Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: 9/9/99

with one comment


This week Fred and Trees set out to talk about console launches and instead dedicate an entire show to the Dreamcast launch.  There were a shocking amount of great games that assisted the launch of Sega’s most successful, albeit final, console.

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Written by Fred Rojas

May 22, 2013 at 11:00 am

Posted in Dreamcast, podcast

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. Dreamcast Sega’s most successful? While it was easily more successful than the Saturn, it came nowhere near the massive success of the Megadrive.

    Thought I’d share some memories/impressions of the Dreamcast launch in Australia. It was initially going to launch in October 1999, but Sega Japan didn’t want it released here until mid 2000 (Australia never had an official Sega business presence here, it was all done through a third party company), so after an intense struggle it was finally released in late November. A small handful of third party games actually were released here a week BEFORE the console was though, so you could actually buy Dreamcast games here and not have the console to run them on for a short time!

    When it was finally released, I went in to pick my Dreamcast up and the two games I had pre-ordered with it (Sonic Adventure and Sega Rally 2), but due to the aforementioned struggle with Sega Japan none of the luanch games (Sonic Adventure, Sega Rally 2, Soul Calibur, Blue Stinger and one other game whose name escapes me as I type this) had arrived yet, so I bought one of the pre-released games (Tokyo Extreme Racer) to play on release day.

    The launch games finally turned up the next day, but no VMUs were available and would not arrive for THREE WEEKS, with limited numbers finally showing up a week before christmas which all went straight to pre-orders (thank god I pre-ordered one), and would not be available to buy off the shelf until mid January 2000.

    Internet access had not been organised before release, and everyone who bought a DC would not be able to get online with it until sometime in March 2000, when everyone received an internet disc in the mail. A deal had been done with only one telephone/internet provider though, and the disc was locked to that provider so you had to sign up with them regardless of whether you already had an account with another provider or not. This led to many people (myself inlcuded) finding ways to trick Sega of America into posting a US internet disc here (which worked, I somehow was able to get two discs from them), or finding other ways to get hold of this disc, which of course we needed a modded Dreamcast to run them on. And the quality of the US internet disc was vastly superior to the Australian one anyway, so being able to use whatever internet provider we liked was not the only reason for getting the US internet disc. In addition, due to similar internet access issues in the UK, everyone who bought a dreamcast there got a free copy of Chu Chu Rocket with their internet disc, but that did not happen here, where the game was released at FULL PRICE, no way was I going to pay that much for a flash game (the full game was 40MB in size and could have run in a browser on PCs at the time), I eventually got a copy of the game much later from a pawn shop for a fraction of the price.

    And speaking of internet access, many games that were released with Internet play were released here either with the internet capabilities heavily cut or removed completely (such as Daytona USA, which for me would have been almost useless without it), which led to many of us importing those games from the US to play on our Modded consoles. The only game which came here with internet play fully intact was Phantasy Star Online.

    And as mentioned before, the fact a third party was involved with the Dreamcast’s presence here meant that the Dreamcast disappeared premeturely from all retail presence long before it was discontinued anywhere else, so the last 6 or so months of it’s life we had to import even PAL games we wanted to play from the UK.

    Sparky Kestrel

    September 6, 2018 at 6:05 am

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