The Sega Dreamcast was Sega's final home console, succeeding the Sega Saturn, and was the first console released in the sixth generation of gaming. It was launched in 1998 for Japan and 1999 worldwide and was discontinued in 2001, prior to the release of the Xbox and Nintendo GameCube.
Why It Rocks
- Many great titles, including Shenmue, which is considered one of the best games ever made.
- The Dreamcast is the first home console to include a modem to connect to the internet for online play out of the box.
- It has a very unique controller design.
- The memory card for the Dreamcast, the VMU, not only allowed gamers to save data, but also had offered gameplay features and even acted as a handheld gaming device itself. During gameplay, it shows mini-images relevant to the game. Some games even use this feature for actual gameplay purposes.
- Many of the games had advanced A.I. which made some games like fighting games challenging but fair. The slogan, "It's Thinking!" comes from this.
- 4 controller ports right away.
- Also works as a CD player and online browser.
- The AC adapter is non-proprietary, so if you break or damage yours, it'll be easy and cheap to get a replacement.
- Around 636 games for the system.
- Dedicated homebrew community that keeps releasing games for the system even today.
- The games have warnings about Track 1 actually being game data and to avoid putting in a CD player.
- Very durable. As seen in WIRED's Console Wars, it survived a 15ft drop and being drenched in a whole bottle of Mountain Dew.
- It was too easy to pirate Dreamcast games. Pirated games also tend to downgrade the performance of the game because they need to cramp 1GB into a CD ROM.
- Lack of third-party support. Many of its games were ports of fifth generation games and arcade games. It notably had a very small amount of 3D platformers (which were the most popular genre at the time), only a few standout like Sonic Adventure, it's sequel, and Rayman 2 which itself was a port of the N64 version.
- The controller is rather bulky and only has one analog stick. This makes camera control rather clunky in several games.
- The official Dreamcast light gun controller by Sega was only available in Japan and Europe, but not in America due to the controversy surrounding the Columbine High School Massacre. However, Mad Catz made a light gun controller to compensate for this.
- The console makes really loud noises when reading a disc and is prone to Disc-Reading issues. sometimes systems can majorly scratch the discs deeply.
- It's online capabilities were very rudimentary due to primitive technology.
- The system was very short lived. See here for the reasons why.
When first released, the Sega Dreamcast was extremely popular and highly successful, with it breaking several records at the time. However it's popularity was very short lived, as it was quickly overshadowed by the PlayStation 2. The system was very discontinued less than 2 years after it's North American release due to bad sales and lack of funds from Sega.
As Retro Gaming became popular, the Dreamcast gained a massive cult following, now it is considered one of the greatest consoles ever made. It is widely considered the best console Sega ever made, and is well remembered for being the final Sega console.
When James Rolfe in his Angry Video Game Nerd persona reviewed Sonic Shuffle for AVGN Wishlist Part 1, he acknowledged that the Sega Dreamcast was a good console to go out on.
Ever since the Dreamcast's discontinuation, many Sega fans remained hopeful that Sega would eventually release a new console. Over the years there have been multiple attempts to convince Sega to return to the console market but all of them have failed, as it unlikely that Sega would have the resources or the money, plus their IPs are all third-party now.