Sega Dreamcast — History of Game Consoles


Sega Dreamcast
1998 – 2001

 

 

Sega Dreamcast game console

Above: Sega Dreamcast game console

 

In 1998, Sega release the Sega Dreamcast to the Japanese market. It seems that Sega had finally learned from their mistakes. Within a few months of its debut, the console outsold the Nintendo 64 by a three to one ratio.

When it was released in the North American market, it broke many sales records with a revenue of US$98 million by August of that year.

The Sega Dreamcast was impressive. At its core was the Hitachi SuperH processor and a Nec PowerVR graphics processor. Sega then introduced an online gaming service called SegaNet. By the end of 1999, it was reported that 50% of console owners were signed up with SegaNet.

 

Technology

 

Hitachi-SuperH-processor

Above: Hitachi-SuperH-processor

 

Sega had truly delivered a solid product in Sega Dreamcast, along with wins such as SegaNet. However, Sega was in financial trouble.

Seeing Sony coming to market with it’s Playstation and hearing of Microsoft’s entry to the market, Sega could no longer compete by offering consoles at a loss and ran from the market.

 

Microsoft Xbox game console

Above: Microsoft Xbox game console

 

As a result, the company ceased production in 2001. The company left the hardware business behind to focus on the software side of the business.

In Sega’s last gaming venture, they revolutionized the console market in three main ways:

1) By standardizing on a popular operating system, development was simplified.

2) Sega proved that online gaming was very lucrative and would offset the cost of console development.

3) Outsourcing of processor and graphics reduced the cost of development and facilitated easier development.