dreamcast.
Working closely with
Midway Games (which developed four launch games
for the system) and taking advantage of the ten months following the
Dreamcast's release in Japan,
Sega of America worked to ensure a more
successful U.S. launch with a minimum of 15 launch games. Despite
lingering bitterness over the Saturn's early release, Stolar
successfully managed to repair relations with major US retailers, with
Sega presold 300,000
Dreamcast units. In addition, a
pre-launch promotion enabled consumers to rent the system from
Hollywood Video in the months preceding its September launch. Sega
of America's senior vice president of marketing Peter Moore, a fan
of the attitude previously associated with Sega's brand, worked with
Foote, Cone & Belding and Access Communications to develop the
"It's Thinking" campaign of 15-second television commercials, which
emphasized the Dreamcast's hardware power. According to
Moore, "We needed to create something that would really intrigue
consumers, somewhat apologize for the past, but invoke all the things
we loved about Sega, primarily from the Genesis days." On August
Sega of America confirmed that Stolar had been fired, leaving
Moore to direct the launch.
Prior to the Dreamcast's release,
Sega was dealt a blow when EA—the
largest third-party video game publisher—announced it would not
develop games for the system. EA executive
Bing Gordon claimed "[Sega]
couldn't afford to give us [EA] the same kind of license that EA has
had over the last five years", but Stolar recounted that EA president
Larry Probst wanted "exclusive rights to be the only sports brand on
Dreamcast", which Stolar could not accept due to Sega's recent $10
million purchase of sports game developer Visual Concepts.
Dreamcast would have none of EA's popular sports games,
Sega Sports" games developed mainly by Visual Concepts helped to
fill that void.
Dreamcast launched in
North America on September 9, 1999 at a
price of $199—which Sega's marketing dubbed "9/9/99 for
$199". Eighteen launch games were available for the
Dreamcast in the U.S.
Sega set a new sales record by
selling more than 225,132
Dreamcast units in 24 hours, earning the
company $98.4 million in what Moore called "the biggest 24 hours in
entertainment retail history". Within two weeks, U.S. Dreamcast
sales exceeded 500,000. By Christmas,
Sega held 31 percent of the
North American video game marketshare. Significant launch games
included Soul Calibur, an arcade fighting game that was graphically
enhanced for the system and went on to sell one million units, and
Visual Concepts' high-quality football simulation NFL 2K. On
Sega announced it had sold over one million Dreamcast
units. Nevertheless, the launch was marred by a glitch at one of
Sega's manufacturing plants, which produced defective GD-ROMs.
Sega released the
Europe on October 14, 1999, at a
price of GB₤200. By November 24, 400,000 consoles had been sold
in Europe. By Christmas of 1999,
Europe reported selling
500,000 units, placing it six months ahead of schedule. Sales did
not continue at this pace, and by October 2000,
Sega had sold only
about 1 million units in Europe. As part of Sega's promotions of
Dreamcast in Europe, the company sponsored four European football
Arsenal F.C. (England),
AS Saint-Étienne (France),
U.C. Sampdoria (Italy), and
Deportivo de La Coruña
Deportivo de La Coruña (Spain).
The PS2 provided stiff competition to the Dreamcast.
Dreamcast launch had been successful,
Sony still held 60
percent of the overall video game market share in
North America with
PlayStation at the end of 1999. On March 2, 1999, in what one
report called a "highly publicized, vaporware-like announcement"
Sony revealed the first details of its "next generation PlayStation",
Ken Kutaragi claimed would allow video games to convey
unprecedented emotions. The center of Sony's marketing plan and the
PlayStation 2 itself was a new CPU (clocked at
294 MHz) jointly developed by
Sony and Toshiba—the "Emotion
Engine"—which Kutaragi announced would feature a graphics processor
with 1,000 times more bandwidth than contemporary PC graphics
processors and a floating-point calculation performance of 6.2
gigaflops, rivaling most supercomputers. Sony, which invested
$1.2 billion in two large-scale integration semiconductor fabrication
plants to manufacture the
PlayStation 2's "Emotion Engine" and
"Graphics Synthesizer", designed the machine to push more raw polygons
than any video game console in history.
Sony claimed the
PlayStation 2 could render 75 million raw polygons per second with
absolutely no effects, and 38 million without accounting for features
such as textures, artificial intelligence, or physics.
With such effects,
Sony estimated the
PlayStation 2 could render 7.5
million to 16 million polygons per second, whereas independent
estimates ranged from 3 million to 20 million, compared to
Sega's estimates of more than 3 million to 6 million for the
Dreamcast. The system would also utilize the
DVD-ROM format, which
could hold substantially more data than the Dreamcast's GD-ROM
format. Because it could connect to the Internet while playing
movies, music, and video games,
PlayStation 2 as the future
of home entertainment. Rumors spread that the
was a supercomputer capable of guiding missiles and displaying Toy
Story-quality graphics, while Kutaragi boasted its online capabilities
would give consumers the ability to "jack into ‘The
Matrix’!" In addition,
Sony emphasized that the
PlayStation 2 would be backwards compatible with hundreds of popular
PlayStation games. Sony's specifications appeared to render the
Dreamcast obsolete months before its U.S. launch, although reports
later emerged that the
PlayStation 2 was not as powerful as expected
and distinctly difficult to program games for. The same
Nintendo announced that its next generation console would meet
or exceed anything on the market, and
Microsoft began development of
its own console.
Sega's initial momentum proved fleeting as U.S. Dreamcast
sales—which exceeded 1.5 million by the end of 1999—began to
decline as early as January 2000. Poor Japanese sales contributed
to Sega's ¥42.88 billion ($404 million) consolidated net loss in the
fiscal year ending March 2000, which followed a similar loss of
¥42.881 billion the previous year and marked Sega's third consecutive
annual loss. Although Sega's overall sales for the term
increased 27.4%, and
Dreamcast sales in
North America and Europe
greatly exceeded the company's expectations, this increase in sales
coincided with a decrease in profitability due to the investments
required to launch the
Dreamcast in Western markets and poor software
sales in Japan. At the same time, increasingly poor market
conditions reduced the profitability of Sega's Japanese arcade
business, prompting the company to close 246 locations.
