Monday, September 9, 2019

[YouTube] Dreamcast 20th Anniversary: It's Thinking...

This will cap off my Dreamcast posts for the 20th anniversary of the U.S. release and I'll try to keep this brief as far as text since the press releases I posted yesterday cover all the details. Branded with the tagline "It's thinking..." the Dreamcast came to life in North America when it released on September 9, 1999, or 9-9-99 (11/27/98 in Japan and 10/14/99 in Europe). North America received 19 launch titles, Europe had 10, and Japan only four. The launch title Soul Calibur was arguably the best game at launch and one of the best games the system has to offer. Other well-liked and at-the-time Dreamcast-only games in the 247-game library include Shenmue, Jet Grind Radio, Crazy Taxi, Metropolis Street Racer, Resident Evil -- CODE: Veronica, Sonic Adventure, NBA 2K1, NFL 2K1, Skies of Arcadia, Samba de Amigo, Power Stone, and Virtua Tennis. There are many other great games too, such as multi-platform titles like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater, Rayman 2, Quake III: Arena, Test Drive Le Mans, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Dead or Alive 2, and Grandia II. It is also home to one of the most unusual games: Seaman. It may not be highly rated but it is certainly technically impressive as a fish with a man's face can carry on a conversation with the player.

Dreamcast was the first console to ship with a modem in the box though the network took a little while to get going and was primarily for dial-up users. Cable modems were picking up steam at the time and that's what I had so I wasn't able to do much with the console's online functions; I tried a free dial-up service that didn't work too good with it. When the broadband adapter went on sale in early 2001 through Sega's website I purchased it but ultimately very few games officially support the device as the timing was rather poor. The console did get off to a hot start here selling well above expectations within the first few months on sale but a little over a year later it was clear to Sega that Dreamcast wasn't going to be able to compete with PlayStation 2 so in January 2001 it announced it would discontinue its final console on March 31, 2001. While Sega continued to support the system throughout the year, it also began developing its games for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox at the same time.

It may have had a short life span but it's a fondly remembered console and even 20 years later it's a lot of fun to play. If you want to converse with a man-fish, dance with aliens, make some craaazzy money, party with maracas, go kicky fast, and discover where sailors hang out then you need a Dreamcast. It's still thinking...


In the Box (plus the box sides and a few pages of the manual)

Dreamcast Controller

Visual Memory Unit (VMU)

Broadband Adapter

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