Even now, as a dead system, I would still recommend the Dreamcast. Sega's last hardware foray suffered due to the rise of casual gaming and Sega's chronic lack of advertising. It is, however, an excellent system with many excellent titles, in particular Shenmue and Shenmue II. You ought to be able to get one cheap now as everyone has moved on to the next gen, but if you are at a ll interested in gaming, I would recommnd getting one and then buying games from Amazon or mail order places. An undervalued system which suffered sorely form poor to non-existent advertising
The first of the big guns, the first next generation gaming system to be released. Too early I say. Due to this console SEGA were hit so badly financially that SEGA will never make another console ever again. So what went wrong here? The Dreamcast is not actually a bad console and in fact for the amount its worth now-a-days its a complete bargain! That is, if you know what to do with it. That is precisely why this Opinion was written. Out of all the big next generation 128-bit consoles, this is the least powerful and is probably a cross between Nintendo's N64 and Sony's Playstion 2. The style of the console is pretty "sweet". It's a nice small grey box with some rounded edges and a nice moulded finish. Just turning the console on without any disc inside pulls up the start-up menu. It's based upon Microsoft's Windows CE. This is basically a massively cut-down version of the windows most of us use and love (well most of us use, anyway). You will see after the initial splash screen of the dream cast logo, a simple interface with settings for time and date, your virtual memory unit (sold separately) and CD\Game player. Pretty bog standard stuff so far, but this is not where the dreamcast excels. Its use goes far beyond its simple start-up. The pads are a tad cheap and can be quite painful. The moulded design doesn't quite fit in your palm and because the wire comes out from the bottom of the pad as opposed to the top, some times frustration can ensure. The pad's will the do the job though and sega have at least released an alternative (keyboard and mouse, as many first person shooter gamers will know, both sold separately). In addition to the pads comes a virtual memory unit (VMU). These are little gadgets which can be used to store your save games on and can also be used to play downloaded games on its little LCD display. This makes buying a memory card more interesting at least. The console has 4 joypad ports for 4 player action and can use a scart or a normal RF cable as seen on previous consoles such as Sony's playstation 1 and the Nintendo 64. Where this console lacks is in its sheer grunt or power. The graphical capabilities of the games are a much more toned down in comparison to the 3 recent mega-consoles. The console does ensure that the gamer experiences an almost arcade like feel. Many games released for the dreamcast often have a short lifespan as a result. When first released this console was out on its own. The big 3 console's (PS2, Gamecube, X-box) were not released because they were not ready. As a result many people waited for those. However on its first day it sold many a console and set new records. After this the titles that came out were too few and too limited in terms of gameplay. The console suffered and the big 3 just did more devastation when released. So basically this console was forgotten, as game designers flocked to provide games for the big 3 consoles. Sound-wise the console provides an excellent quality and has the addition of playing music CD's. Many games also offer the feature of playing your music CD's in the background although this often involves swapping the game disc and music disc alternatively, which can get tiresome. The console was also the first to offer a modem for surfing the Internet. You can buy a 33.6KBS modem (about half the 2/3 the speed of a conventional modem). This will work with any phone line and the start-up ISP is free except for the phone call charges. However this can be changed to allow for any ISP your current PC may have. This allows dreamcast users to surf or play against foes online. However I would recommend you purchase the keyboard and mouse to make such activities easier. Now lets step into the potentially illegal side of the dreamcast that is probably the only thing its got going for it now. Most games console can be chipped or cracked. This means that someone ca n break your warrantee and place a chip into your console. This not only comes with a chance of breaking your console but also allows you to play copied games. Which can then be downloaded from a PC copied to CD and run at no cost (not that I condone this sort of thing). The dreamcast is different in this department, as no chip is required to play copied games. You simply purchase a boot disc. Then you put this in your console switch it on and when loaded play your copied games. This doesn't affect your warrantee, as you have not physically tampered with your console. You can even get pre-patched games, which don't even require a boot disc. Not only this but the dreamcast also can play VCD's (video discs). These are like DVD's but have a reduced picture and sound quality. These are readily available although strictly, are not legal. Again these are run by the use of a boot disc. As the console suffered from poor game sales, you can often find games for this console extremely cheaply, even more so than playstation 1 games. Second hand stores like gamestation will provide games such as unreal tournament for around £7. Considering the PS2 version is around £15 second hand you can see how much of a bargain this is. To sum up then, this console is probably worth its money. You can pick one up for less than £100 and has a good and varied range of games. The games are cheap and can even be free. It lets you surf the Internet and you can even word process from it. It has a nice design and many features, such as its VMU. I'd say it's a bargain. I knocked off 1 mark from the full 5 because it lacks in power and one should expect a limited gaming experience. (4/5).