Knowing that "they have to fish where the fish are biting",
America president Peter Moore (who assumed his position after Stolar
had been fired) and
Sega of Japan's developers focused on the U.S.
market to prepare for the upcoming launch of the PS2. To that end,
Sega of America launched its own Internet service provider, Sega.com,
led by CEO Brad Huang. On September 7, 2000, Sega.com
launched SegaNet, the Dreamcast's Internet gaming service, at a
subscription price of $21.95 per month. Although
previously released only one
Dreamcast game in the U.S. that featured
online multiplayer (ChuChu Rocket!, a puzzle game developed by Sonic
Team), the launch of
SegaNet (which allowed users to chat, send
email, and surf the web) combined with
NFL 2K1 (a football game
including a robust online component) was intended to increase demand
Dreamcast in the U.S. market. The service would later
support games including Bomberman Online, Phantasy Star Online, Quake
III Arena, and Unreal Tournament. The September 7 launch coincided
with a new advertising campaign to promote SegaNet, including via the
MTV Video Music Awards
MTV Video Music Awards of the same day, which
Sega sponsored for the
second consecutive year.
Sega employed aggressive pricing
strategies with relation to online gaming. In Japan, every Dreamcast
sold included a free year of Internet access, which Okawa personally
paid for. Prior to the launch of SegaNet,
Sega had already
offered a $200 rebate to any
Dreamcast owner who purchased two years
of Internet access from Sega.com. To increase SegaNet's
appeal in the U.S.,
Sega dropped the price of the
Dreamcast to $149
(compared to the PS2's U.S. launch price of $299) and offered a rebate
for the full $149 price of a
Dreamcast (and a free
with every 18-month
"We had a tremendous 18 months.
Dreamcast was on fire - we really
thought that we could do it. But then we had a target from
said we had to make x hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday
season and shift x millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just
couldn't sustain the business. Somehow I got to make that call, not
the Japanese. I had to fire a lot of people; it was not a pleasant
day. So on January 31st 2001 we said
Sega is leaving
hardware. We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then
100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical
mass to take on the launch of PS2. It was a big stakes game.
the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they
decided they wanted to live to fight another day."
—Peter Moore, on the Dreamcast's discontinuation.
Moore stated that the
Dreamcast would need to sell 5 million units in
the U.S. by the end of 2000 in order to remain a viable platform, but
Sega ultimately fell short of this goal with some 3 million units
sold. Moreover, Sega's attempts to spur increased Dreamcast
sales through lower prices and cash rebates caused escalating
financial losses. Instead of an expected profit, for the six
months ending September 2000,
Sega posted a ¥17.98 billion ($163.11
million) loss, with the company projecting a year-end loss of ¥23.6
billion. This estimate was more than doubled to ¥58.3
billion, and in March 2001,
Sega posted a consolidated net loss
of ¥51.7 billion ($417.5 million). While the PS2's October 26
U.S. launch was marred by shortages—with only 500,000 of a planned 1
million units shipped due to a manufacturing glitch—this did not
Dreamcast as much as expected, as many disappointed
consumers continued to wait for a PS2—while the PSone, a remodeled
version of the original PlayStation, was the best-selling console in
the U.S. at the start of the 2000 holiday season.
According to Moore, "the
PlayStation 2 effect that we were relying
upon did not work for us ... people will hang on for as long as
possible ... What effectively happened is the
PlayStation 2 lack
of availability froze the marketplace". Eventually,
Nintendo held 50 and 35 percent of the US video game market,
Sega held only 15 percent. According to
Dreamcast software sold at an 8-to-1 ratio with the
hardware, but this ratio "on a small install base didn't give us the
revenue ... to keep this platform viable in the medium to long
On May 22, 2000, Okawa replaced Irimajiri as president of Sega.
Okawa had long openly advocated that
Sega abandon the console
business. His sentiments were not unique;
Sega co-founder David
Rosen had "always felt it was a bit of a folly for them to be limiting
their potential to
Sega hardware", and Stolar had previously suggested
Sega should have sold their company to Microsoft. In
September 2000, in a meeting with Sega's Japanese executives and the
heads of the company's major Japanese game development studios, Moore
and Bellfield recommended that
Sega abandon its console business and
focus solely on software—prompting the studio heads to walk out.
Nevertheless, on January 31, 2001,
Sega announced the discontinuation
Dreamcast after March 31 and the restructuring of the company
as a "platform-agnostic" third-party developer. The decision
Sega also announced a
Dreamcast price reduction to
$99 to eliminate its unsold inventory, which was estimated at 930,000
units as of April 2001. After a further reduction to $79,
Dreamcast was cleared out of stores at $49.95. The final
Dreamcast unit to be manufactured was autographed by the heads of all
nine of Sega's internal game development studios as well as the heads
Visual Concepts and
Wave Master and given away with 55 first-party
Dreamcast games through a competition organized by GamePro
magazine. Okawa, who had previously loaned
Sega $500 million in
the summer of 1999, died on March 16, 2001; shortly before his death,
he forgave Sega's debts to him and returned his $695 million worth of
Sega and CSK stock, helping the company survive the third-party
transition. As part of this restructuring, nearly one-third
of Sega's Tokyo workforce was laid off in 2001.
Dreamcast units were sold worldwide. After the
Dreamcast's discontinuation, commercial games were still developed and
released for the system, particularly in Japan. In the United States,
game releases continued until the end of the first half of 2002.
