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Sega Dreamcast, OMG, this thing is awesome?

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Dreamcast is my favorite non-Atari system. Played the crap out of DOA2, Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Virtua Tennis, Hydro Thunder, NBA2K2, NFL2K2, MLB2K2... Too bad it wasn't more successful. The controller with the VMU & screen was the coolest thing ever.

Edited by Gregory DG

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Dreamcast is my favorite non-Atari system. Played the crap out of DOA2, Soul Calibur, Crazy Taxi, Virtua Tennis, Hydro Thunder, NBA2K2, NFL2K2, MLB2K2... Too bad it wasn't more successful. The controller with the VMU & screen was the coolest thing ever.

 

I wasn't a huge fan, but I understand why Atari enthusiasts love the Dreamcast. Many DC games like Crazy Taxi, Virtua Tennis and Hydro Thunder feature the immediately accessible "pick up and play" arcade style action that retro gamers love, but with eye candy almost on par with modern systems.

 

I almost regret getting rid of my Dreamcast so many years ago. Oh well, the CD mechanism would be shot by now anyways.

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The DC is one of the most underrated systems...if not THE most underrated system of all time.

 

I wouldn't go that far. The Dreamcast's posthumous reputation tends to be a portrayal of it being a Jesus-like martyr for gamers, and with a large group of fans from all sorts of forums and communities - hardly what I'd define as "underrated". The PC Engine, the Gamecube, and even the Saturn are easier to see as being "underrated" systems in comparison.

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The DC is one of the most underrated systems...if not THE most underrated system of all time.

 

How many gamers have to gush all over the DC for it to no longer be "underrated"? It is one of the most beloved systems of all time.

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The DC is one of the most underrated systems...if not THE most underrated system of all time.

 

How many gamers have to gush all over the DC for it to no longer be "underrated"? It is one of the most beloved systems of all time.

 

Maybe underrated is the wrong choice of words.

 

It definitely was put out to pasture before its time.

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The DC is one of the most underrated systems...if not THE most underrated system of all time.

 

How many gamers have to gush all over the DC for it to no longer be "underrated"? It is one of the most beloved systems of all time.

 

It has a dedicated fanbase and a share of "hardcore" users that ceratinly praise it, but that's true for most platforms, but it's still often marginalized by the general public... though that's even happened to the Genesis. (of course, IGN has always had a big Dreamcast bias)

 

But regardless, I'd certainly agree it's not the most underrated by far: the Sega CD, 32x, 3DO, or Jaguar could easily apply better to that category... arguably most so Sega CD.

Edited by kool kitty89

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Dreamcast's demise is why I will NEVER support a Sony console, EVER. Screw Sony and their price dumping tactics that led to the demise of the greatest non ColecoVision system ever!

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Dreamcast's demise is why I will NEVER support a Sony console, EVER. Screw Sony and their price dumping tactics that led to the demise of the greatest non ColecoVision system ever!

I only like the original, since I can now copy my own games and play them on a modded console. HA! I feel ya about Sony; though I feel this way about M$ and their hunk of junk game console. At least Sony has been in the market of gaming for a long (MSX gaming).

 

But no console will take the place of my Sega ones! Yes, I am letting my inner fanboy show. :thumbsup:

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Dreamcast is truly awesome. I remember getting one right out of highschool when it was dead already. There are so many awesome homebrews and regular games for dreamcast, you could spend all of your time with it. My favorite homebrew was Quake, and I remember it being really easy to figure out how to burn the disc.. There are also multiple emulators that are pretty easy to figure out as well. I think the bulk of my dreamcast time was Power Stone 2 with 3 other friends, Gauntlet Legends, and Crazy Taxi 2!!!! YA YA YA YA YA!!! (that's the offspring song, btw). Oooh and there was some dynamite cop game that was sweet too!

 

Enjoy that Dreamcast, a system that was just too badass for its time, lol.

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Dreamcast is indeed awesome, but Sega's own tactics, not Sony is what killed them. I, and millions of others, sat on the fence the whole life of the Dreamcast, because we knew that Sega would just support it a year or two, then toss it aside....which they did, and I got one like many people, on clearance, for, I think, $30, and most of the games I bought new for $5 or less.

 

Seriously guys, give credit where credit is due. Sega killed Sega. Sony may have helped, a tiny bit, but mostly it was Sega.

 

Now, my opinion of the Dreamcast? It's a great console. Someone mentioned how it might look dated compared to the PS2 and Xbox, well, IMO, Xbox maybe, but the PS2 was pretty trashy looking IMO (not to say it wasn't fun, I love the thing) But Dreamcast, it was clean, shiny, and smooth. Not that wishy washy mess that the PS2 was.

 

Lots of great original games, Sonic adventure, and Crazy Taxi are my favorites. Get those. Die happy. There were tons of other games that were interesting and original on there too, and there were lots of neat addons too.