Why Have They Stopped??? I Want To Know Why They Stopped Making Dreamcasts!! I Mean I've Got A Dreamcast And I Think They Rule.There Is One Problem Though There Aren't Many Games. Some Of The Games Are Cool Such As Sonic Adventure + Sonic Adventure 2. It Would Be So Cool If There Were More Better Games For The Dreamcast. Some Other Great Games. Such As Metropalis Street Racer And Tony Halk's Pro Skater. Anyways I Am No Good @ Writing These Things This Is My Fist Opinion. Belive Me Any One Who Does'nt Have A Dreamcast I Strongly Suggest You Try It. It Rules!!!!!!!!!!!! Unless U Have A Better Console It Also Has Great Graphics.
In some wars, the Dreamcast surpasses other consoles. This is mainly because of the popular internet conection. However this model i not as picture perfect as it could be. The price of the Dreamcast plummeted very early on, just like at the rather disappointing release of the new console, the X-Box. The main problem wih the machine,though, was the fact that it wasn't released until just a year before the long awited PS2, which in my opinion, is the most demanding console to beat, epecially after the release of games such as Final Fantasy X and the forthcoming MGS2:Substance.
Sega's Dreamcast has now departed from the console world with Sega left to rue what could (should?) have been and instead purely concentrate on churning out some high-quality titles for Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's next-gen machines. The legacy that Sega have left with the Dreamcast I hope continues to be appreciated by gamers for a while at least as there is no doubt in my mind that the DC was, is and always will be a fabulous conole even when pitted against today's latest competition. Offering extremely high-quality and colourful graphics and a fantastic sound chip inside, it more than holds it's own against today's likes of the X-Box and Gamecube. 'Born' in 1998, the Dreamcast was the first, and still ironically, the only console to offer immediate internet access and online game-play straight out of it's box. Alright, Sega themselves still weren't able to put together a decent online-playable game for some time after the launch of the console, but when they did come, their efforts were original, groundbreaking for a console, and totally enjoyable. The 'Dreamkey' disc supplied with the console, and updated twice since then, allowed any owner to surf the internet at their leisure with a reasonable, if not exactly speedy, 28.8kbps modem. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are still 'talking' about their online PLANS for the coming year. They seem to have been doing that FOR years anyway! Sega will be first to admit with hindsight, their advertising for the DC and it's promotion around the UK alone let alone anywhere else, wasn't top-notch. Ultimately, proving to be it's downfall, lack of market recognition amongst even casual gamers let alone those who don't have a cat-in-hell's interest in games, ensured people just didn't know what it was all about. Even your oldest Granny or the layman on the street has heard of 'Playstation' hence it's phenomenal succes s! This was a shame - the DC was high-specced at it's launch, offered immediate four-player games with it's controller ports and that fantastic internet-in-a-box facility which seemingly just wasn't emphasised enough. Look back now at some of the games available for this fantastic piece of kit - innovative titles such as Shenmue 1 & 2, Metropolis Street Racer, Chu-Chu Rocket (the first-ever console online game) and Jet Set Radio were backed up by titles with an awesome arcade pedigree such as Crazy Taxi 1 & 2, Virtua Tennis 1 & 2 and the Virtua Striker series. Then there was Soul Calibur - still widely agreed to be the best fighting game ever on any system to date! You can now pick up some of these top titles brand new (if you can find anywhere left selling them) for somewhere between £5 and £20. Second hand I bought Soul Calibur recently for £2.99!! eBay.co.uk is one of the best places to pick up quality DC games and hardware at reasonable prices - there's over 1000 DC-related items on there at this time of writing! Hardware is cheap to buy also - make sure you buy a boxed console if possible and ensure you can pick up at least two 'official' controllers (they ARE better than 3rd-party ones), at least one Visual Memory Unit (VMU) to save game data and if you can find a keyboard too, as little as £5 itself, internet surfing is a lot easier. You could pick up a decent set of kit as above second-hand for as little as £30 now - there is NO excuse not to go for it! I now own a Nintendo Gamecube having recently owned a Playstation 2. Both great consoles, no questions. But I still have my Dreamcast - and it still gets played regularly. Sega hit the jackpot with this one as far as quality goes - unfortunately, and for some inexplicable reason, it just wasn't taken to heart by gamers and sadly, many will simply never appreciate the joys it has to offer.
