The Dreamcast (produced by Sega in 1998) was a gaming console manufactured to revive their sale incomes due to the lack of performance of the Sega Saturn. It was the first of the six generation game consoles. The Dreamcast was the first to be able to play games online by either a modem or a high-speed connection (Note: Mattel's Intellevision had a add-on module with a modem in 1983; but it was not meant for online gaming). Besides playing games, the system was able to surf the web and use Linux like a PC and play online against PC users as well as Dreamcast users.
It has other landmark "firsts" such as being the first game system/console to have the first true First Person Shooter (FPS) to be ported on a console (Quake III Arena) let alone the first FPS online on a game console. It is still the only game system that gave you the ability to take part of your game with you by using a VMU (Visual Memory Unit) as opposed to a standard memory unit. The VMU has a LCD screen and speaker to allow you to play mini-games, a phone book and a clock. The features pre-date the cell phone but still have some similarities found within a cell phone). It also was the first console to use speech recognition. It could even use Linux and connect to the internet!
The Launch of the Ultimate Gaming Console
November 27, 1998 the Sega Dreamcast was finally released in Japan! Later on it was marketed in other parts of the world. The Dreamcast, being one of Sega's best selling consoles, hit a record of 500,000 units being sold, 300,00 of these units were ordered in advance. Sega was actually unable to meet the dead line of having enough pre-ordered systems.
The variety of games available were of both sequels to other games as well as new titles that were both risky/quirky as well as innovative. The NFL 2k series was such strong competition to ESA Sports/Madden Football that ESA was forced to make a deal with the NFL to allow only them to use the NFL logo.
Sega went way beyond the typical laser gun, steering wheel, etc. accessories. They really went wild with add-ons like a fishing rod, web cam, maracas, VMU, microphone headset, keyboard, mouse, twin sticks, VGA adapter, DivX and VCD wireless remote controller, six-button controller and karaoke. There we other add-ons that either did not make it to the market or were obscure (like the Densha De Go! 2 controller). With all this horsepower, why put quarters in the arcade games.
Is This the End For You My Friend?
January 31, 2001 Sega had announced that sometime in March the dreamcast along with all hardware & software was to be discontinued. There was still somewhere between 50 to 60 titles still awaiting to be published, the good news is they were still released. North America got one of the the last games released for the Dreamcast in February 2002, which was NHL 2K2.
However, February 24, 2004 Sega released the final Dreamcast game:
Although the dreamcast has had a short lifespan, it is still a very popular system & loved by many people. If you don't believe me, try playing PSO, and the other existing online games. There are still people in the world who are trying to help keep it alive, this might not continue though unless some of you younger kids experience the Dreamcast, your wrong & just missing out on the best system! You can do just about anything with online compatibility, oh and did I mention, it's free! Now a days, all these pathetic system make you pay for online game play & whatever else you use it for. Why waste your money when such an indestructible system is waiting to fill an empty piece of your life?
OFFICIAL RELEASE DATES:
November 27, 1998 - Japan
September 9, 1999 - North America
October 14, 1999 - Europe
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