 

IMO, the DC could have easily held on for another 5 years easy (which would have gotten it up to the current generation of consoles) And it could have held its own. It may not have been able to do the same games as everybody else, but honestly, that would be a plus.

 

Anyhow, the smart people among us waited for the inevitable and just got the thing new, for blow out prices.

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Dreamcast is indeed awesome, but Sega's own tactics, not Sony is what killed them. I, and millions of others, sat on the fence the whole life of the Dreamcast, because we knew that Sega would just support it a year or two, then toss it aside....which they did, and I got one like many people, on clearance, for, I think, $30, and most of the games I bought new for $5 or less.

Nothing at all wrong with how the DC was marketed other than perhaps diverting resources from the Saturn too early. (ie causing a sinking ship to capsize and then get torn apart rather than bailing it out so to speak -ie supporting the Saturn well enough in the interim to keep PR reasonable and existing customers fairly satisfied along with minimizing losses and exploiting the success in Japan, but any chance of that had been lost by '97) The position they were in with the DC was from mistakes made earlier, though you could certainly argue that discontinuing the DC like they did was a bad move. (they did that 3 times actually with the 32x+CD+GG and pulling back on Genesis even at the end of 1995, then again with the Saturn in 1997, and then the DC at the beginning of 2001)

There were certainly other ways to shift things in 2001 rather than dumping the DC like that (ie pulling back to focus primarily on North America, conserving resources and trying to curb building debt as much as possible), though if THAT blew up in their faces they'd have been screwed. (granted that's more or less what happened later on in a less dramatic fashion) It would have been a risk, but so was dropping the DC altogether like that which caused considerable negative PR, plummeting stock prices, etc.

 

 

The piracy issue was there too, but that wasn't something Sega did, but an unfortunate and every specific series of oversights. (namely the ability to hack a DC to dump GD-ROM data and then hackers cramming that into standard ISOs usable with CD-Rs)

 

It really was Sony's tactics that forced their hands though and the market would have been a lot more even in terms of competition otherwise. Sony had the benefit of learning from others' mistakes and (mainly) tons of investment capital to blow and even more hype to build on with the PS2. (so much so that they got tons of support in spite of the horrible programming environment developers had to suffer with -a polar opposite of the PSX in that case or even more so compared to the DC)

 

Sony's actions forced a lot of hands in the industry and many were at a loss for what to do: most got spooked (save Nintendo) and made rash actions or pulled out entirely (Panasonic), but you had NEC rushing out old hardware with the PC-FX and then Sega screwing up by doing what they thought was their only chance to get ahead of Sony before their massive PR and marketing machine steamrolled the market: they launched the Saturn early. Of course, in hindsight that ended up a mess worse than launching the Saturn in September would have been, especially with Sony stealing all the hype almost instantly with the $299 announcement. (in all honesty the tactic could have worked if a bit more moderate: ie launching perhaps in early August, so a head start but a more reasonable price point, strong launch line up, large quantity of hardware available, etc)

Following up that mess, Sega (at least Sega of Japan) though the only remaining chance they ever had of beating Sony was the drop everything and push full-force with the Saturn. (that ended up blowing up in their faces, creating bad PR and frustrated customers from the 32x getting canceled, losing potential revenue from the GG and Genesis, taking losses from dumping the 32x and CD at low prices, and falling even further behind Nintendo on the still dominant 16-bit market)

Their problem was largely over-reacting to Sony and letting that take precedence over continued competition against the SNES and supporting that sector of the market (lower end/mid-range, established users, and the handheld market which subsequently went virtually unchallenged for nearly a decade) with teh 5th gen market not taking real dominance until late 1996 (and even then there was a big chunk of 4th gen sales -even in Japan where the SFC had almost 1/3 of the market share). They needed to compete in the high-end range too, but moderate it with the other platforms. (bringing out the 32x given the context of everything else complicated matters, but brinign the Saturn out early was the main problem as well as putting emphasis on Saturn like they did -dropping the 32x was a much bigger problem than launch it in the first place though had they gone Nintendo's route in 1994 of increased software support for existing hardware, that would have made things a lot cleaner albeit it wouldn't have helped too much if SoJ still forced the shift to Saturn)

Some of that is particularly odd compared to how the SMS was managed: being supported up to 1991 in the US in spite of modest popularity while being supported for a very long time in Europe. (it was still getting a few new games up to the point where everything was pulled back in favor of Saturn) Hell, even the SG-1000 was supported in parallel with the Mk.III for a fair bit in Japan.

 

Of course Nintendo was the exception, they didn't overreact at all but rather seemed so steeped in their arrogance as to ignore major issues that led to Sony taking over. (namely sticking with cartridges pushing Square to Sony as well as making games more expensive, limited and less attractive to developers -and all the time still pushing rather restricting licensing policies much like they still do today with the DS)

 

 

Seriously guys, give credit where credit is due. Sega killed Sega. Sony may have helped, a tiny bit, but mostly it was Sega.