Curse Sony. I have often wondered how their overrated, under perfoming console has been such a success. They seem to have a vastly superior publicity team who have managed to sell a vastly inferior console. Sega, on the other hand, concentrated far more on the actual performance of their hardware and software, and maybe naively did not back it up with a good marketing scheme. The Dreamcast, nearly 4 years after its release in Japan, does not look outdated or old, and the graphics on the best games are as good as playstation 2. It supports up to 4 players on many games, and unlike any other console - including x-box and gamecube, the dreamcast is internet ready from the box. In the U.K. you can now select an ISP to use with the dreamcast, meaning it is possible to get unmetered access. The games, of course, are the most important thing on any system. Without top quality games, it does not matter how many zigabytes of graphics the box can produce - its going to be rubbish. The dreamcast does have top quality games. While they were being made Sega had the backing of all the major game producers, and of course, Sega are no dunces when it comes to making games. The top games on dreamcast, in my humble opinion, are: Sonic Adventure (1+2), Crazy Taxi (1+2), Powerstone 2, Metropolis Street Racer – (miles better than Gotham Racing on X-box), and Virtua Tennis. Of course, this is not a definitive list and there are many more top class games that I haven’t played. Although now defunct, the dreamcast is still worth getting. Anyone looking for a stop-gap before they can afford the stupidly priced X-box or waiting for a decent game on the Gamecube can do much worse than pick a dreamcast. It’s possible to get a dreamcast +2 controllers, 5 good games and a memory card for under £100. Those of you who have already got one – hold on to it! It’s my guess that they will one day be worth significantly more than £100!!
I had a vision of the future the other night. A sordid, twisted, nightmarish place, it was, where children and adults ritualistically and involuntarily slump down in front of TV screens, switch on their Microsoft X-Box Version 14.3's and, under the global orders of the all-powerful Overlord, Bill Gates, are forced to play Solitaire until their eyes bleed. In this horrific and terrifying scene one child, a single, solitary boy, turned to his father and asked “Doesn’t anyone else make games consoles?” Alright, so it’s perhaps a somewhat pessimistic view of what’s to come but, if the recent decision by Sega is anything to go by, it’s an all too likely one. Sega, as you are no doubt well aware, are pulling out of the games console-manufacturing business as of March. And while many will say “good riddance” (cretins) and others “they brought it on themselves” (less arguable, right enough), few can deny that this is indeed a sad day for gamers everywhere. It’s a simple formula: less companies = less competition = less choice + higher prices. But, as anyone who has followed their story will attest to, Sega have always been up against it. They’ve always been the underdogs and, if the sad truth be told, it’s simply a wonder they’ve lasted as long as they have. So, exactly how long have they lasted? Well, let me tell you… It was back in 1951 that an American by the name of David Rosen founded a company he called Rosen Enterprises. His company exported art from Japan and, as time passed, began importing early and very crude coin-operated games machines. After buying up a jukebox manufacturing company, Rosen decided to change the company name to Sega – a contraction of Service Games. Come the 1970s, Sega were producing their own coin-op games and, with the arrival of arcade and home consoles, at the time being largely Atari 2600s and the Col ecoVision, the company decided to start producing its own arcade games. To the aforementioned consoles, Sega would bring soon-to-be classics such as Zaxxon and Frogger. These comparatively humble beginnings would set Sega on the path to becoming the company we know it as today. In the early 80s, an American division was formed, named Sega Enterprises (no doubt a nod to the company’s founding appellation back in the 50’s). The aim of this division was to create its own games console and the fruit of their labour was the SG 100. Marketed exclusively in Japan, the SG 100 found itself up against Nintendo, who had already made inroads into the Japanese games market with their newly-released NES. Young upstarts Sega never stood a chance against such competition. This would be a prophetic foreshadowing of Sega’s future. Sega Enterprises Ltd. (as the entire company was now known) continued their arcade developments and launched, amongst others, After Burner and Outrun to the arcades. They also prepared to release their second console to the world; this one better equipped to handle the competition. The new machine was the Mark III, later re-named the Master System. At this time Nintendo, enjoying next to no competition for its NES console, signed up practically