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Thread Author: marktheshark
Thread ID: 4284
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Did PS2 really kill the Dreamcast?
One thing that I hear a lot when it comes to discussing the DC's abrupt end is that people commonly blame the PS2 for killing off the DC early. I can't help, but find this reasoning a little strange.

For starters, around early 2001 or so, Sega announced that they would discontinue the system around March or so. A few months before, Sony released the PS2 in North America and Europe around Fall 2000 (October for NA and November for Europe). Now, how could the PS2 "kill" the DC in a matter of a few months? Where are the sales charts that compare the DC's sales to the PS2's sales in that time period? This theory might sound more plausible in Japan, considering the fact that PS2 was released there almost a year before the DC got discontinued, but still, where are the sales charts to prove this theory?

I think the reason why the DC died was because Sega lost a lot of money during the mid-1990's with the Saturn and possibly the 32X. Unless Sega could pull off a Wii-like sales miracle, the DC would've probably died no matter what. Why would Sega make a new console though? Maybe they wanted to go out with a bang.
The thing is that they are here and still kicking haha
You have to remember the position Sony was in back then. After the success (otherwise known as absolute worldwide domination) of the original PlayStation, the entire world was waiting for the PS2. Sony spun an incredible bit of marketing with the 'Graphics Synthesiser' and 'Emotion Engine' that nothing could compete with. I had people telling me that this meant PS2 games were going to have true AI, amongst other shit.....

And then look at the position Sega were in. The 32X and Mega/Sega CD hadn't exactly set the gaming world alight, and then there's the debacle of the Saturn in the West. Over in Japan the Saturn ruled, however, in the US and UK it was a failure. At this point it really didn't matter what Sega did with the Dreamcast; no one really cared.

PlayStation was the new thing and that was that. I honestly don't think Sega could have done anything to avert the inevitable at this stage. It may have stood a slight chance if it had a DVD drive instead of GD-ROM, but that wasn't realistically happening when it was released. The PS2 hit the Japanese market just as DVD was becoming a mainstream format and that cemented its popularity; there were people buying the console just for that facility.

To be honest, it's only the popularity of Nintendo's handhelds and Pokemon that saved them from Sony's onslaught.
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Mark wrote :- One thing that I hear a lot when it comes to discussing the DC's abrupt end is that people commonly blame the PS2 for killing off the DC early. I can't help, but find this reasoning a little strange.

I think the PS2 was *one* of the reasons the Dreamcast failed for sure. Like SD said, There was a huge amount of pre-release hype about the PS2 coming from Sony in the press. It was meant to be this incredibly powerful 'super console'. IT had an Emotion-Engine, and a Graphics Synthesizer and was capable of rendering Final Fantasy style video sequences in real time. George Lucas said it could do the CGI in The Phantom Menace in real time (lol)

At the time I was definitely waiting for a PS2, but when i saw the initial games - much worse looking than DC games. I didnt bother and bought a Dreamcast but it was a 'failed' console by then. I got lots of cheap games, but it wasnt good for Sega.

It wasnt Sonys fault though, that's just what big companies do. Sega would have done the same given the chance. Blame it on the public if anyone.

Mark wrote :- I think the reason why the DC died was because Sega lost a lot of money during the mid-1990's with the Saturn and possibly the 32X.

I think you are right about the Saturn and 32X, that was a big reason too. 3rd Party publishers didnt have faith in the system because of Segas recent record, and so many didnt sign up. EA not coming on board was also a major problem, it meant there were no decent Soccer games ( a major problem in Europe where everyone is football/soccer mad), esp stupid when you are spending half your advertising budget (over 30million!) getting 'Dreamcast' on the shirts of top European football teams.

Also Sega's games although innovative and loved among the hardcore, they were no GTA (Grand Theft Auto) in terms of sales. I am not sure Jet Set Radio sold that well for example, superb though it is. I doubt Shenmue made back it's budget. Sonic no doubt sold well though.

Apart from that most people saw the DC as coming out a little early in the hardware cycle and not really being powerful enough for the future
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Sega kind of ruined it for themselves with their bad track record of consoles after the MD. At the same time Sony was apparently ace at marketing. Looking at the history I think Sega ruined the chances of success with the DC themselves. Perhaps if the Mega CD and 32X never had been made the market would have been different today. But we will never know. If Sega ever should be financially strong enough to release a console again I will be first in line to purchase it!!
Piracy killed the Dreamcast IMO.
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