Japan continued to repair
Dreamcast units until 2007. As
of 2014, the console is still supported through various MIL-CD
independent releases. After five consecutive years of financial
Sega finally posted a profit for the fiscal year ending March
Reasons cited for the failure of the
Dreamcast include hype for the
PS2; a lack of support from EA and Squaresoft,
considered the most popular third-parties in the U.S. and Japan
respectively; disagreement among
Sega executives over the
company's future, and Okawa's lack of commitment to the product;
Sega's lack of advertising money, with Bellfield doubting that Sega
spent even "half" the $100 million it had pledged to promote the
Dreamcast in the U.S.; that the market was not yet ready for
online gaming; Sega's focus on "hardcore" gamers over the
mainstream consumer; and poor timing. Perhaps the most
frequently cited reason is the damage to Sega's reputation caused by
several previous poorly supported
Writing for GamePro, Blake Snow stated that "The much beloved console
launched years ahead of the competition but ultimately struggled to
shed the negative reputation [Sega] had gained during the Saturn, Sega
Sega CD days. As a result, casual gamers and jaded
third-party developers doubted Sega's ability to deliver."
Eurogamer's Dan Whitehead noted that the "wait and see" approach of
consumers and the lack of support from EA were symptoms rather the
cause of Sega's decline, concluding "Sega's misadventures during the
1990s had left both gamers and publishers wary of any new platform
bearing its name." According to 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish, "While
it would be easy to point an accusatory finger at
Sony and blame them
for killing the
Dreamcast by overselling the PS2 ... there's a
certain level of intellectual dishonesty in such a stance ...
[Sega]'s poor U.S. support for hardware like the
Sega CD, the 32X, and
the Saturn made gamers gun shy. Many consumers felt burned after
investing in expensive
Sega machines and finding the resulting
libraries comparatively lacking".
The announcement of Sega's third-party transition was met with
widespread enthusiasm. According to IGN's Travis Fahs, "
Sega was a
creatively fertile company with a rapidly expanding stable of
properties to draw from. It seemed like they were in a perfect
position to start a new life as a developer/publisher." Former
Working Designs president Victor Ireland wrote that "It's actually a
good thing ... because now
Sega will survive, doing what they do
best: software." The staff of
Newsweek remarked "From Sonic to
Shenmue, Sega's programmers have produced some of the most engaging
experiences in the history of interactive media ... Unshackled by
a struggling console platform, this platoon of world-class software
developers can do what they do best for any machine on the
market". Rosen predicted "they have the potential to catch
Electronic Arts". Game Informer, commenting on Sega's tendency to
produce under-appreciated cult classics, stated: "Let us rejoice in
the fact that
Sega is making games equally among the current console
crop, so that history will not repeat itself."
Internal view of a
Dreamcast console including optical drive, power
supply, controller ports, and cooling fan.
Mainboard of a
Dreamcast measures 190 mm × 195.8 mm
× 75.5 mm (7.48 in × 7.71 in
× 2.97 in) and weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). The
Dreamcast's main CPU is a two-way 360 MIPS superscalar Hitachi
32-bit RISC clocked at 200 MHz with an 8 Kbyte
instruction cache and 16 Kbyte data cache and a 128-bit
graphics-oriented floating-point unit delivering 1.4 GFLOPS.
Its 100 MHz
NEC PowerVR2 rendering engine, integrated with the
system's ASIC, is capable of drawing more than 3 million polygons per
second and of deferred shading.
Sega estimated that the
Dreamcast was theoretically capable of rendering 7 million raw
polygons per second, or 6 million with textures and lighting, but
noted that "game logic and physics reduce peak graphic
performance." Graphics hardware effects include trilinear
filtering, gouraud shading, z-buffering, spatial anti-aliasing,
per-pixel translucency sorting and bump mapping. The system
can output approximately 16.77 million colors simultaneously and
displays interlaced or progressive scan video at 640 × 480
video resolution. Its 67 MHz Yamaha AICA sound
processor, with a
RISC CPU core, can generate 64 voices
with PCM or ADPCM, providing ten times the performance of the Saturn's
sound system. The
Dreamcast has 16 MB main RAM, along with an
additional 8 MB of RAM for graphic textures and 2 MB of RAM for
sound. The system reads media using a 12x speed Yamaha GD-ROM
Drive. In addition to Windows CE, the
Dreamcast supports several
Sega and middleware application programming interfaces. In most
Dreamcast included a removable modem for online
connectivity, which was modular for future upgrades. The original
Japanese model and all PAL models had a transfer rate of
33.6 kbit/s, while consoles sold in the US and in
September 9, 1999 featured a 56 kbit/s dial-up modem.
The limited-edition black "
Sega Sports" model.
The Divers 2000 CX-1 was a special edition of the
Dreamcast that had a
built-in television set.
Sega constructed numerous
Dreamcast models, most of which were
exclusive to Japan. A refurbished
Dreamcast known as the R7 was
originally used as a network console in Japanese pachinko parlors.
Another model, the Divers 2000 CX-1, possesses a shape similar to
Sonic's head and includes a television and software for
Hello Kitty version, limited to 2000 units
produced, was targeted at Japanese female gamers.
were created for Seaman and Resident Evil Code: Veronica.