all third party games developers on contracts stating they could only develop games for the NES, and no other system. This put a serious dent in Sega’s hopes of mounting a direct challenge on Nintendo’s monopoly over the Japanese games industry and they challenged the gaming giant in court, claiming the contracts were illegal. Although Sega won the court case, and Nintendo were forced to amend their contracts, it was too late for the Master System. The NES had built up a loyal band of customers – especially in Japan – and nothing was going to sway them. Except, perhaps, an entirely new console – a console far, far superior to Nint endo’s conquering machine. Sega delivered and the 16-bit Genesis (Mega Drive in the UK) was born, backed by a massive, million-pound marketing drive. And gamers loved it. With Nintendo’s contractual stranglehold on the industry broken, many third party developers flocked to Sega’s new machine, notably Electronic Arts, who would give the Mega Drive many excellent titles such as Madden NFL, NHL Hockey and Road Rash. Come 1991, Sega stepped up the campaign to match Nintendo step-for-step by unleashing Sonic the Hedgehog upon the world. Despite Nintendo coming up with a 16-bit machine of their own, the SNES, Sega continued to enjoy healthy sales worldwide – although perhaps less so in Japan, where gamers were still fiercely loyal to Nintendo. Remember the Master System and how it was doomed to failure up against the NES? History always repeats itself and, in 1992, Sega released their Game Gear handheld console in direct competition with Nintendo’s Game Boy. The Game Gear was essentially a portable Master System but despite boasting impressive full-colour graphics it was torn apart by Game Boy. But, with the Mega Drive doing so well, was Sega really that worried about its little handheld machine? Possibly not, but consider this: whether they knew it or not, this was Sega’s “golden age” and they would never again enjoy the kind of success they saw with Mega Drive. In 1993 everything started to change. The SNES was becoming increasingly popular and Mega Drive sales were dwindling. Instead of concentrating on producing better quality titles for its machine, Sega made the first in what was to become an increasingly embarrassing series of blunders. Behold, ladies and gentlemen, the awe-inspiring foolishness of (pithy drum roll, please) The Mega Drive Add-on Farce. Despite being considered by many as technically sound and (editorial snigger) a “good idea”, the first of the Mega Drive add-ons, the Mega CD, was woefully under-powered and merely added a few scaling and rotation techniques to the original Mega Drive hardware. Also, being CD-based, it gave developers a chance to cram in loads of Full Motion Video and try to pass it off as gameplay (I give you Dragon’s Lair, Microcosm and the utterly, utterly laughable Night Trap as evidence). The muted, and rather bemused, response that greeted the Mega CD did nothing to deter Sega and the company blundered onward, releasing the CDX; a Mega Drive and Mega CD in one machine that also doubled as a CD player. At £400, however, it was possibly a tad pricey. By 1994, Sega were continuing to go console-crazy. They released the Nomad, which was a portable Genesis with a backlit, LCD screen (it was, thankfully, never put on general release in the UK). They even licensed the Mega Drive technology to JVC, who produced the Wonderboy – a Mega Drive/Mega CD combination that also played karaoke CDs. Pointless? Perhaps. Extortionately expensive? Oh God, yes. And the madness didn’t stop there. In their desperate attempt to halt the Mega Drive’s slide, Sega released a second add-on – the ill-fated 32x. This hilarious-looking piece of kit plugged into the cartridge port of the Mega Drive and, frankly, made the whole thing look uncomfortably like a small toilet. Yes, it was the first 32-bit games console (although Commodore’s Amiga32 could also argue that point and Atari’s Jaguar had bypassed 32-bits completely, going straight onto 64-bits). Yes, it boasted a few top games, such as Star Blade, Virtua Racing Delux and Doom, but it was expensive and, with excited rumours abound regarding Sony’s inaugural leap into the games industry, far too little far too late. So, while Sega’s arcade R&D boys continued to wow the world with the likes of Sega Rally and Virtua Fighter, Sega’s home consoles again found themselves wal king down Loser Street. What could possibly raise Sega back to the Big Time once more? Why, another console, naturally. This time, a true 32-bit machine with enough power to kick Sony into touch and see off anything Nintendo were huffing and puffing about. The Saturn was here, and it wasn’t taking any crap. Or was it? You see, in a style that was quickly becoming standard for Sega, i.e. making a mess of things, they made a rather unfortunate error of judgement. Failing to interpret market trends for all things 3D, in other words realising that people wanted lots more 3D things, Sega developed the Saturn as primarily