Throughout video game history the final console for a company is barely ever mentioned or hardly given any kind of mainstream attention (like the semi-final Atari 7800 and later the Jaguar; or even the CD-i, although to be fair that latter console was the only one Philips ever did), but in the case of Sega their last hurrah as a console maker was one for the history books, and just as important was a console that helped add new innovations that are commonplace in the industry today.
That’s right Arcaders, I’m talking about none other than…
And despite the behind-the-scenes drama that had been occurring in Sega of America at the time, they still managed to put out a system that was truly “ahead of its time”.
Although it was Sega’s last hurrah as a hardware maker, a great deal of positive things came out of the fallout, namely the end of the antagonistic rivalry between Sega and Nintendo. Once Sega became a third-party developer their mascot Sonic the Hedgehog ended up on Nintendo’s Gamecube as well as on the Game Boy Advance, to say nothing of Sega’s other titles making their way to the Playstation 2 and Xbox. While it is impressive seeing Sega’s games on Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, there is something about seeing Sega games on Nintendo’s systems – namely Sonic – that feel more natural. In many ways, it feels as if though while Sonic is third-party, he fits in with Nintendo’s own in-house characters as if though he was always a part of them, which he had been but on the opposite side. Now that isn’t the case anymore, and for those of us who remember, we can now have the best of both worlds, and with the Sonic & Mario Olympic games and of course the recent Super Smash Bros. titles – from Brawl to Ultimate – Sonic definitely has a place with Nintendo fans.
And of course, the online aspects – being able to play against other players across the internet as well as access other things related to the game company – was a novel concept that ended up becoming mainstream with all game systems today.
In all, Dreamcast did indeed leave one indelible mark on the game industry, and it was a mark that had incredible ramifications across the board.
So thank you Sega for giving us a console that, while it was a last hurrah, it did give you all one amazing send-off as a hardware maker and begin a new chapter as a third-party developer.