Color variations were sold through a service called "
Toyota also offered special edition
Dreamcast units at
160 of its dealers in Japan. In North America, a limited edition
Dreamcast was released with a
Sega Sports logo on the lid, which
Sega Sports-branded black controllers and two
Dreamcast controller has two dock connectors for use with multiple
accessories, like the VMU
Dreamcast controller includes both an analog stick and a digital
pad, four action buttons, and two analog triggers. The system has four
ports for controller inputs, although it was bundled with only one
controller. The design of the Dreamcast's controller, described
by the staff of Edge as "an ugly evolution of Saturn's 3D
controller," was called "[not] that great" by 1UP.com's Sam
Kennedy and "lame" by Game Informer's Andy McNamara. The
IGN wrote that "unlike most controllers, Sega's pad forces
the user's hands into an uncomfortable parallel position." In
contrast to the
Sega CD and
Sega Saturn, which included internal
backup memory, the
Dreamcast uses a 128 kbyte memory card
VMU (or "Visual Memory Unit") for data storage. The VMU
features a small LCD screen, audio output from a one-channel PWM sound
source, non-volatile memory, a directional pad, and four
VMU can present game information, be used
as a minimal handheld gaming device, and connect to certain Sega
arcade machines. For example, players use the
call plays in
NFL 2K or raise virtual pets in Sonic
Sega officials noted that the
VMU could be used
"as a private viewing area, the absence of which has prevented
effective implementation of many types of games in the past."
VMU slot was incorporated into the controller's design, Sega's
engineers found many additional uses for it, so a second slot was
added. This slot was generally used for vibration packs providing
force feedback like Sega's "Jump Pack" and Performance's
"Tremor Pack", although it could also be used for other
peripherals including a microphone enabling voice control and player
communication. Various third-party cards provide storage, and some
contain the LCD screen addition. Iomega announced a
Dreamcast-compatible zip drive that could store up to 100 MB of data
on removable discs, but it was never released.
Various third-party controllers from companies like
Mad Catz include
additional buttons and other extra features; third-parties also
manufactured arcade-style joysticks for fighting games, such as
Agetech's Arcade Stick and Interact's Alloy Arcade Stick.
Mad Catz and Agetec created racing wheels for racing games. Sega
decided against releasing its official light gun in the
U.S., but some third party light guns were available.
Dreamcast supports a
Sega fishing "reel and rod" motion controller
and a keyboard for text entry. Although it was designed for
fishing games such as
Sega Bass Fishing,
Soul Calibur was
playable with the fishing controller, which translated vertical and
horizontal movements into on-screen swordplay in a manner that was
retroactively cited as a predecessor to the
Wii Remote. The
Dreamcast port of Sega's Cyber Troopers Virtual-On Oratorio
Tangram supported a "Twin Sticks" peripheral, but the game's American
publisher, Activision, opted not to release it in the U.S. The
Dreamcast could connect to SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color, predating
Game Boy Advance
Game Boy Advance link cable.
produced the Dreameye, a digital camera that could be connected to the
Dreamcast and used to exchange pictures and participate in video chat
over the system's Internet connection.
Sega hoped developers would use
Dreameye for future software, as some later did with Sony's
EyeToy peripheral. In addition,
systems that would have allowed users to make telephone calls with the
Dreamcast, and discussed with
Motorola the development of an
Internet-enabled cell phone that would have used technology from the
console to enable quick downloads of games and other data.
The console can supply video through several different accessories.
The console came with A/V cables, considered at the time to be the
standard for video and audio connectivity.
Sega and various third
parties also manufactured
RF modulator connectors and
VGA adapter allows
Dreamcast games to be played on computer displays
Enhanced-definition television sets in 480p.
Sonic Adventure was a significant game for the
Dreamcast as the first
3D platforming game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series.
See also: List of
Before the launch of the
Dreamcast in Japan,
Sega announced the
release of its New Arcade Operation Machine Idea (NAOMI) arcade board,
which served as a cheaper alternative to the
Sega Model 3. NAOMI
shared the same technology as the Dreamcast—albeit with twice as
much system, video, and audio memory and a 160 Mbyte flash ROM board
in place of a
GD-ROM drive—allowing nearly identical home
conversions of arcade games. Games were ported from NAOMI to
Dreamcast by several leading Japanese arcade companies, including
Capcom (Marvel vs.
Capcom 2 and Project Justice),
Tecmo (Dead or Alive
2), Treasure (Ikaruga), and
Sega itself (
F355 Challenge and
In what has been called "a brief moment of remarkable creativity",
Sega restructured its arcade and console development teams
into nine semi-autonomous studios headed by the company's top
designers. Studios included
United Game Artists
United Game Artists (UGA)
(headed by former
Sega Rally Championship producer Tetsuya Mizuguchi),
Hitmaker (headed by Crazy Taxi creator and future
Sega president Hisao
Oguchi), Smilebit (headed by Shun Arai and including many
former Panzer Dragoon and future Yakuza developers from Team
Overworks (headed by
Noriyoshi Oba and composed of
Sega franchises including Sakura Wars, Shinobi and
Streets of Rage),
Sega AM2 (Sega's most famous arcade
studio and the developer of Sega's
Virtua Fighter fighting game
series, headed by the company's top developer, Yu Suzuki), and
Sonic Team (the developer of Sega's flagship series, Sonic the
Hedgehog, headed by Yuji Naka). Sega's design houses were
encouraged to experiment and benefited from a relatively lax approval
process, resulting in games such as
Rez (an attempt to simulate
synaesthesia in the form of a rail shooter), The Typing
of the Dead (a version of
The House of the Dead 2
The House of the Dead 2 remade into a touch
typing trainer), Seaman (a pet simulator in which
players use a microphone to interact with a grotesque humanoid fish
whose growth is narrated by Leonard Nimoy), and
Japan-exclusive role-playing-game employing commentary on the
perceived over-abundance of sequels produced by the video game
industry, in which players are tasked with preventing
Sega from going
out of business).
Sega also revived franchises from the Genesis
era, such as Ecco the Dolphin. Sega's internal studios were
consolidated starting in 2003, with Mizuguchi leaving the company
following the merger of UGA with Sonic Team.
UGA created the music game Space Channel 5, in which players help a
female outer space news reporter named Ulala fight aliens with "groove
energy" by dancing. Intended for a "female casual" audience,
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 is considered one of Sega's "most daring and beloved"
original properties, combining a "defiantly retro" and "uplifting"
soundtrack with "dazzling" and "colorful" visual
presentation—despite "a lack of real gameplay
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 nor UGA's
commercially successful, and
Rez was only available in the U.S. market
through a PS2 port released in limited quantities.
