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How Do Dreamcast Reviews Compare From Release Year To Today?

Dreamcast Logo

When the SEGA Dreamcast was launched on 9th September 1999, it trumpeted a step up for gaming consoles. The Dreamcast boasted twice the CPU and graphics power of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 and with a built-in modem offered more stability and reliability.

Needless to say, sales for the Dreamcast got off to a booming start and with some great titles such as the 3D Sonic Adventure, Virtua Tennis and Crazy Taxi received a string of positive reviews.

Sega Dreamcast

But the Dreamcast dream did not last. Sony and Nintendo both released superior consoles a year later in the PlayStation 2, five times more powerful than the Dreamcast and Nintendo’s GameCube featured exclusive games like Tomb Raider to capture huge swathes of the market.

Dreamcast sales plummeted by 2001, SEGA had dropped the price to as low as £50 and a third of their Tokyo-based workforce was laid off. It is estimated the company lost around $400 million in revenue.

Yet 17 years later, the Dreamcast is still knocking around and doing pretty well for itself. In fact, the console is doing better now than it did at the turn of the millennium and a lot of retro-gamers champion the SEGA console as underrated.

The making of Dreamcast

Even in the early days, the Dreamcast was labelled as being ahead of its time – despite being knocked of it flimsy perch as the most futuristic games console. But with the Dreamcast, SEGA created a legacy that would propel gaming into the future.

Sega Dreamcast Internals

The Dreamcast was the first console to support online play and although few games developers took advantage of this in the early days, competing against players from opposite ends of the globe and teaming up with strangers to defeat monsters and aliens has become a major boon for gamers.

But it is the consistent quality of games that players still rave about today. Games review on for the Dreamcast still get good player ratings – including retro hits such as Space Channel 5, Shenmue, Power Stone and Soul Calibur.

Chris Powell, the editor of online magazine SEGA Nerds says some of the classic games for the SEGA are “every bit as good today as when we first experienced them.” Given Powell flies the flag for SEGA you could argue his opinion is biased, but from a neutral prospective, I have to say I can’t argue with his sentiments.

The saving grace for the Dreamcast is the ability to support third party contributors. It is arguably independent games publishers that saved the Dreamcast from extinction after it almost died in 2001.

Sega Dreamcast Sports Black Console

Considering SEGA has never upgraded the Dreamcast and have only released 37 new titles since 2003, a huge portion of credit for keeping the console fresh and exciting over the years has to go to independent games developers.

It does help that the games for Dreamcast have been addictively brilliant and it is the wide range of unique titles that still makes the console appealing for retro gamers today. If you are looking for a unique gaming experience, Dreamcast is the way to go.

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Zeeshan Mallick

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