What the Dreamcast did right, where did it go wrong?

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by mr_lunar_magnet, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. mr_lunar_magnet
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    1200px-Dreamcast_logo.svg.png The Dreamcast, a system often said to be ahead of its time, and the last home console that Sega was to release. Releasing in Japan late 1998, and hitting North America and Europe mid 1999 the system was the first home console to use a 128-bit CPU and used a custom version of Windows CE, however only a few games utilized it, as Sega decided to include a simple OS within the discs of games themselves to run them, and most games used that instead. Another thing that the Dreamcast had included was a 56-kbps modem (33.3-kbps in PAL regions) that allowed for online play in games such as Phantasy Star Online and Tetris Online, it also was used for programs such as the Sega Dreamcast Web Browser. Sega had used GD-ROM discs to store the games, they had a capacity of 1.2 GB is larger than a standard CD which holds just over 700 MB of storage, however most games didn’t take up the full capacity and unluckily for Sega the disc reader in the Dreamcast was also able to read CD-ROM discs, and remember how Sega stored the OS in the game discs themselves, this allowed for people to patch their own CDs with the game plus 3 other files and the Dreamcast would think that it was a legitimate disc.

    At launch the Sega Dreamcast had a few titles that would stand out one of which being Sonic Adventure, Sonic’s jump into 3d which had sold 2.5 million copies for the Dreamcast. The console itself had sold 9.3 million units, the lack of sales could be to the previous flop of the Saturn which had not made many sales falling just under the Dreamcast’s sales at 9.2 million and the complete success of the Sony PlayStation, becoming a serious threat to Sega. Around the same time as the announcement for the Dreamcast also was the announcement of Sony’s new home console, one that rivaled the specs of the Dreamcast and had a beefy launch title list. Many people decided to wait out until the later release of the PlayStation 2 opposed to the Dreamcast, as the PlayStation 2 also had support for PlayStation 1 games and could play back DVD video, which was starting to become more and more popular.

    While the PlayStation 2 had more features it didn’t mean that the Dreamcast was totally overshadowed, previously I mentioned how the Dreamcast is considered ahead of its time, it still was the first system to allow online play out of the box, newer systems in the generation, with the exception of the original Xbox, required an external adapter to allow either a broadband or dial up connection to the system, at the time the feature seemed a little silly and a bit odd, yet look at today where every system that comes out has a myriad of online exclusive play or games that are played much more online than in a single player mode. Another neat feature that the Dreamcast had was the VMU which was a memory card, that had a screen and some buttons that allowed you to manage your save files on the go and some games even included little games to run on the VMU itself! But let's not forget one of the coolest things about the Dreamcast, that boot screen, the sound to this day sends chills down my spine, it's so cool, breathy, and simple. Oh and bassy don't forget about how much bass there is.


    This was a little longer than intended, and I may have not entirely answered the question, but what do you think, was the Dreamcast a success in your heart, or did you not even look them over?
     
    Last edited by mr_lunar_magnet, Apr 6, 2017
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  2. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]

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    I Still have my dreamcast hooked to my tv, and i totally love it, the tittles that appeared on the system were great, and how can i forget the first time y played Crazy Taxy or Sonic Adventure 2 Battle.
     
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  3. Tom Bombadildo

    Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    I forgot
    What went wrong? It released only a year or so before the PS2, a technically superior console with more features and more developer support, then Sega went tits up and abandoned consoles and discontinued the Dreamcast like a year later before it could ever be used to it's fullest extent.

    Is it still a good console? Absolutely, the Dreamcast was a damn good device at the time and offered a lot of neat features. I still have a CD case full of 20-30 burnt Dreamcast games sitting somewhere in my basement, despite not having a Dreamcast any more for the past 15 years or so. I'd love to buy myself another one if I had the extra cash.
     
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  4. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Addict

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    This isn't why CD-Rs were bootable. Sega included support for "MIL-CD", an audio CD variant that had special Dreamcast-specific content. These were on standard CDs, not GD-ROMs. The only sort of protection used (due to, among other things, various legal issues regarding encryption) was a "scrambled" 1ST_READ.BIN. Once the scrambling algorithm was reverse-engineered, any commercial game could be dumped, scrambled, and burned onto CD-R.