a 2D machine. Sure, it could create the most beautiful and complex 2D worlds we’d ever seen (example – Clockwork Knight) but it simply wasn’t what the public wanted. They wanted glorious 3D, and Sony’s PlayStation was about to give it to them. Sega, realising their suicidal faux pas, quickly stuffed Saturn’s insides with hastily produced 3D hardware. The effect was rather like Heinz finding out people love coffee and deciding to shove a load of caffeine into their cans of tomato soup – the manufacturers were happy but the chefs didn’t like it one bit. Developers quickly found out that the Saturn’s mish-mashed insides – which looked like they’d been dumped in with a wheelbarrow – made the machine extremely tricky to develop games for. The result of this was that third party developers quickly deserted the machine in favour of the PlayStation – the most vivid example of this being Eidos, whose Tomb Raider game was premiered on the Saturn, but who were easily persuaded to abandon the machine and defect to Sony. And the most galling thing for Sega through all this was the fact that the Saturn was generally recognised as the superior machine. Too bad it was such a bitch to program. But there were two more nails to be hammered into Saturn’ ;s coffin, and in both cases blame is levelled squarely at Sega. Number 1 – Marketing. They’d gone ballistic with advertising for Mega Drive and, in particular, games like Sonic. The same enthusiastic fanfare for Saturn was very much AWOL. Number 2 – Sega’s insistence on targeting their machine straight at the hardcore gamer. Arcade games such as Sega Rally, Virtua Fighter, Marvel Superheroes and, later, the outstanding Panzer Dragoon Saga and Shining Force 3 may have all been quality titles but they were washed aside by PlayStation’s Tekken, Ridge Racer, WipeOut and Tomb Raider series. While Sega were trying to extract money from the anoraks of the gaming world, Sony were taking their machine to the likes of The Ministry and every student bar up and down the country. While PlayStation was cool, Saturn was crashing. So, with yet another failure under their belts (and, to all Sega fans who are seething at the very thought of Saturn being labelled a failure – get real and think about it), Sega went back to the labs and tried again. They should have given up, they really should have. But, for reasons best known only to themselves, they started beavering away on yet another console. Did they know then that if it didn’t work out they’d be calling it a day? Did they know that Dreamcast was to be their final throw of the dice? Who knows, but the world wasn’t expecting much when Sega revealed their new baby. And quite rightly so. But the Dreamcast was, and still is, phenomenal. Graphics capabilities far beyond PlayStation and N64 and with games hardcore gamers and PlayStation-converts alike could all gape at. I dare you to check out Crazy Taxi, House of the Dead 2, Metropolis Street Racer, Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio and the simply sublime Shenmue and not be impressed. Sega and third party developers have given us some exquisite games for the Dreamcast. And Sega’s 128-bit beauty ha s a built-in modem, allowing users to connect to and browse the internet, e-mail, chat with other users and play online games such as NFL 2001, Chu Chu Rocket and the recently released Quake 3 Arena. You can also buy a keyboard and mouse to make internet browsing and e-mailing easier. Truly, the Dreamcast is the machine Sega were destined to make. And now it’s dead. Or, to be more precise, as of March 31st 2001 it shall be dead. Why? Well, the official Sega press release states that, essentially, it can no longer afford to go on creating superb software, like it has been doing recently, and build consoles at the same time. Unofficially, we can surmise that it hasn’t made enough money on Dreamcast as it would have liked and, therefore, has taken the only step it possibly could have to ensure the company at least survives in some form. But it could have been so different. Remember the commercials that ran on TV when Dreamcast was launched? It wouldn’t surprise me if you don’t so here’s a quick recap – fat bloke walks around town telling us how great the machine is. And that was it. No screenshots, no list of forthcoming games, not even any tech specs beyond “it’s one hundred and twenty-eight bit”. What a waste. And, as has been pointed out by esteemed writers on this very site, even their best games have received little or no advertising. Oh, such a waste. Anyway, what does the future hold for Sega? Well, it’s going to concentrate on developing both arcade and home console games. Sonic is due for an appearance on the forthcoming Game Boy Advance (reported to be more or less a portable SNES, dontcha know?) and Virtua Fighter is among the games heading to PS2. And Sega are promising that Dreamcast will continue to be well cared for, with up to 70 titles still scheduled for release, such as eagerly-awaited sequels Crazy Taxi 2, House of the Dead 