Sony was both directly and indirectly responsible: directly from the harsh industry-changing tactics (albeit Nintendo did that too in a different respect in the late 80s) including buying out 3rd parties or pushing exclusivity (Tomb Raider II and likely FFVII -more or less; had FFVII been on PSX AND Saturn that would have been huge), and indirectly by sheer shock on the market catylizing rash actions. Liken it to Commodore's contribution to catalyzing the console crash in '83: Atari's management problems (among other things) had destabilized the market but Commodore's price war was a massive catalyst pushing that over the edge. (as well as causing many console manufacturers to overreact and drop consoles entirely and often fail at trying to enter the computer market or simply left the industry -every console that was pushed through the crash continued to be successful, even if only in the budget market -namely the 2600 and Intellivision)

 

In Sega's case the worst and most compounded mistakes in their history as a home console manufacture would likely be: 1. screwing up the Saturn with the early launch,

2. putting all their eggs in one basket with the Saturn by early 1996

3. abruptly pulling support for most platforms tied to #2

4. shifting away from the Saturn too soon and leaving a significant hole in the market from 1997-1999 filled with bad PR and frustrated Sega users ("Saturn is Not Our Future" tied into that)

5. Nakayma pushing for the interim Mars design to "bridge" the gap before Saturn which morphed into the 32x project and ended up conflicting the Saturn (with the worst problems being more directly related to Saturn) and also distracting interest from continued Genesis and CD software support instead to push harder in the 16-bit market (ie what Nintendo did).

6. Botched marketing of the Master System in North America in the critical 1986-1987 period before Nintendo had established dominance. (they had the budget, the software, the hardware, but the marketing/distribution was screwed up -Tonka wasn't perfect but did a much better job starting in '88; it was the opposite in Europe for the most part where Nintendo screwed up in several cases and Sega could tie-in to the strong arcade market)

 

 

Now, my opinion of the Dreamcast? It's a great console. Someone mentioned how it might look dated compared to the PS2 and Xbox, well, IMO, Xbox maybe, but the PS2 was pretty trashy looking IMO (not to say it wasn't fun, I love the thing) But Dreamcast, it was clean, shiny, and smooth. Not that wishy washy mess that the PS2 was.

Yeah, you only had a hand full (proportionally) of PS2 games that put in the exorbitant resources necessary to really push the hardware, and even then it had shortcomings. (texture and AA effects mainly with polygon count being the main advantage and in the many cases where that wasn't pushed, PS2 games tended to look the worst of the Generation -though many were more in between)

 

IMO, the DC could have easily held on for another 5 years easy (which would have gotten it up to the current generation of consoles) And it could have held its own. It may not have been able to do the same games as everybody else, but honestly, that would be a plus.

I really wonder what might have happened if Sega had tried to do that rather than pulling out so abruptly to 3rd party... even if they pulled spending back a bit to avoid burning out completely before they had a chance to start really recovering. Hell they could have pushed for both continued (if more moderate) DC hardware marketing AND shifting to multiplatform development: they already had the PC market which they could have pushed more into (ie make nearly every Sega published game on the PC as well as DC) and not have direct conflict in the console market: but going further still they could have continued supporting the DC while starting to push into other consoles as well. (at least PC+Xbox+GC+DC as those should have been the most practical to cross-develop for, PS2 was a mess though and then there was some bad blood there too, but the hardware was really unattractive to develop for, even more so cross-platform -at least if you wanted to have a game that didn't look/play like crap on the PS2) Just before the crash, early 80s console developers started pushing cross-platform releases in that manner, and Sega was doing that with the NES/Famicom too (or licensing stuff to 3rd parties at least), and even Sony was doing that with 2nd parties (namely Psygnosis), albeit not directly publishing under the Sony label in most cases.

 

As it was, Sega screwed up the transition to 3rd party publishing anyway: faltering on PC rather than expanding that, and unevenly supporting the GC and Xbox. (PS2 was the last to start really getting Sega support, possibly bad blood, but probably due to the hardware as well)

Edited by kool kitty89
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Love the DC and its emulations is pretty good. I'm trying to get a MAME setup going but I'm not sure the DC can handle it, even some of the older games play very choppy.

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I agree with one of the posters above - Dreamcast games fair quite well in a comparison with PS2 games.

 

To shorten the discussion, I think 2 things contributed to its demise, rather sharply:

 

1) As the lengthy discussion above relates, prior Sega mismanagement with CD/32x/Saturn business and collective damage to Sega reputation

 

2) The damn DVD player in the PS2. DVD was hot shit in 2000, and players were not $30 new like today. It really was like a "2-in-1" machine. PS1 backward compatibility, to a lesser extent, helped.

 

Strangely, the Blu-ray player hasn't had such an effect this time. Not enough people care?

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Strangely, the Blu-ray player hasn't had such an effect this time. Not enough people care?

