The Launch of the Sega Dreamcast (1999) | Classic Gaming Quarterly




Episode 61 – The Launch of the Sega Dreamcast. Sega may have been playing with the big boys in the early 90’s, but the middle third of the decade saw the American side of the company fall far and fast. Genesis games were starting to look aged compared to Nintendo’s 16-bit offerings, and while maybe a good idea in theory, the 32X did more harm than good. Sega of Japan made the rash decision to launch the Saturn early and overpriced in the US, and to say that it struggled against the Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation would be putting it mildly. Bernie Stolar joined and later led Sega of America, and although almost universally hated by gamers, he helped ease the dying Saturn into the grave and ready Sega’s next generation hardware. The Dreamcast was launched on September 9, 1999, a.k.a. “9/9/99”, and a massive 19 games joined it on store shelves. Sonic Adventure, NFL 2K, and SoulCalibur were easily the marquee day one games, but other launch games, including Hydro Thunder, Power Stone, NFL Blitz 2000, and Expendable are still great to play even today.

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– All VGA-compatible games were captured at 1280×960 using a Retro Access Dreamcast 576i/480p cable, an OSSC upscaler, and a Startech USB 3.0 capture card. Interlaced signals of games not compatible with VGA were processed through a Framemeister and captured on the same device. Take home message: 480p DC games still look damned good on modern displays.

– When discussing the Dreamcast video cables, I said that the Dreamcast displayed 240p and 480i through composite and s-video. While it is true that the DC can output 480i, 576i is the more common interlaced mode. But while not technically correct, had I said “576i” without explaining what that meant, it would have been confusing for most people.

– At an hour and fifteen minutes, this is the longest video on the main channel, including the unscripted magazine read-throughs. It is roughly twice the length of the next longest launch video, the Sega Master System.

– Speaking of length, the script for this episode is 10,164 words and 16 pages long. The next longest script was “The Sega Genesis in 1990”, at 8,834 words.

– If at one point in the video you got startled, you were supposed to.

– I think the NFL Blitz 2000 segment is too long, but at the same time I wouldn’t know how to cut it down. I find it impossible to play that game without a smile on my face. “THAT WAS AN ILLEGAL HIT!” Check it out if you’ve never played it.

– “NAMCO” was literally the first shot that I knew that I wanted in this video.

– Try playing the new “Classic Gaming Quarterly Eating Game”. Every time I say “meat & potatoes”, you have to eat some meat & potatoes.

– This is my favorite-ever ending to one of my videos. I feel like the last few bits of the video are a downer because I mention the ultimate fate of the Dreamcast and of Sega, so the ending was a way to celebrate the good times.

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34 thoughts on “The Launch of the Sega Dreamcast (1999) | Classic Gaming Quarterly

  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    This video was available early and ad-free to Patrons and channel members. If you'd like early access to all CGQ and CGQ+ content, or just want to support the show, you can become a Patron using the link below or can click the "Join" button on this page to become a channel member here on YouTube. And if you don't want to do either of those things, well that's totally OK, too! https://www.patreon.com/cgquarterly

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    That was the September I started middle school. I was still very much into N64, I think I got DC Christmas 2000. After I beat Sonic Adventure, I mostly played the shit out of Crazy Taxi and Rush 2049.
    SegaSports edition, even though I don't care about sports games, I love that the system is black like literally all the systems I own except my NES!
    And WOW I missed out by never getting Tokyo Xtreme Racer, that's like Forza Horizon!

