Radvertisements: Dreamcast Launch

With a lineup of five games and hardware shortages the Japanese launch of the Sega Dreamcast was an abysmal failure. Sega of America took note especially one man, President and CEO Bernie Stolar. The man gets a lot of hate but he’s pretty much the reason the American launch of the Dreamcast was successful. And it was DAMN successful.

The Sega Dreamcast had one of the most incredible console launches of all time. On 9/9/99 over 200,000 people lined up to get their Dreamcasts and help kick off the sixth generation of video gaming with a bang. The launch was a huge success for a number of reasons. It was really the first console with an actual release date. Most systems up til the time launched ‘this Christmas’ or something equally vague. 9/9/99 was plastered all over their ads on television and in movie theaters along with the slogan ‘It’s thinking.’

It’s a cool commercial but doesn’t really tell you anything about the console. Granted it WAS 1999 and the Matrix was huge. Black leather and bullet time could be this generations Blast Processing.

Check this one out:

I guess we’re supposed to be afraid of it? You’d think Sega was sending a Terminator back in time.

Here’s another one from that same campaign:

Either this guy is thumb wrestling his Dreamcast or he’s one of those tools that leans when he turns the steering wheel in racing games.

Ok what the HELL am I supposed to think of this console? It’s like Sega’s ad department blew all their cash on the cool Matrix-y ad and spent a hundred bucks on some graphic design overlayed on stock footage of people dicking around.

Here’s one that at least has SOMETHING to do with the games:

And boy did it have games. The Dreamcast had a huge launch lineup with lots of third party support. This is the reason the US release was delayed over a year after Japan got the Dreamcast.

On day one people could play games like Power Stone:

Soul Calibur:

And I guess they learned from their mistake with the Sega Saturn and had a Sonic game at launch:

“Man, lay off da light speed!”

Gamespot TV even did this nifty preview with Adam Sessler!:

But alas, all good things must come to an end. Some things end sooner than they should. Sega stopped production of the Dreamcast in 2002 and a little part of me died. I love the Dreamcast. It’s my favorite console ever. I still play it just as much as my PS3 and I doubt I’ll ever stop.

This article also has to end. Sorry it had to finish on such a melancholy note. Please discuss in the comments, check out the thread and remember, Dreamcast does what the PS2n’t.

  • Josh Newey

    The Dreamcast’s ad campaign was probably one of Sega’s greatest acheivements. That “it’s thinking” thing had me drooling.

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