 

I'd say it was a combination of factors that led to the PS3 not being the driving force behind Blu-ray the PS2 was for DVD, including;

1) It's price (don't even need to mention)

2) The lack of killer game-apps/software with immediate impact for a few months

3) Aggressive competition from the already-established Xbox 360 and the wild card, the Nintendo Wii, which ended up stealing the PS3's launch thunder. Compare that with the Dreamcast buckling quite a bit before the PS2's launch, leaving Sony with no console-war competition for a year.

4) Besides all those, the DVD didn't really have much in terms of opposing media formats, compared to the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD War.

 

That all being said, I think the DVD support is an overrated factor in the PS2's success anyhow - quite honestly, it did well because the PS1 did well and Sony rode the success into the next gen. They were pretty much at a time when they could've announced something barely better than the N64 and it would've been seen as gold - after all, in spite of the hype that it could "render Toy Story in real time!", the PS2 ended up being not much more (if any more) graphically capable than the Dreamcast.

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Dreamcast is indeed awesome, but Sega's own tactics, not Sony is what killed them. I, and millions of others, sat on the fence the whole life of the Dreamcast, because we knew that Sega would just support it a year or two, then toss it aside....which they did, and I got one like many people, on clearance, for, I think, $30, and most of the games I bought new for $5 or less.

 

Seriously guys, give credit where credit is due. Sega killed Sega. Sony may have helped, a tiny bit, but mostly it was Sega.

 

 

 

Not really true. What killed the Dreamcast imho were two two things:

 

1. Sega didn't get support from EA even though Sega had great sports titles.

2. Lack of DVD. Consumers in Japan were buying the PS2 just for the DVD player.

 

I find the DC a much better system when compared to the PS2 game for game. My fav DC games -

 

PowerStone 1+2

Marvel Vs. Capcom

Hydro Thunder

Crazy Taxi

Mr. Driller (fun, fun, fun)

 

Where the DC gets really fun is playing some of the imports.

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Not really true. What killed the Dreamcast imho were two two things:

 

1. Sega didn't get support from EA even though Sega had great sports titles.

2. Lack of DVD. Consumers in Japan were buying the PS2 just for the DVD player.

 

I find the DC a much better system when compared to the PS2 game for game. My fav DC games

EA's annoying stubbornness and finicky attitude (as well as outright BS PR statments) corresponding to their decision not to support the DC certainly didn't help things, but Sega had a very strong sports lineup in spite of that, so it was mainly a PR/marketing issue, not an actual weakness of the platform itself.

 

Then there's the piracy vulnerability putting a big chip on the DC with millions of vulnerable consoles on the market by the time the exploit surfaced and Sega had a chance to correct it. (something that would have been a minor issue for a company in a better position -the PSX had horrible piracy problems at the same time)

 

DVD was somewhat significant, but mainly in inflating the PS2's numbers and in particular pushing other agendas for Sony. (catalyzing faster proliferation of the DVD format in general -which was obviously in Sony's interests, so they benefited from losses on PS2 hardware even from users who bought virtually no games -ie more DVD video royalties/licensing)

 

The DVD media itself (regardless of DVD video licensing) was significant in terms of high capacity meaning more content and/or fewer discs to deal with, albeit GD-ROM was a reasonable middleground in terms of cost-effectiveness.

 

 

But really, what killed Sega was bad past decisions combined with the decision to drop the DC rather than risk pushing longer and collapsing. (either option was bad in hindsight and both carried a lot of risk -as it was Sega declined and got bought out a bit later by Sammy)

At least that's what put them in the tough position on the market in 1999, but if not for Sony that wouldn't have occurred either as competition would have been a lot fairer and some others may have stayed on the market for that matter (NEC, 3DO/Panasonic, maybe even Atari Corp), but Sony changed the game and totally shook up the market with their massive spending from several directions (ad saturation, buying up 3rd party software exclusives, product placement/tie-ins, huge budgets for games, multimedia pushed extremely prominently, etc) Along with that Sony had competition overreact and screw up, panic, simply be too weak to hold up to them, or a combination. (the latter mainly Atari) and on top of that had good hardware with excellent dev kits making it very attractive to developers, so it was more or less a perfect storm for Sony.