Hitmaker's arcade ports included Crazy Taxi—an open-world arcade
racing game known for its addictive gameplay, which sold over one
million copies and has been frequently cited as one of the best
Dreamcast games—and Virtua Tennis—which revitalized
the tennis game genre with a simple two-button control scheme and use
of minigames to test the player's technique. Smilebit's
Jet Set Radio—in which players control a Tokyo-based gang of
youthful, rebellious inline skaters called the "GGs", who use graffiti
to claim territory from rival gangs while evading an oppressive police
force—has been cited as a major example of Sega's commitment to
original game concepts during the Dreamcast's lifespan. Lauded for
composer Hideki Naganuma's "punchy, psychedelic" soundtrack
incorporating elements of "
J-pop and electro-funk" as well as its
message of "self-expression and non-violent dissent", the
game also popularized cel shaded graphics. Despite wide praise
for its style, some criticized Jet Set Radio's gameplay as mediocre,
and it failed to meet Sega's sales expectations.
Produced by Rieko Kodama, the Overworks-developed traditional
Skies of Arcadia
Skies of Arcadia was acclaimed for its surreal Jules
Verne-inspired fantasy world of floating islands and sky pirates,
charming protagonists, unique emphasis on the environmental properties
of weapons, exciting airship battles, and memorable plot (including a
sequence viewed from multiple perspectives).
AM2 developed what
Sega hoped would be the Dreamcast's killer app,
Shenmue, a "revenge epic in the tradition of Chinese cinema."
The action-adventure game involved the quest of protagonist Ryo Hazuki
to avenge his father's murder, but its main selling point was its
rendition of the Japanese city of Yokosuka, which included a level of
detail considered unprecedented for a video game. Incorporating a
simulated day/night cycle with variable weather, non-player characters
with regular schedules, and the ability to pick up and examine
detailed objects (also introducing the
Quick-time event in its modern
Shenmue went over budget and was rumored to have
Sega over $50 million. Originally planned as the
first installment in an 11-part saga,
Shenmue was eventually downsized
to a trilogy—and only one sequel was ever released. While
Shenmue was lauded for its innovation, visuals and music, its critical
reception was mixed; points of criticism included "invisible walls"
which limited the player's sense of freedom, boredom caused by the
inability to progress without waiting for events scheduled to occur at
specific times, excessive in-game cutscenes and a lack of
challenge. According to Moore,
Shenmue sold "extremely
well", but the game had no chance of making a profit due to the
Dreamcast's limited installed base.
Shenmue II "was completed for
a much more reasonable sum", while Sato defended
Shenmue as an
"investment [which] will someday be recouped" because "the development
advances we learned ... can be applied to other games".
In addition to the mixed reception for Shenmue, IGN's Travis Fahs
stated that "the [Dreamcast] era wasn't as kind to [AM2] as earlier
years"—citing (among others)
F355 Challenge as an "acclaimed" arcade
game that "didn't do much at home", and Genki's port of Virtua Fighter
3 as inferior to the arcade version, "which was already a couple years
old and never as popular as its predecessors." The Virtua
Fighter series would experience a "tremendous comeback" with the
Virtua Fighter 4—which saw a console release
exclusively on PS2.
"If ever a system deserved to succeed, it was Dreamcast.
a hell of a library. It's dying now, 18 months old, with a larger
library than the 5-year-old
Nintendo 64. It's a better library than
Dreamcast was a wonderful system."
—Journalist Steven L. Kent, March 2001.
As the first fully 3D platforming game starring Sega's mascot, Sonic
the Hedgehog, Sonic Team's
Sonic Adventure was considered "the
centerpiece of the [Dreamcast] launch". Adventure garnered
criticism for technical problems including erratic camera angles and
glitches, but was praised for its "luscious"
visuals, "vast, twisting environments" and iconic set pieces
—including a segment in which Sonic runs down the side of a
skyscraper —and has been described as the Sonic series' creative
apex. However, it failed "to catch on with players in
nearly the way that [Nintendo's] Mario 64 had done", perhaps due to a
perceived lack of gameplay depth. Distinguished by its
innovative use of multiple storylines with varied forms of play,
Adventure sold 2.5 million copies, making it the Dreamcast's
Sonic Team also developed the Dreamcast's
first online game—ChuChu Rocket!—which was widely complimented for
its addictive puzzle gameplay and "frantic" multiplayer
matches, and the critically successful music game Samba
de Amigo, which was noted for its expensive maracas peripheral and
colorful aesthetic. Perhaps the most influential of
Dreamcast releases was Phantasy Star Online, the first
online console RPG. Developed after Okawa requested an online game
from Sonic Team, PSO was heavily influenced by the PC action RPG
Diablo, but refined and simplified its style of gameplay to appeal to
In sports, Visual Concepts'
NFL 2K football series and its NBA 2K
basketball series were critically acclaimed.
NFL 2K was
considered an outstanding launch game for its high-quality
visuals and "insightful, context-friendly, and, yes, even
funny commentary", while
NFL 2K1 featured groundbreaking online
multiplayer earlier than its chief competitor, EA's Madden NFL
series. Madden and 2K continued to compete on other
platforms through 2004—with the 2K series introducing innovations
such as a first person perspective new to the genre, and
ESPN NFL 2K5
ESPN NFL 2K5 at the aggressively low price point
of $19.95—until EA signed an exclusive agreement with the National
Football League, "effectively putting every other pro-football game
out of business." After
Visual Concepts for $24
million in 2005, the NBA 2K series continued with publisher Take-Two
Interactive. During the Dreamcast's lifespan, Visual
Concepts also collaborated with Sonic the Hedgehog level designer
Hirokazu Yasuhara on the action-adventure game Floigan Bros. and
developed the critically successful action game Ooga Booga.
