HISTORY OF THE DREAMCAST
In 1999 the Dreamcast released in the U.S. at a price tag of $199.99 ($286 today adjusted for inflation). By the time it reached U.S. shores the system launched with a whopping 19 titles, including notable games Power Stone, Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, NFL 2K and House of the Dead 2. The Dreamcast was the first console of the sixth generation, which would end up being the most competitive console market ever. It did well for itself both in Japan and in the U.S. with its cheap price and large marketing push. But after the launch of the heralded and hyped PlayStation 2 the Dreamcast took a nose dive, along with every other console on the market at that time. The Dreamcast sold only 10.6 million over its very short 3 year lifespan. It would prove to be Sega’s final foray into the video game console market.
At many steps along the Dreamcast’s development Sega chose to go the cheapest route to them and thus in the end the cheapest route to the consumer. Sega’s Dreamcast used mostly parts that were seen in personal computers and they went with GD-ROMs which are similar to CD-ROMs rather than the DVDs Sony and Microsoft later used and thus cheaper. The Dreamcast used memory cards which inserted into the controllers. Its controllers looked a bit different than what we had seen at that time, as the analog stick was above the pad instead of below it. If I had to compare the controller to a previous one I would say its most like the larger controller version of the Saturn.
PERSONAL HISTORY WITH THE DREAMCAST
The Dreamcast was not popular in my area. I rarely saw one growing up aside from one friend who I hung out with from time to time. I remember Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike well and I think I played NFL 2K a couple times. That’s about the extent of my time with the system as a kid. Everything at that time was all about the PS2 and XBox. After college I started buying up all the consoles I had missed out on over the years. I picked up a Dreamcast with a handful of games and have played and enjoyed it here and there, namely the two Sonic Adventure games. I also rekindled my love for old arcade fighting classics Marvel vs. Capcom and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
COLLECTING FOR THE DREAMCAST
Dreamcast is one of the (not sure how would I put it…) weirder consoles to explain when it comes to collecting. The system itself is not in high demand, yet it isn’t all that easy to find. When you do find one its usually cheaper than $50 and from my experience tend to hold up well mechanically. However, when we talk about Dreamcast’s games its a whole different story. Most of the key games will run $25 at a minimum, with several of them being far more than that like Shenmue and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. They also in my experience are quite hard to see in the wild, maybe not quite Saturn levels of rare, but they’re definitely rare to see. If you want to collect for the Dreamcast you may have to resort to online more than any other console, unless you have a lot of patience and a lot of time.