With the PS2 it was the PS1's popularity plus new hype and marketing tying into Sony's massive funds while the competition was actually far more capable than previously in other respects: the PS2 had probably the absolute worst architecture and tools to work with of any console ever released of its time (possibly ever) and took a ton of work just to get modest performance, but due to the hype, money, and brand recognition developers sunk in tons of resources to make it work and even developed their own high-level tools to ease things somewhat, but still many games ended up rather weak compared to contemporary platforms but the hype and popularity drove it further. (and a few top games pushed it with exorbitant amounts of resources poured into development to actually push the hardware)

 

The PS2 is basically proof that the quality of a product doesn't matter so much as brand name, marketing, market position, and money. (ie Sony did well in spite of the PS2 hardware, not because of it -and they likely would have done as well if not better with any of the competing machines in place of the PS2 -if not significantly better due to the far more reasonable architectures)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'd say it was a combination of factors that led to the PS3 not being the driving force behind Blu-ray the PS2 was for DVD, including;

1) It's price (don't even need to mention)

2) The lack of killer game-apps/software with immediate impact for a few months

3) Aggressive competition from the already-established Xbox 360 and the wild card, the Nintendo Wii, which ended up stealing the PS3's launch thunder. Compare that with the Dreamcast buckling quite a bit before the PS2's launch, leaving Sony with no console-war competition for a year.

4) Besides all those, the DVD didn't really have much in terms of opposing media formats, compared to the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD War.

That and another couple things tying into that: the PS3 being hard to develop for for the second Sony console in a row (albeit not nearly as bad as the PS2 but not enough to keep riding the hype like the PS1 and totally lacking the advantage of the PS1's attractive development environment) along with the PS2 still distracting development to some extent on top of the rising 360. (all of that contributing to the initially limited software)

 

Then there's the fact that BluRay generally wasn't as attractive or revolutionary on the mass market at the time as DVD was in 2000. For many average users (especially those without HDTVs) DVD was "good enough" and BD wasn't the same step ahead as DVD had been to VHS. (of course, DVD wouldn't have been quite so dramatic had SVHS really taken off as a succeeding format to VHS -LaserDisc was too niche either way and VCD was weaker still -and both had trade-offs against SVHS anyway) In fact, I think DVD to BD is somewhat akin to VHS to SVHS albeit a bit more significant and with a much stronger push for popularity. Had there been a lower-cost intermediate format from DVD to BD, that might have been very significant as well. (ie something akin to SVCD/CVD as an alternative to DVD: say Dual Layer DVDs being the norm, higher peak bitrates possible, and most critically use of MPEG-4 compression possibly with moderate resolution enhancement -ie 480p/60 EDTV support) I'm actually surprised that didn't happen beyond DVD players with native MPEG-4/DivX support for home encoded content on flash/USB drives as well as discs. (ie not a commercial media format, but commercially supported in hardware)

 

That all being said, I think the DVD support is an overrated factor in the PS2's success anyhow - quite honestly, it did well because the PS1 did well and Sony rode the success into the next gen. They were pretty much at a time when they could've announced something barely better than the N64 and it would've been seen as gold - after all, in spite of the hype that it could "render Toy Story in real time!", the PS2 ended up being not much more (if any more) graphically capable than the Dreamcast.

I agree, I think it was very significant for Sony's PR and helped to hype the PS2 considerably along with stifling the DC leading up to the PS2's launch, and certainly inflated PS2 sales, but wouldn't have been a critical factor for long term competition had Sega stayed. (albeit you could certainly argue it contributed to Sega pulling out rather than hanging on longer)

But while the hardware didn't matter so much for Sony (given everything else), the software did, and the hype drove that.

 

The best looking PS2 games (that actually push the hardware) are quite impressive even compared to some of the better GC and Xbox stuff. The PS2 was powerful, but extremely difficult to work with and actually tap that power to significant extent. (requiring full low-level assembly programming with tons of optimization... well beyond the difficulty of something like the Jaguar, Saturn, or PS3 -or games pushing DOS PCs for that matter)

 

 

But that's in the context that Sony was going to win, which was true regardless, but them winning and Sega leaving are not the same issue: Sega could have held on as a distant 2nd or close to it among the GC and Xbox. Even with the PS1 there was little they could do to beat Sony, though they certainly did far worse than they could have at competing (once Sony got Square onboard that was pretty much sealed though against both Nintendo and Sega), and while Sega did most things right with the DC, they were hunted by critical mistakes of the previous generation.

Edited by kool kitty89

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Quake 3 Areana (YOU NEED TO HAVE INTERNET, there are still people playing online: How to hook up Dreamcast to Interwebz )

And Sonic Adventure 1 + 2 (Again, the DLC is still up (at least for SA1))

LASTLY Phantasy Star Online (either version) (AGAIN ONLINE IS A MUST)

I really love the fact now that my DC is on the interwebs :P

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Strangely, the Blu-ray player hasn't had such an effect this time. Not enough people care?

4) Besides all those, the DVD didn't really have much in terms of opposing media formats, compared to the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD War.

 

Good point. The Blu-ray/HD-DVD war scared people off; they were content to keep watching DVD, and in the meantime familiarized themselves with online/streaming video and "on-demand"/pay-per-view on the HD cable box.

 

That all being said, I think the DVD support is an overrated factor in the PS2's success anyhow - quite honestly, it did well because the PS1 did well and Sony rode the success into the next gen.