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Interesting how that KB Toys marquee had a symbol that very closely resembled the Dreamcast symbol

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Sega was greedy Sega of Japan ruined their own products by not working with us over here and it cost them big.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    My friend had one, I thought it was cool had a few really good games but the lack of two analog sticks on the controller killed it for me once I realized the potential of that.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Sega finally released a system that could beat Nintendo. Sadly it came just a few years too late

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    A lot of good stuff here. One thing that should have been included was the extreme bootlegging of video games because of the tech choices used for the Dreamcast. The PS2 did not have anyone bootlegging there games and thus had massive sales figures compared to the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast had people bootlegging every game via torrent sites like limewire. The rampant piracy of there IP's certainly aided in the demise of SEGA. This was why to my knowledge the GAMECUBE decided to go with smaller discs at the time, it was way harder to get a hold of tiny discs and better yet find a PC burner that could transmit there data onto these discs. I am not sure why the PS2 did not suffer from this issue.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    You should Make more Videogame Console Documentaries. PS2? XBOX etc gameboy… Its all very nostalgic gaming history i crave

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    I will always love sega. Sony never had arcade games like sega did. They bought their way into the gaming business. I would love it if sega could get back into hardware. Sony and microsoft are like the walmart of gaming. I miss the days of nintendo. Sega and NEC.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    The Dreamcast, to this very day, still has the best lineup of launch games for a console EVER.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    The xbox precursor. Every thing about this console was absolutely amazing. Except the games…

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Gotta love EA's approach to dealing with competition to Madden. Games like NFL Blitz, Mutant League Football, NFL starring Joe Montana, and ESPN 2K kinda showed how lazy Madden was in comparison. So EA bought exclusive rights, killing off competition by preventing it. Great company.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    why am I watching this I don't even play or like video games at all always though even as a kid they are a waste of time …

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    At that time, I wanted a neo geo pocket lol. From Fry's electronics back in their day

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Stolar was a horrible CEO – and given the job as a favor for a friend. Also, the Dreamcast was just a combo of the N64 and Playstation 1 with better graphics and no where the library.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    The Dreamcast never stood a chance. It seemed like it was unobtainable for pretty much anyone that wanted one.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    I remember my friend got a Voodoo 2 card and it was the craziest shit I had ever seen

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Good writing and presentation. The kind of review quality that these old school consoles deserve. Are you going to tread on newer consoles and games?

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    Unpopular opinion: the Dreamcast died quick because it wasn't actually a good system, or at best, distinctly not a stand-out in its competition bracket.
    Looked at in the context of its competition, it couldn't succeed because it was defined too much by what it didn't have:
    – proprietary "GD-ROM," instead of a DVD drive
    – analog 56k modem, instead of a network adapter, in an era when broadband was rapidly becoming the preferred internet access method
    – respectable count of 19 launch titles, but ultimately a small game library overall
    – tied in with the above, too few developers actually making games for the system
    – video hardware was comparable to contemporaries, but lacked any significant distinguishing edge that might have saved the situation by creating unique game elements or visual experiences

    Overall: not a bad system (the fans certainly remember it fondly, and that's worth something), but just not good. Or at least, not good enough.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    How have we not seen a powerstone revival at this point? Everyone is dusting off fheir backlogs to save money these days.

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    I wonder what would happen if Sega liscensed a smaller tech company to build more consoles and officially endorsed the fan games. I am sure there are more legal issues I'm not considering here but….

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  • September 23, 2020 at 12:00 am
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    First dreamcast game I seen was in comet(UK store that doesn't exist anymore) on a kiosk and the game was mortal kombat gold which then I was a little obsessed with mortal kombat games at that time and seeing the graphics compared to ps1, my jaw dropped then I saw soul calibur and my instant thought was, I NEED THIS GAME, I NEED THIS CONSOLE, i also saw sonic adventure playing in a demo aswell.

    I got one not long after pestering my parents for one and i got a dreamcast, x2 vmus, soul calibur, mortal kombat gold, powerstone and sonic,

    I was so happy to own this console back then but when the ps2 got released I wanted that console more, dont get me wrong the dreamcast is an amazing console but I felt like most of the games were arcade feeling and not like games on ps2 like gta, red faction, killzone and onimusha.

    The dreamcast had great arcade ports of soul calibur, spawn in the demons hand, wwf royal rumble and vurtua fighter 3tb but i wanted games that had stories, longevity and replay ability, that's where the ps2 came in with gta, onimusha, dynasty Warriors, Street fighter ex3, tekken Tag Tournament and tenchu wrath of heaven.

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