3, Sonic Adventure 2 and Sh enmue 2. Also on the cards is Daytona 2, Unreal Tournament and Phantasy Star Online, although the effect all this will have on SegaNet, the division that runs Dreamcast’s online activities, is still unclear. And Sega have promised to cut prices on Dreamcast by a third, to get rid of excess stock. But, either way, it’s still a sad state of affairs, isn’t it? Like most gamers, I was looking forward to an all-out slug-a-thon between Sony, Sega, Nintendo and Microsoft. Four giants in one arena, blasting each other from all sides in a bid to wrench our hard-earned cash from our sweaty, trembling hands – it would have been interesting, to say the least. But it’s not to be. They’ve been in the console business since 1983 and, let’s face it, 18 years isn’t that bad an innings, but Sega are hanging up their boots and retiring to a life of game developing. The Dreamcast will be around for a little while yet and then it’ll be down to The Big Three of PS2, GameCube and X-Box. They may be weary, they may be battle-scarred, they may have lost the war, but Sega are finally exiting the fray and, despite a few questionable decisions and dodgy choices, they can hold their head up with pride. Flawed genius, perhaps. But, Sega; we salute you nonetheless.
When you say 'Sega' to someone they will usually say one of two things. Sonic or Megadrive (Genesis for those americans). Not entirely surprising, Sonic is Sega's most well known character and the Megadrive it's best selling system. Unfortunately, Sega's fortunes (partly through their own stupidity) took a turn for the worst and they recently pulled out of the console market all together to become a pure software developer. The Dreamcast was their last console and after the farce of the 32x, MegaCD and Saturn you'd expect another badly thought out flop. And you'd be wrong, this is a fine machine. Overlooked in favour of the over-hyped, expensive and somewhat ugly Playstation 2, the Dreamcast floundered in the vacuum of relative obscurity and died a reasonably peaceful death. The reasons for it's death lie partly on the shoulders of Sega. It was under-marketed, Sega are notoriously bad at that sort of thing. They also had the cheek to rub the fans noses in it by cancelling a few of it's guaranteed hit titles, including the conversions of Black and White and Half-Life. This however, does not mean that you shouldn't seriously consider purchasing this cute little box of tricks. The Dreamcast is a powerful machine. Granted, not so powerful as the Playstation 2 but that really doesn't matter. The fact is, it's got 2 advantages over Sony's 'super console'. Firstly, it has a large range of games available, catering for every taste. Many of these games are of extremely high quality, with many triple A titles including the insane drive-em-up Crazy Taxi and the stunningly fantastic beat-em-up Soul Calibre. Secondly, it has internet access. Might not sound like much, but when you pick up games like Chu Chu Rocket and Phantasy Star Online, you'll realize why this is such a bonus. Console gaming is no longer such a lonely occupation. You'll get to play some high quality games across th e net with whomever you choose. The 33.6k modem might not sound like much, but with the recoding of the games and the exact matching between the player's systems, you'll often find it functioning better than most 56k PC modems. Phantasy Star Online is perhaps the Dreamcast's best online title. It's an RPG which a seemless offline/online transition. Take your nurtured character online for some cooperation monster-slaying shanigans and nifty item trading. Even better, Sega have had the sense to release PSO2 which adds loads of new features, including a deathmatch mode and soccer game. This console is also great for parties. Trust me on this, take one Dreamcast with several premier titles, add snack treats and large amounts of alcohol (for those over the legal age of course) and you have the recipe for a great night. Chu Chu Rocket is a riot in four player and Quake3, Powerstone, Soul Calibur, Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Toyracer are also great party games. As I've said, the console is pretty powerful. You can see from the still stunning graphics in many games just how powerful it is. It also has the additional advantage over the PS2 of 60hz compatibility, which will allow those with SCART leads and compatible TV's (that's most new ones) to enjoy full or near to full screen gaming with a speed increase around the 15% mark. This is a real bonus as many developers have taken advantage of this feature which kind of scorns earlier poor quality PAL conversions with ugly black borders and low framerates. Would I recommend this console, most definately. The catalogue of games is full of quality titles, the modem gives you a whole new world of gaming to explore and the console, though now lacking in 3rd party support can be found at a bargain price, along with extremely cheap new and second hand games. Get one now, you won't regret it.
