Happy 14th Birthday, Sega Dreamcast
November 27, yep it’s that day again, 14 years ago to the day Sega released the Dreamcast and what a day it was!
In comparison to the underwhelming launches of recent times and especially the WiiU, the launch of the Dreamcast was a fever pitch of excitement. From its announcement on May 21 1998, that in conjunction with Microsoft (a point that seems to be interestingly overlooked these days) that it would be releasing its sixth generation console to the world on 27,11,1998, the Dreamcast was a console shrouded in reports and plot lines. What is with all the orange? Where is the Sega logo? Will Sonic be a launch title? Would there finally be a console with the capacity to offer the holy grail of arcade perfect gaming? Would it have a DVD drive? And most prominently, would Sega be able to get enough of a head start on Sony?
|In Japan, the Virtua Fighter series practically prints money for Sega|
The launch of the console in Japan was a huge success for Sega. The console sold out with lines of 100s of people at launch stations in Tokyo, and after the relevant success of the Saturn in Japan (Sega of Japan's position was initially to run the two consoles in parallel, with the possibility of the Saturn handling 2D games, and the Dreamcast, 3D ) Sega must have been very pleased with themselves. The Yukawa packaging of the console was definitely original, and the orange colour striking enough that it would definitely be noticed on the shelves of electronic stores, and was good fan service for those who had seen the commercials. Yukawa, like we previously covered, had become a bit of a celebrity in Japan and even attended the launch of the console in Akihabara.
Okay, in hindsight a launch lineup of Virtua Fighter 3tb, July, Godzilla Generations, and Pen Pen TriIcelon was a bit underwhelming (Sega Rally 2 had been a launch title but was delayed) but that would be to underestimate the popularity of the Virtua Fighter series which almost single-handedly sold the Saturn in Japan, and the initial launch was a huge success for Sega Japan. In fact, it sold so well that Sega couldn't keep up with the demand and Yukawa had to come out on TV and apologize again! Like all Sega products the build quality cannot be questioned and unlike my PS3 and 360 which failed to last the generation, my launch Yukawa console is still going strong, Happy birthday old boy!