 

I dunno. Riding success into the next-gen is a *tough* thing to do, but I suppose it happened here. NES-->SNES, PS1-->PS2. That's about it. 360 is a market leader, but Xbox(1) was not. Wii is a market leader, but Gamecube was not. Lots of people were just *delighted* with the DVD player; the remote was a hot seller!

 

The 360, PS3, and Wii launch dates were busy events, but I don't think I've ever seen a frenzy like the PS2 launch in 2000; I still have digi-pics and clips somewhere. More than just long lines outside, people were running through the store like they were **FREE**, not $300.

 

Not really true. What killed the Dreamcast imho were two two things:

 

1. Sega didn't get support from EA even though Sega had great sports titles.

2. Lack of DVD. Consumers in Japan were buying the PS2 just for the DVD player.

 

Indeed, I forgot about the EA thing. That definitely had an impact; no Madden (etc) means a lot of "no-deal." People in U.S. were buying just for DVD player, too, but I remember reading what you said about it happening in Japan a lot.

 

But really, what killed Sega was bad past decisions combined with the decision to drop the DC rather than risk pushing longer and collapsing. (either option was bad in hindsight and both carried a lot of risk -as it was Sega declined and got bought out a bit later by Sammy)

 

Of course the previous bad decisions "killed" them, but I don't think dropping the DC did; it was mostly over for them by then. It would have only hurt them to drop it if they were coming out with another console - which they were not. They could have just kept bleeding money on the Dreamcast and become a laughing stock, or sell Sonic games to everybody.

 

The PS2 is basically proof that the quality of a product doesn't matter so much as brand name, marketing, market position, and money.

Definitely some hardware quality issues. How many people here got burned on the launch model Playstation(1) SCPH-1001? Remember turning those upside down to be able to play? Didn't slow the customers down any, for some reason. Then the fabled "disc read error" on the large PS2. But when they *were* working, the experience did not seem cheap; they're quite fun machines.

 

The best looking PS2 games (that actually push the hardware) are quite impressive even compared to some of the better GC and Xbox stuff.

To me, "Soul Calibur 3" on the PS2 is impressive, and seems comparable to an Xbox game. GTA San Andreas looked blockier on the Xbox than PS2. These are definitely exceptions to the rule.

 

Sega could have held on as a distant 2nd or close to it among the GC and Xbox

Just my opinion, but I don't see how the DC could have competed with 3 other (all newer) consoles on the market - all with EA support and 2 with DVD capability - at the same time. The PS2 was a big enough handful to sink the DC.

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I dunno. Riding success into the next-gen is a *tough* thing to do, but I suppose it happened here. NES-->SNES, PS1-->PS2. That's about it. 360 is a market leader, but Xbox(1) was not. Wii is a market leader, but Gamecube was not. Lots of people were just *delighted* with the DVD player; the remote was a hot seller!

It's not tough as long as you don't terribly screw up. (Saturn, N64, 5200, etc) Even a very modest success helps a lot, or a simple market presence vs jumping in with nothing (or not for a long time as with Atari from the 7800 jump to Jaguar). There was the Master System to MegaDrive that certainly applied in Europe if nothing else, though it was almost certainly a good learning experience for Sega in Japan and the US. (and the SG-1000 to Mk.II to Mk.III/SMS to MegaDrive to Saturn were all gradually increasing success -especially if you compare market share and not pure sales -as sales is cumulative and there's also the increasing market size)

That happened with every single handheld Nintendo ever had and the N64 likely would have done tons worse had it not been for the NES and SNES preceding it.

Hell, the Saturn and Dreamcast would certainly have done worse had Sega jumped in out of nowhere and not had an established name on the market. (unless they had a ton of investment capital to dump in)

 

And Microsoft wouldn't have done what they did with the 360 is it weren't for the Xbox (both in terms of brand recognition and experience), and it *was* a market leader for sure (in the context of significant market share... not THE top seller, but neither is the 360), though certainly overshadowed by Sony and not profitable at all for MS (in an economic sense) though the 360 has almost certainly been worse in that respect. (this gen's market is certainly split far more evenly all around though) Hell the Xbox would have had a much higher market share if you excluded Japan, or especially if you looked at North America specifically. (same for the N64 and Dreamcast being strongest in the NA market by FAR)

 

And in Sony's case they screwed up a bit with the PS2, but not in the most critical areas of marketing and attracting developers.