Right ok, we all know the Dreamcast is "dead"...and the PS2 is the best thing since sliced bread apparently...dont we? Well as all TRUE gamers know, the Dreamcast is the choice still no matter how far down in the ground it is to real gamers. Arcade perfect games etc etc is the claim made by both but how many A+++ titles can the PS2 boast of? Not too many thats what! After nearly two years on the UK market the PS2 has sold an incredible number of consoles without actually having many successes on the gaming front. Why? Because the PS2, or more to the point Sony know how to advertise their products. Sega couldn't, due to financial restrictions sadly. But if it was the other way around Sega would most definetly be having the success of Sony and still having all the great games that made the Dreamcast such a success with hardcore gamers, like Soul Calibur and Phantasy Star Online for example. Now it really is up to you which you decide, the majority of you will go for the PS2, and why not? It'll have a long shelf life thats for sure, but you should pick up a Dreamcast and some of these games soon because they wont be available for long at this rate and once they are gone....they're gone sadly.
With the advent of the PS2 and the Xbox and Gamecube just around the corner, you may be asking yourself "Why should I buy a Dreamcast?". Well, to put it quite simply, because you'd be mad not to buy one with the drop in price that the machine has witnessed recently. For 99 nicker, you can get a Dreamcast and all the relevant cables, a couple of games and possibly most importantly, the Dreamcast modem. Yes, you read correctly, a modem.At the time of writing this, Segas machine is currently the only console on the market to support web browsing and online gaming, which in my opinion gives the machine the edge over some of its competitors. Although 99 quid gets you a brand new Dreamcast, if you shop around, or even use an online auction such as QXL or EBay, you can easily get a Dreamcast with a few games thrown in for good measure, for at least half that price. Then theres the games, the most important selling point for a console. As Sega shrewdly launched there machine months before the PS2 saw the light of day, there is a large back catalogue of games available. Granted, most of these may not be available in most high street shops as the PS2 and other machines take over, but if your willing to take the time to look in the bargain bins or go to second-hand shops, you'll find some pretty astounding stuff. Jewel of the Dreamcast crown has to be Phantasy Star Online and its successor version2. These two make use of the online capabilities of the Dreamcast to great measure. Imagine playing in a vast world against people on the other side of the world, without having to worry about language barriers. As well as PSO, there are also games such as the Sonic Series, Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament, Shenmue and a whole host of others. And, although Sega has stopped making the console, they are still producing games for it at the moment, and intend to well into the near future. Graphically, the Dreamcast is mighty imp ressive. Its 128-bit processor and PowerVR video processor throw polygons around the screen at a rate of knots (the speed of Sonic Adventure has to be seen to be believed). The sound is fantastic, with speech all. Loading times on Sega special GD-ROMs is fine, if sometimes a bit long. The only problem I can see is with the internet access. The online gameplay is great, dont get me wrong, but its unlikely that you'll spend a lot of time surfing websites, as a console isnt really designed for that sort of thing. There are keyboards and mice available, but the chances are that if your going to go online it'll be solely for gaming purposes. So in conclusion, you can either shell out in excess of 200 pounds for a PS2, wait for years until Microsoft and Nintendo get around to launching there machines, or get down to the shops just now and get yourself a Dreamcast at a giveaway price. It really is that good!