To appeal to the European market,
Sega formed a French affiliate
called No Cliché, which developed games such as Toy
Europe also approached Bizarre Creations
to develop the critically successful racing game Metropolis Street
Racer, which featured detailed recreations of London, Tokyo, and San
Francisco—complete with consistent time zones and fictional radio
stations—and 262 individual race tracks.
Although Acclaim, SNK, Ubisoft, Midway, Activision, Infogrames, and
Capcom supported the system during its first year, third-party
developer support proved difficult to obtain due to the failure of the
Sega Saturn and the profitability of publishing for the
PlayStation. Namco's Soul Calibur, for example, was released for
Dreamcast because of the relative unpopularity of the Soul series
at the time; Namco's more successful Tekken franchise was associated
PlayStation console and PlayStation-based arcade boards.
Soul Calibur received overwhelming critical acclaim
and has been frequently described as one of the best games for the
Capcom produced a number of fighting games for
the system, including the
Power Stone series, in addition to a
temporary exclusive in the popular Resident Evil series called
Resident Evil Code: Veronica. The
Dreamcast is also
known for several shoot 'em ups, most notably Treasure's
In January 2000, three months after the system's North American
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly offered praise for the game library,
stating, "...with triple-A stuff like Soul Calibur, NBA 2K, and soon
Crazy Taxi to kick around, we figure you're happy you took the 128-bit
plunge." In a retrospective, PC Magazine's Jeffrey L. Wilson
referred to Dreamcast's "killer library" and emphasized Sega's
creative influence and visual innovation as being at its peak during
the lifetime of the system. The staff of Edge agreed with this
assessment on Dreamcast's original games, as well as Sega's arcade
conversions, stating that the system "delivered the first games that
could meaningfully be described as arcade perfect." GamePro
writer Blake Snow referred to the library as being "much
celebrated". Damien McFerran of
Retro Gamer praised Dreamcast's
NAOMI arcade ports, opining "The thrill of playing Crazy Taxi in the
arcade knowing full well that a pixel-perfect conversion (and not some
cut-down port) was set to arrive on the
Dreamcast is an experience
gamers are unlikely to witness again."
Nick Montfort and Mia
Consalvo, writing in Loading... The Journal of the Canadian Game
Studies Association, argued that "the
Dreamcast hosted a remarkable
amount of videogame development that went beyond the odd and unusual
and is interesting when considered as avant-garde ... it is hard
to imagine a commercial console game expressing strong resistance to
the commodity perspective and to the view that game production is
commerce. But even when it comes to resisting commercialization, it is
Dreamcast games came closer to expressing this attitude
than any other console games have." 1UP.com's Jeremy Parish
favorably compared Sega's
Dreamcast output, which included some of
"the most varied, creative, and fun [games] the company had ever
produced", with its "enervated" status as a third-party. Fahs
noted "The Dreamcast's life was fleeting, but it was saturated with
memorable titles, most of which were completely new properties."
According to author Steven L. Kent, "From
Sonic Adventure and Shenmue
Space Channel 5
Space Channel 5 and Seaman,
Dreamcast delivered and delivered and
Reception and legacy
In December 1999, Next Generation rated the
Dreamcast 4 out of 5 stars
and stated, "If you want the most powerful system available now,
showcasing the best graphics at a reasonable price, this system is for
you." However, Next Generation rated the Dreamcast's future prognosis
as 3 stars out of 5 in the same article, noting that
Sony would ship a
superior hardware product in the
PlayStation 2 in the next year, and
Nintendo had said it would do the same with the GameCube. At
the beginning of 2000,
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly had five reviewers
Dreamcast 8.5, 8.5, 8.5, 8.0, and 9.0 out of 10 points.
By 2001, the reviewers for
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the
Dreamcast scores of 9.0, 9.0, 9.0, 9.0, and 9.5 out of 10.
BusinessWeek recognized the
Dreamcast as one of the best products of
IGN named the
Dreamcast the 8th greatest video game console
of all time, giving credit to the innovations and software for the
system. According to IGN, "The
Dreamcast was the first console to
incorporate a built-in modem for online play, and while the networking
lacked the polish and refinement of its successors, it was the first
time users could seamlessly power on and play with users around the
globe." In 2010, PC Magazine's Jeffrey L. Wilson named the
Dreamcast the greatest video game console, emphasizing that the system
was "gone too soon". In 2013, Edge named the
Dreamcast the 10th
best console of the last 20 years, highlighting innovations that it
added to console video gaming, including in-game voice chat,
downloadable content, and second screen technology through the use of
VMUs. Edge explained the system's poor performance by stating, "Sega's
console was undoubtedly ahead of its time, and it suffered at retail
for that reason... [b]ut its influence can still be felt today."
Writing in 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, Duncan
Harris noted "One of the reasons that older gamers mourned the loss of
Dreamcast was that it signaled the demise of arcade gaming
culture ... Sega's console gave hope that things were not about
to change for the worse and that the tenets of fast fun and bright,
attractive graphics were not about to sink into a brown and green bog
of realistic war games." Parish, writing for USgamer, contrasted
the Dreamcast's diverse library with the "suffocating sense of
conservatism" that pervaded the gaming industry in the following
decade. Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer, discussing the Dreamcast's
portrayal "as a small, square, white plastic JFK", commented that the
system's short lifespan "may have sealed its reputation as one of the
greatest consoles ever": "Nothing builds a cult like a tragic
demise". According to IGN's Travis Fahs, "Many hardware
manufacturers have come and gone, but it's unlikely any will go out
with half as much class as Sega."