Sony had everything to build on from the PSX and the PS2 couldn't have been what it was without the PS1, not even close, just like the SNES couldn't have been what it was without the FC/NES. Sony got the marketing right with the PS2 as with the PS1, though they screwed up the hardware. (luckily they hyped it enough to keep developers interested enough to put tons into it :P) That's the kind of mistake someone without a crazy amount of money and strong market position could never do. Hell, without the massive funds the PS1 and PS2 couldn't have been nearly as well supported or as cheap as they were, let alone Sony's in-house advantages of vertical integration and patents. (ie CD and DVD tech -and in several cases already owning chip licenses due to other projects -as with the R3000)

Sony made some significant mistakes with the PS1, things that would have killed almost anyone else (and severely hurt even Sega and Nintendo), but they had the funds to suck it up. (things like dumping the price early on and gambling on RAM prices dropping quickly would have killed others when it turned out to not pan out -Sony took much heavier losses on hardware early on than planned but were able to absorb it with investment capital while Sega tried to keep up and play on Sony's terms but burned out -in addition to other problems and a moderately more expensive piece of hardware, and Sega burned out with the DC in part of that too -selling hardware at a pretty hefty loss) That was an unheard of tactic in the console market prior to that: razor and blade was there for sure, but never anything that went BELOW cost (usually slim profits or selling at cost).

With the PS2 there was the extremely tough architecture Sony apparently thought programmers had wanted, and that could have killed anyone else. (and indeed the others only completed as well as they did in large part due to their technical advantages -the ease of use was a big reason why the DC got as much support and had such good looking games so early in its life)

 

Of course the previous bad decisions "killed" them, but I don't think dropping the DC did; it was mostly over for them by then. It would have only hurt them to drop it if they were coming out with another console - which they were not. They could have just kept bleeding money on the Dreamcast and become a laughing stock, or sell Sonic games to everybody.

Doesn't matter if they had another console planned, what they did hurt them in the console software market in general. EVEN if they were to begin phasing out (NOT dropping) the DC in 2001, they should have done it gradually while still giving full software support on top of developing most/all games multi-platform and especially expanding their PC market. Their transition to 3rd party was a mess to say the least.

And that's just on the software/publishing side of things. It's not like they couldn't support the DC AND be a 3rd party publisher. ;) (even Sony was doing that and Sega had been for over half a decade, albeit not on competing consoles, but PC games -unless you go back to the mid/late 80s when they were licensing/publishing games on the Famicom/NES as well as supporting their own consoles)

 

In terms of the DC as a viable console itself, yes, I doubt it would have eve made 2nd in worldwide sales, but I think it had a chance at 2nd (or at least 3rd) place in North America given how strong it was. Granted, without more investment from sponsors, there's no way Sega could keep up the pace without burning out too quickly with insurmountable debt, so they'd have had to back off a bit in general (most obviously would be to pull back most marketing campaigns outside of North America), but it wouldn't have been clear whether the DC would have made it or not until the end of 2002 at least, as it was they didn't even push it past the start of 2001. (only after all the launch hype from the PS2, Xbox, and GC had blown over would their position really be clear)

And even if they came in last in North American sales even, that wouldn't have necessarily been bad. If they could hold on reasonably long, the hardware would shift to the point of being sold at a profit (or at least no more loss) and software would be the main factor. (and the only hickup in 3rd party support once they were past the Saturn was the piracy issue -which would lessen the more they sold later revision consoles among other things -the lack of domestic Japanese and European popularity were drawbacks too though, but they had the advantage of one of the cleanest and well supported architectures and programming tools to ever be produced)

 

From a consumer standpoint the DC was very compelling with both 1st and 3rd party releases: hell, a lot of the most compelling games were released AFTER it was canceled at the beginning of 2001. It would have been the cheapest option with a ton of established software and competitive technical ability in spite of the age. Unlike the PS2 it efficiently facilitated ports between the other consoles and PC, so a strong likelihood of cross-platform games looked quite good compared to PS2 versions (if a step below GC and Xbox). It had 480p support for pretty much every game and the potential to provide that via VGA (something not officially pushed, but clearly potential to do so once HDTVs got more significant -though they really should have pushed that a bit more from the start).

Then there was the online support: something that took a while to get rolling, but would have had a huge head start over XBL and no other competition on the market beyond PCs. (especially if they offered an ethernet adapter later on) That's one thing that never even got much chance to take off given that they canceled the DC just as it was starting to come into play when the DC was halted in March of 2001. (before they even really got into the 2001 sales season -and before many key DC titles even launched)

 

There was the 1st party exclusives as well, though that would get a bit watered down depending if they started pushing cross-platform development simultaneously. (albeit the PC market was separate enough for minimal conflict)

And it had a huge push in the year and a half it was on the market, and even if volumes slowed to less than 1/2 that for the following years it could easily have outsold the GC and likely the Xbox (in North America at least). Though now I'm combining 2 separate hypotheticals. (ie if they were really goign to keep pushing the DC then starying exclusive plus PC porting was likely best, but if they wanted to go 3rd party they should have gradually started pulling back DC hardware marketing while pushing for full multiplatform development including DC and PC)

 

Really though, with Sony they way they were, it was not really smart to even try to compete directly unless you had the resources (like MS), but finding a strong niche and holding on as well as a lesser emphasis on a broad/mass userbase was the best option, and something they could dig into. As it was they sort of did that in the US, and really would have if they'd stayed long enough for SegaNet to really take off.

