The Dream(cast) is Over [01/31/01]

No sooner after the rumors of a Sega/Nintendo merger had been squelled, another rumor about the future of the Dreamcast cropped up. Just days after comments about the imminent demise of the machine turned up, then reports from a number of reputable sites, namely Gamers.com and Ign.com seemed to confirm the unthinkable: Sega was not going to continue producing Dreamcast hardware. Even though they had around 100 games planned for later release, they were dumping the system.

This commentary is not about the decisions made by Sega, but what they mean, or may mean. At a time when Sega could have easily carved their way back into the gaming market, they seemed to pull up lame. With a prime slate of games and a growing dedicate fan-base for their machine, gamers may be left scratching their collective heads on this one. At a time when Sony was fumbling around, trying to get enough of their PS2s out, Sega could have easily taken a firm control with a cheaper-priced machine (especially a machine that was heading towards 100 dollars a pop).

Taking a look back, gamers may only be able to point at a few small signs that this would happen, one of which was the holiday sales at the end of 2000. Sales numbers plainly stated who one the sales war for Christmas: the PSOne. Yes, the five year old machine that was selling for $100! Of course, it helped to have a great game base to work from.

Speaking of which, we here at ILS find this information a little unfortunate, considering that the Dreamcast was finally coming out with some good games (Shenmue, Phantasy Star Online...). Sega announced some of the following games for release in the next year:

Crazy Taxi 2
NBA 2K2
NFL 2K2
NHL 2K2
Sonic Adventure 2
Space Channel 5 II
The House of the Dead 3
Toe Jam & Earl III from Smilebit
Shenmue 2

Considering the quality and quantity of the new year's crop of games, this leaves us asking why?

Of course, underlying in all of this is another rumor that has cropped up, hinting that Sega is in talks with Microsoft to have the X-Box become backwards-compatible with the Dreamcast. If this rumor is true, then it will propel the X-Box to imminent contender while letting Sega just spend time on creating new games.

- Kinderfeld

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