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hold ... all that's left is a guy walking around an amazingly
detailed environment. If I wanted to experience that, I could see it
in another game with proven endless entertainment value. It's called
life. cf. "
Shenmue Review". Edge. November 29, 2000. Archived
from the original on November 29, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
Shenmue is much more than an interactive movie, but certainly does not
deliver the freedom expected. It's involving, and ultimately
rewarding, but only represents a step towards what may be possible in
the future, rather than the milestone Edge hoped for. CS1 maint:
BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
^ In a 2009 retrospective, IGN's then senior vice-president of content
Peer Schneider, among others, criticized IGN's contemporary coverage
of Shenmue, stating: "I'm as amazed today as I was back in 2000 when
we gave it a 9.7." See "Where the F@!* is Shenmue?". IGN. September
11, 2009. Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved
October 26, 2014. The game was defended by
IGN UK's Martin
Robinson: "Shenmue's stupendously large canvas, its superlative
evocation of a time and place that to date remains alien territory to
videogames and its unfading beauty all ensure it classic
status ... the sweetest memory came just this year, when on a
Japan with my girlfriend I convinced her to come with me to
Yokosuka, the port town that stars in the original game and is only an
hour's ride from central Tokyo. It's the ultimate
pilgrimage, and as I took my first steps down Dobuita Street and
recognized locations I'd walked past countless times before—Kurita's
Military Store, Mary's Embroidery Store and the parking lot where Ryo
honed his fighting skills—I couldn't help but go a little dewy
^ Kent 2001, pp. 587, 578.
^ cf. Matt (December 2000). "F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa". Game
Informer. 10 (92): 124.
F355 Challenge was breathtaking when played in
the three-monitor coin-op unit, but it seems to lose impact on
Dreamcast. For an alternative perspective, see Wiley, Mike
(September 19, 2000). "F355 Challenge". IGN. Archived from the
original on October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. It is
^ cf. "
Virtua Fighter 3tb". Game Informer. October 25, 1999. Archived
from the original on June 3, 2000. Retrieved October 26, 2014.
cf. Gantayat, Anoop (October 1, 1999). "
Virtua Fighter 3tb". IGN.
Archived from the original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved October 26,
2014. cf. "
Virtua Fighter 3 TB Review". Edge. December 23, 1998.
Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved March 5,
2015. The omission of a proper 'versus' selection is unforgivable,
forcing twoplayer fights to be organised via the singleplayer mode.
Purists may well argue that the arcade original lacked said option,
but in Edge's view, buyers of modern coin-op conversions have the
right to expect more from their investments than unenhanced
Virtua Fighter 4". Metacritic. Archived from the original on
January 17, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2014. cf. Andy (May
Virtua Fighter 4". Game Informer. 12 (109): 78–79. Will
change everything you have ever come to expect from this genre.
cf. "The Top 50 Games of 2003:
Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution". Game
Informer. 14 (129): 64. January 2004. The most balanced and
challenging fighting game the world has ever seen.
^ "GI "Quotables"". Game Informer. 11 (100): 44–45. August
^ a b Mott 2013, p. 370.
^ a b Justice, Brandon (September 8, 1999). "Sonic Adventure". IGN.
Archived from the original on October 30, 2014. Retrieved November 4,
2014. Engrossing, demanding, and utterly awe-inspiring, Yuji Naka's
vision has finally come full circle in this phenomenal title.
^ a b "Sonic Adventure-Dreamcast". Game Informer. October 27, 1999.
Archived from the original on December 3, 2000. Retrieved November 4,
2014. I wish more time was spent to make this game truly remarkable,
rather than the decent game we see today.
^ Smith, Sean (June 22, 2006). "Company Profile: Sonic Team". Retro
Gamer. 3 (26): 27.
^ Noble, McKinley (May 6, 2009). "The 20 Best Platformers: 1989 to
2009: Number 7: Sonic Adventure". GamePro. p. 3. Archived from
the original on January 28, 2010. Retrieved November 4, 2014.
^ DeMaria & Wilson 2004, p. 312.
Sonic Adventure 2 was positively reviewed, the extent of its
improvements over the original have been debated. See "Sonic Adventure
2 (Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original on December 27,
2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014. cf. Chau, Anthony (June 22,
Sonic Adventure 2". IGN. Archived from the original on
November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014. There aren't many
viewing problems ... be prepared to take a more active role when
playing. cf. Reiner (August 2001). "
Sonic Adventure 2". Game
Informer. 11 (100): 100. Hardly any mistakes from the original were
fixed ... The lackluster difficulty and cartoon-like presentation
is perfect for kids, but it really does nothing for hardcore gamers or
Sonic fans of yesteryear.
^ "Sonic Adventure". Edge. 7 (68): 70–73. February 1999. Sampling
one of the earlier levels out of context could leave many with the
impression that Adventure is a flashy but essentially shallow
experience. It isn't until a good portion of the game world has been
explored with a few of the characters ... that the charm and
style of Sega's title is fully appreciated ...It must be said,
however, that none of Adventure is hugely challenging to the
experienced player ... Edge only managed to discover a few places
where poor collision detection detracted from the gameplay ...
Given the never-before-witnessed scope and detail of Adventure's
levels, these are forgiveable–but somehow the smaller problems are
not ... The camera's occasional visits behind walls do little to
aid the case for forgiveness, either, although it never frustrates to
the extent that
Banjo-Kazooie does ... a wonderfully absorbing
^ Boutros, Daniel (August 4, 2006). "A Detailed Cross-Examination of
Yesterday and Today's Best-Selling Platform Games". Gamasutra.
Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 19,
^ Justice, Brandon (March 7, 2000). "Chu Chu Rocket". IGN. Archived
from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved October 30,
2014. cf. Jay (May 2, 2000). "Chu Chu Rocket-Dreamcast". Game
Informer. Archived from the original on December 5, 2000. Retrieved
November 4, 2014. I consider it the best and most original puzzle game
since Tetris. cf.Nutt, Christian (December 13, 1999). "ChuChu
Rocket! Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on September 15,
2009. Retrieved October 4, 2014.
^ Mott 2013, p. 385.