If there was one console that has been sorely overlooked by the majority of gamers it has to be the dreamcast. With graphical capabilities matching that of the PS2 and a downright stupid price tag (£99.99 with 3 games) you have got to ask yourself "what is going on?" The reason behind this as most of you probably know is that Sega have discontinued manufacturing the dreamcast, though they're currently having to manufacture more as the demand in Japan has gone up again. I got one for my birthday and I'm so pleased with it, most of the fantastic games (Sega Rally 2, Soul Calibur, Metropolis Street Racer, Trickstyle etc.) are under £15 equally matching those of the PS2 with one of the best adventure games on the planet out now - Shenmeu. In terms of a budget console this is everything you could ever want. There aren't as many games out for it as the Playstation or its successor unfortunately due to poor support from third party manufacturers which may have contributed to the Dreamcast's downfall. Another factor was that Sony was trumping up the Playstation 2 so much around the time of the dreamcast launch that the public may have been swayed. I've heard from various magazines that Sega may have stood a far better chance of the dreamcast surviving if they had launched it at the same time as the PS2 but its too late for that now. If you go on ebay you can pick up just about any game (apart from the new ones that have just come out) for around £15 or less. One of the great things about it is that you can get a VGA box for it which allows you to play the games on your computer monitor at a higher resolution and without any of the PAL related slow down / black bars scenario that plague the PS1&2. This means you can fully experience the glory of games like Soul Calibur running full screen at a stunning 60fps. Then there's the little things - the VMU unit for save games is one of the most bizarre yet eye-catching l ittle gadgets I've seen on a console, with many games adding their own little animation or statistics on it whilst you are playing the game. Nintendo have gone one up on this with the ability of the Game Cube to link up with the Gameboy advance but that requires a lot more cash, something which many of us don't have. The four joypad ports is another thing that adds to the value of the console, not forgetting the modem. Yes it is only 33.6k but I hear you can buy a 56k or even broadband if you are that way inclined. Previously you had to use BT Internet services which included telephone charges (but no rent) well now, providing you sign up by the 1st of March, you can use your own ISP and so really start to enjoy those online games (Phantasy Star anyone?) that our American and Japanese cousins have loved for a few years. Go to Dixons, buy a Dreamcast. You won't be disappointed. (and no I don't work for Sega, though I wish I did!)
The SEGA system and the last one at that the system that was crushed by Sony's console. But just because the once mightest company lost to SONY doesn't mean they are worse in fact the Dreamcast is brilliance beyond repair. In the wait for the Gamecube I decided to get this but this is no stop gap to the Gamecube this is so much more. The new memory cards called VMU's are clever bringing Memory cards to the next generation, the console is small, compact and looks rather nifty. The controller despite looking big fits perfectly and with internet capablities out of the box this is a must have. But the consoles loading times can be slow although similar to the PS2's (Gamecube will change the face of loadign times) and the machine at times can makea load of noise. But its games that is important and the Dreamcast has a catalogue of games that makes the Playstation 2 wimper. PS2's better offerings include Dead or Alive 2 and Resident Evil code veronica both avalible on the Dreamcast. Soul Calibur is officially the best beat 'em up ever. SEGA's own titles, Skies of Arcadia, Sonic Adventure 1 and 2, Crazy Taxi 1 and 2, Phantasy Star Online 1 and 2, Shenmue 1 and 2, Jet Set Radio, MSR, Space Channel five and a whole host of other arcade classics make a nice appearence. But why get a console that only has 5 or 6 title left to release? Because you can get one for £50 thats why and with games as low as a fiver what are you waiting for? The Gamecube wait may be boring then spruce it up get a Dreamcast and play on the last SEGA console ever and enjoy the finest games in the world before all Dreamcasts are gone forever... Dringo
I walked past a computer games shop called Game, and i saw an offer that i could not refuse - a Dreamcast plus a game for £70! This bargain seemed unbeliveable at first, but when one takes a look at the huge price tag of the playstation 2, which everyone is buying, is it any wonder that sega are so drastically reducing the price in order to get some customers back? Another amazing thing that i discovered was that there were loads of dreamcast games available for under £10! The free game that i got with the Dreamcast console was Tomb Raider: Chronicles, which admittedly, is not all that good, but seeing as the games were so cheap, i was able to indulge myself in a few more, such as Trickstyle (£7.99), and Shadowman (an amazing £4.98!). One thing i should point out is that i bought my Dreamcast during the January sales. However, the actual price of the console was not a part of the sales as far as i know, but the prices of the games were. This only means that when the sales are over games like shadowman will be £9.99 instead of £4.98, which is still very cheap. The only downside to buying a Dreamcast is that due to the fact that the playstation 2 is doing so well, i forsee that games will stop coming out for the dreamcast and it will die off very very soon, just like its elder brother, the sega saturn did. This is not very good but as long as you buy all the good games while they are available now, you should be happy you got such a great deal. As it stands on graphics and quality of games, the dreamcast is right up there with the ps2, but noone can change what the public buy, so right now we may be getting an amazing deal, but later sadly the dreamcast will be no more.