 

I don't see why Sega would become a laughing stock by doing any of that, but instead they made a sloppy transition not totally unlike what they'd done with the Saturn and 32x/Genesis/CD/GG before that.

 

The PS2 is basically proof that the quality of a product doesn't matter so much as brand name, marketing, market position, and money.

Definitely some hardware quality issues. How many people here got burned on the launch model Playstation(1) SCPH-1001? Remember turning those upside down to be able to play? Didn't slow the customers down any, for some reason. Then the fabled "disc read error" on the large PS2. But when they *were* working, the experience did not seem cheap; they're quite fun machines.

That's not what I meant: I was talking about software support for a terribly unattractive architecture, not from the consumer POV. Albeit the IBM PC is a clear example of that as well. :P (at least the initial popularity prior to clones... though even then most clones were more expensive than many more capable contemporaries though that changed as time went on)

 

If you want to talk reliability: NES (who DIDN'T have the ZIF connector problems), then there's early model PSXs with power supply and CD-ROM laser sled issues (stripping plastic gear teeth), then the PS2, a fair bit with the PS3 (not too much with the DC, Xbox, or GC -some on select Xbox models), a fair bit on the PS3, and of the epitome of unreliability in the 360. (I wonder if that's actually had a significant impact on inflating hardware sales :P you'd thing it would detour people, but it seems that the consumer base is a bit dumb in that respect and the most thing it's cause is more 360 sales for replacements and lots of repair/replacement costs to MS... Hmm, I wonder if sales figures include full replacement consoles under warranty)

 

In terms of hardware/programming, the 360 is pretty nice from what I understand, way more attractive than the PS3 obviously.

 

To me, "Soul Calibur 3" on the PS2 is impressive, and seems comparable to an Xbox game. GTA San Andreas looked blockier on the Xbox than PS2. These are definitely exceptions to the rule.

I think BLACK would fit in there too, though in terms of multiplatform games I remember 007 Agent Under Fire looked better on the PS2 than GC and maybe Xbox.

The reason is obvious: the PS2 hardware was difficult to work with, especially early on (before more prominent developers had made their own custom tools) and games were very hard to optimize for the PS2, let alone port to it. By that same nature, heavily optimized PS2 games were tough to port to other consoles. (especially given the huge amount of assembly language used vs high-level compiled code otherwise common at the time) It's like PSX/N64/Saturn/PC porting except considerably more convoluted given the greater complexity of hardware, software, and even greater emphasis on high-level (particularly API based) programming compared to the preceding generation.

 

Just my opinion, but I don't see how the DC could have competed with 3 other (all newer) consoles on the market - all with EA support and 2 with DVD capability - at the same time. The PS2 was a big enough handful to sink the DC.

Se above: it was by far the cheapest and had a very strong library as well as excellent development environment (the latter on the developer side). Not sure why EA didn't support them, though I'm sure all their public statements and interviews are pretty much false (at least all published statements I've seen like stuff claimng the DC was using an odd and unproven architecture that was hard to work with :rofl: )

 

The hardware was powerful enough to keep up with the later consoles as well: PS2 easily and Xbox and GC well enough to be reasonable.

 

The PS2 was a given, they were never ever going to beat it or even come close, but competing among the rest of the market was another thing entirely. They'd have lost to the GC easily in Japan if things didn't drastically change in 2001, but the Xbox was not even on the map there, so that's something. In North America was the DC's real market and their best bet, and Europe was not looking too great (UK somewhat the exception iirc), but a hard sell if nothing changed.

 

 

You could liken it to the Master System's small US and Japanese market and competitive European presence to some extent. The major differences were that Sega no longer had a big arcade market and that games were far more costly to develop than on the SMS.

Edited by kool kitty89

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Love the DC and its emulations is pretty good. I'm trying to get a MAME setup going but I'm not sure the DC can handle it, even some of the older games play very choppy.

 

 

MAME on the DC is pretty crappy. You're better off with a modded XBox.

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Love the DC and its emulations is pretty good. I'm trying to get a MAME setup going but I'm not sure the DC can handle it, even some of the older games play very choppy.

 

 

MAME on the DC is pretty crappy. You're better off with a modded XBox.

 

I'm looking into that actually, thanks :)

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I had a dreamcast and nice collection of some hundred games or so....then I sold them off....why? Well the games are amazing to have, but someone hooke dme up with something else I can play them on....I think the thing has been used for like 30 minutes so my friend could play Chef's Luv Shack then put in the closet for later use....?

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In Japan the price of a DVD player was more than what a PS2 cost. That pretty much put the nail on the coffin in Japan for the Dreamcast. I remember reading an article that even stores that didn't normally carry game consoles were carrying the PS2 as a DVD player. Consumers were buying a PS2 and walking out with 10 dvds to watch on it. I wish I could find that article again.

 

I still think that even the first gen DC games run circles around what is produced on the PS2 even today.

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