    The Rev.02 BIOS included with systems released in late 2000 disabled support for MIL-CD and CD-R games.
     
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  5. mr_lunar_magnet
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    My bad, thanks for clearing that up, I was looking for more info on that and wasn't finding straightforward answers. Probably error in how I was searching, I'm not insanely familiar with the technical side of how that worked.
     
  6. linuxares

    linuxares GBAtemp Psycho!

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    The Saturn killed of a lot of support for the dreamcast. It was just a console alive for 4 years and it was doing poorly, so developers didn't do much on the Dreamcast when the Playstation was so much easier to develop for.
     
  7. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    This video speaks for it self what went wrong. :creep
    1. PS2 is the dreamcast killer
    2. Dreamcast had no video playback support (like ps2)
    3. Price and timing of system including proper game developer support
    4. PIRACY! :P
     
  8. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Addict

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    Piracy is never the correct answer for this question. (See DS, Wii, etc.)

    Also, any Dreamcast video that uses that mismatched Blue swirl and Red swirl image automatically loses credibility.
     
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  9. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]

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    No.
     
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  10. Felek666

    Felek666 Demonically Uncontrollable

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    Other regions had different Swirl color if you didn't know.
     
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  11. GerbilSoft

    GerbilSoft GBAtemp Addict

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    Thank you, Captain Obvious. I was referring to pairing the Blue swirl controller with a Red swirl system, which is not something you would normally see unless you specifically imported parts from a different region.
     
  12. Felek666

    Felek666 Demonically Uncontrollable

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    No problem. You answered your own question right there!
     
  13. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    My statement still stands and won't change. By the way piracy wasn't the only thing i listed and the details of the color of the swirl has nothing to do with anything about why it failed. It added to the reason, i didn't say is the only reason so i dunno why quote part of my statement to nit pick your disagreement. :mellow:
     
  14. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    The Dreamcast was slated to get DVD playback at one point, but given it was 1998, it would have been way too expensive to implement, maybe then...
     
  15. mr_lunar_magnet
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    Who knows, I have a feeling though that Sony hit a really good point in time to implement that and 1998/1999 would have a been a little early, but just barely.
     
  16. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    It would have helped over the ps2 but not if the price of the console increased, it would mean both playing videos on the system and more data than the disc they used. So it would been a good idea if it wasn't expensive. :)
     
  17. Enteking

    Enteking Advanced Member

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    It was a great console, with so many fantastic games. And in my opinion Dreamcast games looked cleaner and much better than PS2 games, which suffered badly from extreme texture flickering.

    But if it didn't fail, I would never have gotten one. As a Nintendo-only player, I was always interested in Shenmue and then there was this amazing offer where I got the system, Soul Calibur and the game with a very large discount of almost 50%.

    So it probably failed because of bad marketing, lack of 3rd party and especially JRPG support and it was clearly overpriced until right before it's death, which is a shame.

    I sold my PS2 but I still kept my Dreamcast.
     
    Last edited by Enteking, Apr 6, 2017
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  18. Tom Bombadildo

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    I forgot
    "Overpriced"? The Dreamcast was $200, $100 cheaper than the PS2 at launch, then got a price cut to $150 a year later, then again to $100, then again again to $50 at the end of 2001. Price had 100% nothing to do with why the Dreamcast failed.
     
  19. Enteking

    Enteking Advanced Member

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    Fore me as a customer, highly interested in an exclusive game, the system was always too expensive until the extreme price cuts kicked in. For a teenager, 200$ can be a lot of money, much more than I could imagine to ever afford at that time. So I had to wait for price cuts to be able to get both the N64 and the Dreamcast, so price was a huge factor for me and other potential customers in my position.
     
    Last edited by Enteking, Apr 6, 2017
  20. Sonic Angel Knight

    Sonic Angel Knight GBAtemp Legend

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    For the record dreamcast disc hods more data than gamecube disc right? Cause i can't remember, gamecube didn't do well cause of the small disc to reduce piracy but mean up to 4X loss of available data compared to DVD disc ps2 and xbox had, so i mean that was a thing. :rolleyes: