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The fall of the titans: Sega died so that we might dream of the future


By this point, you may be wondering where I was going with that subtitle. Well, wonder no longer. In an article filled with sadness and death, it’s only appropriate, for Dreamcast week, that it ends on a positive note. In fact, the entire writeup here is meant as a tribute to a console that I never got to experience in its short glory days, but one whose greatness is still talked about ten years after its debut.

So, what is the lasting legacy of the Dreamcast? Well, the fact that we’re having an entire week here devoted to the console should answer that question. We’ve even seen plenty of people entertain the idea that Sega would announce some sort of epic reentry into the console market on 09/09/09. We’ll find out on Wednesday, but…no.

Hell, the very reason that I decided to purchase a Dreamcast, aside from my sudden aspirations as a collector, is because it is very much still alive today. The ease with which you can run homebrew on the Dreamcast means that there are still those out there playing on their Dreamcasts every day. Phantasy Star Online even has private servers still going, so that if you want to jump into a game online, you can.

But perhaps the most important lasting effect of the Dreamcast is that it showed us what the future would be like, even if the console itself showed us before we were ready. I am, of course, talking about this generation of online consoles. Can you imagine this generation without the ability to be connected to the Internet? Dreamcast offered all of this, and though its vision of online play was not complete, it showed other console makers that it was possible.

So, while Sega’s hardware development died, it wasn’t a meaningless death. In some ways, it gave room for Microsoft to enter the hardware business, which had a profound effect upon our concept of online gaming. Today, we can’t imagine a world without online gaming, but in the early days of the Dreamcast, many of us couldn’t imagine a world with online console gaming. However, the Dreamcast allowed us to look to the future that we now enjoy, and without it, perhaps we never would have dreamed of PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, and the countless games that we enjoy with our friends who, rather than sit on the couch next to us, play with us from distant places.

Do you have your own thoughts on Sega’s downfall as a console manufacturer? Want to give me some advice about awesome things that I can do with my new Dreamcast? Just want to share some Dreamcast love? Hit up the comments!
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About Andrew Kauzone of us since 5:10 PM on 04.30.2009

I'm Kauza, which is pronounced like cause-uh. My real name's Andrew Kauz, if you'd rather go for that.

I like talking to Dtoid people, so please add me on your favorite social networking site:
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