The truth behind the Dreamcast’s demise

It’s been 10 years since SEGA’s Dreamcast passed into memory, but there’s nothing like dying young to fan the flames of legend. In honor of the console that helped push the industry forward even as it itself faded, Eurogamer has a compiled a “forensic retrospective” examining why the Dreamcast, the promising console that debuted before the Sony’s PS2, Nintendo’s GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox, eventually died penniless and forsaken beneath a highway overpass.

“The Dreamcast simply came too late in SEGA’s hardware decline to reverse a long-running downward trend. For all its technological innovations and excellent games, SEGA’s misadventures during the 1990s … was enough to ensure that the Dreamcast would always struggle to maintain its early momentum in the face of stiff competition,” said Eurogamer’s Dan Whitehead.

“Even if it had shipped with a champagne fountain and a nozzle that fired a constant stream of chocolate and diamonds into the player’s lap, it seems likely that many potential owners would still have adopted a ‘wait and see’ attitude.”

As much as I miss the Dreamcast, all the heartbreak caused by its sudden, tragic death could easily be salved with the release of Shenmue 3.

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