Samba de Amigo
Samba de Amigo (Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original
on January 17, 2015. Retrieved November 4, 2014. cf. Justice,
Brandon (October 18, 2000). "Samba De Amigo". IGN. Archived from the
original on November 4, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2014. cf.
Gerstmann, Jeff (June 16, 2000). "Samba De Amigo Review". GameSpot.
Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved November 4,
^ Mott 2013, p. 405.
^ For a negative review, see Reiner (December 2000). "Samba de Amigo".
Game Informer. 10 (92): 124. cf. "Retro Reviews: Samba de
Amigo". Game Informer. 18 (178): 110. February 2008.
^ Mott 2013, p. 435.
^ Parish, Jeremy. "The Decade That Was: Essential Newcomers: Phantasy
Star Online". 1UP.com. Retrieved November 27, 2015. [permanent
dead link] cf. Oestreicher, Jason (July 4, 2013). "Time Sinks-Phantasy
Star Online". Game Informer. Archived from the original on March 5,
2016. Retrieved November 5, 2014. Certainly, by today's standards, it
was rudimentary and repetitive. But at the same time, it was
revolutionary. cf. "Retrospective: Phantasy Star Online". Edge.
June 15, 2014. Archived from the original on November 29, 2014.
Retrieved March 5, 2015.
NFL 2K1 (Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original on
February 26, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2014. cf. "NFL 2K2
(Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original on September 10,
2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014. cf. "NBA 2K1 (Dreamcast)".
Metacritic. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved
November 5, 2014. cf. "NBA 2K2 (Dreamcast)". Metacritic.
Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved November 5,
^ "Best Launch Titles". GameSpot. September 30, 2005. Archived from
the original on October 25, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
cf. Kato, Matthew (February 2012). "Which Game Console Had the Best
Launch Lineup? We Look Back to Find Out". Game Informer. 22 (226):
^ Kato; Reiner (September 2003). "ESPN NFL Football". Game Informer.
13 (125): 106. Madden has become a deeper simulation, but it hasn't
evolved to the degree that Sega's title has. ESPN NFL Football is
jam-packed with new features, innovative ideas, and must-see elements.
First-person football sounds like a nightmare, but
Sega figured out a
way to make it work.
^ Bissell, Tom (January 26, 2012). "Kickoff:
Madden NFL and the Future
of Video Game Sports". Grantland. Archived from the original on
November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ Feldman, Curt; Surette, Tim (December 13, 2004). "Big Deal: EA and
NFL ink exclusive licensing agreement". GameSpot. Archived from the
original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ "SEGA Sells
Visual Concepts Entertainment to Take-Two Interactive".
Businesswire. January 24, 2005. Archived from the original on
September 23, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ GI Staff (August 2003). "Sonic's Architect: GI Interviews Hirokazu
Yasuhara". Game Informer. 13 (124): 116. cf. Andy (August 2001).
"Floigan Bros.". Game Informer. 11 (100): 101.
Ooga Booga (Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original on
January 17, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ cf. "Toy Commander-Dreamcast". Game Informer. October 25, 1999.
Archived from the original on December 3, 2000. Retrieved October 24,
2014. cf. Justice, Brandon (November 4, 1999). "Toy Commander".
IGN. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved October
^ "The Making Of: Metropolis Street Racer". Edge. October 7, 2012.
Archived from the original on November 5, 2014. Retrieved March 5,
Metropolis Street Racer
Metropolis Street Racer (Dreamcast)". Archived from the original on
January 17, 2015. Retrieved November 5, 2014. cf. Paul (December
2000). "Metropolis Street Racer". Game Informer. 10 (92): 121. I found
the game's control and physics to be exceptional. Likewise, the
graphics are brilliant and are probably the best of any racing game on
the Dreamcast. cf. Justice, Brandon (January 19, 2001).
"Metropolis Street Racer". IGN. Archived from the original on November
5, 2014. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ Mott 2013, p. 432.
Soul Calibur (Dreamcast)". Metacritic. Archived from the original
on February 26, 2018. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
^ Mott 2013, pp. 421, 432-434.
^ Mott 2013, pp. 382, 465.
^ "...Should you buy a
Dreamcast or Wait?". Electronic Gaming Monthly.
EGM Media, LLC. (126): 150. January 2000.
^ a b Wilson, Jeffrey L. (May 28, 2010). "The 10 Greatest Video Game
Consoles of All Time". PCmag.com. Archived from the original on
December 4, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2014. A collection of
creative, fun, and quirky games that you'd be hard-pressed to find in
such abundance on any other platform.
^ Kent, Steven L. (October 9, 2006). "SOMETIMES THE BEST". Sad Sam's
Place. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved
October 31, 2014.
^ "The War for the Living Room". Next Generation. Imagine Media
(2.1.4): 95. December 1999.
^ Davison, John; et al. (January 2000). "Electronic Gaming Monthly
2000 Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC.
^ Leahy, Dan; et al. (January 2001). "
Electronic Gaming Monthly
Electronic Gaming Monthly 2001
Buyer's Guide". Electronic Gaming Monthly. EGM Media, LLC.
^ Kennedy, Sam (December 10, 1999). "Business Week Praises the
Dreamcast - GameSpot.com". Retrieved February 23, 2013.
^ Mott 2013, p. 434.
^ Parish, Jeremy (September 13, 2014). "What if
Dreamcast Had Won?".
USgamer. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved
January 20, 2015.
Mott, Tony (2013). 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. New
York City: Universe Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7893-2090-2.
DeMaria, Rusel; Wilson, Johnny L. (2004). High Score!: The Illustrated
History of Electronic Games. Emeryville, California:
McGraw-Hill/Osborne. ISBN 0-07-223172-6.
Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story
Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World.
Roseville, California: Prima Publishing.
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