After the failure of Sega's last console system, the Sega Saturn, in the United States, you may be asking yourself: why buy a Dreamcast? After all, isn't the Dreamcast from the same company that thought releasing the Sega 32X was a good idea? Here's some reasons why buying a Dreamcast is a good investment.
Why Should I Buy One?
Sega has taken a chance in deciding to release the first console in a new generation once again. It paid off with the Genesis (known as the Mega Drive outside the states), however it did not with the Saturn. This is because the Saturn had a small, insignificant time advantage over the Playstation (its main competitor) which was rendered useless by the time the Playstation came out. The Playstation was easier to develop games for and so the Playstation soon built up a larger catalog of games than the Saturn, despite being released later.
However, this time it looks like Sega got it right. The Dreamcast has a formidable time advantage with which to make an impact and gain a firm user base, and best of all it has games, and in abundance. The relative ease at which Dreamcast games can be converted from the PC in a matter of weeks is a superb indication of the thought Sega has put into its new console. Its design is effortless, unlike the expensive to produce Saturn, meaning production and supply to demand will be easy on Sega's part. The system is significantly more powerful than the PSX or N64 (its nearest rivals for next year and a half or so, at least in the Western market) to be dubbed a "next-gen" system.
We all know that it is games that make or break a system, not just killer hardware. The Dreamcast has already attained many Triple-A titles, meaning it is probably the first console that could appeal to the casual gamers at launch. Whereas previous consoles have had a meager amount of games at launch, meaning they appeal to only the hardcore segment of the market who live on the latest and greatest technology, the Dreamcast has so many quality titles that a record breaking launch is inevitable. With over thirty games promised before Christmas 1999, the Dreamcast is shaping up to be the most impressive launch of a console ever. At least three of the launch titles are must-buy games, and the rest aren't too shabby either.
Yeah! But Answer the Big Question!
Why should you buy one though? This is a very important question, and one many people are wondering especially after the debacle Sega made with the Saturn. It is certainly clear in this author's mind, that Sega have well and truly learnt their lesson and the Dreamcast will be the well-supported, successful story it deserves to be. Things change quickly in the games market and while the Playstation dominates now, last time round it was Sega with the Genesis and the time before that it was Nintendo with the NES. The head start the Dreamcast has over the Playstation 2 and the "next-gen" Nintendo (both still vaporware at the moment) could prove to be a serious advantage.
Of course you're not going to buy a console for its success, you're going to buy it for the games. If fast action based arcade thrills are your thing, then the Dreamcast is the best choice. Sega's arcade muscle has resulted in their hottest arcade properties being converted to the Dreamcast, these aren't just simple conversion though, they come replete with new home-only features, to increase longevity and enjoyment.
Games such as Sega Rally 2, House of the Dead 2, Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter 3tb are all replicated in the comfort of your own home, in either an identical graphical splendour to the arcade versions or in some cases (like Soul Calibur) with greatly improved graphics over the arcade version. There are many more arcade titles coming to the Dreamcast soon, such as Crazy Taxi, Dead or Alive 2 and Yu Suzuki's new Ferrari simulation.
Brand new home titles also feature in the Dreamcast's strong library of games. Sonic Adventure, Trick Style, Expendable, Incoming, Toy Commander, Speed Devils, M-SR, Red Dog and Ready 2 Rumble are all excellent examples of quality software available for the Dreamcast at launch or soon after.
Software is only the half of it though. The Dreamcast is the first console to feature built-in modem technology that enables you to surf the net, send e-mails and participate on-line gaming. The Dreamcast is a 128-bit revolutionary console and has certainly shown that it will be a step up from the current games machines in the market.
At the end of the day it isn't up to us to tell you whether or not you should buy a Dreamcast. It is certainly a safe investment even from day one, with enough quality in the software to keep you amazed and playing for quite a long time. The software will keep coming too, with the prospect of Resident Evil: Code Veronica, the amazing RPG Shenmue, the beautiful Ecco the Dolphin, NiGHTS 2 as well as conversions of Half-Life and Quake 3 Arena the future is looking very rosy indeed.