9/9/99, a day that will live in infamy. Although short lived, Dreamcast's two year reign brought a plethora of great original titles and pioneered many of the technologies that are standard in the console arena today. Although defunct for years, the console still garners a dedicated fan base who continue to develop for the platform, so much so that Sega decided to revive the console and sell factory warehouse stock directly to consumers.
There are two main reasons why the DC failed to stick to the market. One was that Sega's net assets were completely battered after the Saturn failure, there was no capital to keep up the new system. Dreamcast broke launch day sales records previously set by Sony's Playstation, but this momentum was not enough. The second reason was the decision to forgo using a DVD drive in favor of cutting the cost from $299 to $199. The PS2 had a huge advantage playing DVDs just as they were overtaking VHS in the US, just like the PS3 with Blu Ray. This was a fatal error on Sega's part.
So let us take time to admire the achievements of our fallen hero:
- First "128-bit" console, two years ahead of the competition. Smoked the Playstation and Nintendo 64
- First console to feature full online play with a built-in modem, internet browser, and support for Broadband
- First console to output to HDTVs in 480p widescreen
- First (AND ONLY) console to allow emulation of another console it is directly competing against without any modding.
- First console to play storage discs over 1GB. Normal CDs at the time were 600MB~, the Dreamcast used GD-ROMs
- First console to run a mainstream OS, Microsoft Windows.