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Retro 20 years ago to this day, SEGA left the hardware business

Komatsu

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Twenty years ago, SEGA Enterprises announced they would discontinue their console Dreamcast, leaving the hardware business for good. It would soon be purchased by SAMMY and close all of its fabled second party studios: United Game Artists, Hitmaker, Overworks, etc., consolidating all their development staff in-house once more. SEGA's demise as a platform holder spelled the end to almost four decades of innovation in arcades and home consoles. The company that arguably developed the current dominant game demographic - teens and young adults - as well as moved the industry into something that was not only "for kids" but also something stylish, edgy, "mature", is sorely missed.

20 years! It feels like yesterday. Crazy to think there are young adults today with no memory of SEGA as a dominant force in the field.
 

Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
Dec 3, 2004
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I remember, it was a very sad day.

We all knew it was going that way, but you kinda don't want to believe it.

It's like losing a close friend or family member that was sick for a while. You always hang on to the smallest bit of hope, and then when it does happen, it's bad..
 

Komatsu

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It's like losing a close friend or family member that was sick for a while. You always hang on to the smallest bit of hope, and then when it does happen, it's bad..

I remember being absolutely flabbergasted. As much as I love the PS2 - one of my favorite consoles of all time - Sony's strategy in 1999-2000 was just criminally deceitful.

It would have singularity-level enemy AI. Graphics indistinguishable from pre-rendered movies. A console so awesome that you'd want to have sex with it:



SEGA tried its best but at that time it no longer had the legs for a long war.
 

Orta

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Apr 26, 2018
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That was it for me and console gaming when that happened, its only since the Switch I got back into it.

Worst thing that ever happened to gaming as far as I'm concerned. Might not have been as bad if Sega went out with a whimper but to bow out after giving us the best console and respective library was hard to take. And to make matters worse you had a load of fucking dickhead you know who warriors celebrating Sega's demise without even having a valid reason to.
 

Quasicat

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It was sad, but for the short term, Best Buy near my University clearances out all of their Dreamcast (and surprisingly N64 games) down to $5. I bought pretty much everything they had: PSO with the Sonic 2 demo, an extra keyboard, Samba with the Maracas, and many others along with Conker and Mickeys Speedway. It was an awesome time, but also sad not knowing what SEGA was doing next.
 
May 22, 2018
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That was it for me and console gaming when that happened, its only since the Switch I got back into it.

Worst thing that ever happened to gaming as far as I'm concerned. Might not have been as bad if Sega went out with a whimper but to bow out after giving us the best console and respective library was hard to take. And to make matters worse you had a load of fucking dickhead you know who warriors celebrating Sega's demise without even having a valid reason to.

You've missed out on nearly two decades of incredible games that consoles have provided...because Sega left the hardware business? Really?
 
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Kokoloko85

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Amazing Console and it was a sad day.
I was 1st a Sega fanboy. Still love my Megadrive, Saturn and Dreamcast. All amazing consoles with some of the best games ever.
 
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Bridges

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I have only the fondest memories of the Master System and Genesis (still have them tucked away in the closet). Never got any of their future consoles, but still always had a deep love for Sega. Such an incredible catalogue of IP (that thankfully has continued to grow over the years), it's a shame they weren't able to hang in there and continue to innovate in the hardware space.
 
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mansoor1980

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i jumped ship after the sega cd and 32x fiasco so was not hurt by segas demise from console business
 

NikuNashi

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It's funny to remember back in the day when Sega was a family friend and Sony's grey box was looked at with a sideways glance if suspicion.

It's sad they are not in the console business anymore, my first console was a Megadrive (genesis).
 
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To this day there are still people (including some video game journalists) who hate Sony and blame them for killing the Dreamcast, when it was all Sega's stupid fault.

How? What a ridiculous train of thought. The demise of Sega's hardware division had started years before with the Sega cd, 32x and Saturn disappointments. Those three failures were like an avalanch that not even the Dreamcast could stop.
 

Aggelos

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Actually, even though this was a bad/sad moment for Sega console fans, for me back then it was a moment of celebration. I'll explain why (it was neither spite/malice nor fanboyism).
I grew up in the '90s with admiration/reverence towards Sega's arcades games/boards. Sega was simply killing it in the arcades (be it cutting-edge hardware or their games). To be honest I wanted to have those games in my living room, but never bought neither a Saturn nor a Dreamcast. Bought a PS1 back in 1996, and certainly was eyeballing the highly-anticipated PS2, as years went by.

Back in 2001 I didn't have any internet connectivity whatsoever, thusly I learned the Sega news from VG magazines. And then the news came about Sega becoming a software-house, with their games being ported to other systems (namely Nintendo's, Sony's and Microsoft's). What really made me celebrate was the announcement of Virtua Fighter 4 for PS2. That was something that I truly longed for. I was such a Japanese 3D Fighting Games buff/aficionado and Namco used to be my all-time favourite company of the '90s. But Sega's arcade games were smoking hot, therefore the announcement of a PlayStation console getting a Virtua Fighter game was something spectacular.



Still, as I said previously, the news of Sega pulling off of the console business, certainly saddened and left heart-broken many Sega fans. This is something that we shouldn't neglect or play down for that matter.
 
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ShirAhava

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Jun 10, 2008
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wow...twenty years of hell already? time flies

I had just ordered my first 27 inch Panasonic w/ s-video (for dreamcast) and Component (for ps2) I remember skipping school to pick it up

SEGA leaving the console market was one of like four terrible things that happened in 2001 that marked the end of my childhood
 

kunonabi

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Death of the Dreamcast pretty much started a huge slide in my interest in video games. I freaking loved that console and the GC and the PS2 never quite filled the gap it left. There were some games I really loved on those consoles to be sure but the overall enthusiasm wasn't there in between those occasional releases. By the time those consoles were on the way out I had pretty much zoned out of games completely. Funny since I wasn't really much of a SEGA guy until the Dreamcast.
 
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Komatsu

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SEGA leaving the console market was one of like four terrible things that happened in 2001 that marked the end of my childhood

Yeah, a cursed year. Even more so given that 2000 ended the XXth century on such a high note.

When Isao Okawa's death was announced in March, I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that the party was going to end. And it did. And in his will he even forgave millions of dollars of debt SEGA owed him.

Death of the Dreamcast pretty much started a huge slide in my interest in video games. I freaking loved that console and the GC and the PS2 never quite filled the gap it left. There were some games I really loved on those consoles to be sure but the overall enthusiasm wasn't there in between those occasional releases. By the time those consoles were on the way out I had pretty much zoned out of games completely. Funny since I wasn't really much of a SEGA guy until the Dreamcast.

Likewise - I did eventually buy a GameCube and a PS2 and had lots of fun on both platforms - but I never quite had the same relationship with a platform holder since. There's just something about most SEGA platforms - even the Saturn, in spite of its bad rep, is actually an amazing machine and did well in Japan - that its rivals can't quite capture.

Nintendo was a toy/karuda company for a long time, Sony is an electronics keiretsu, SEGA from its very inception was a video game business, importing coin-op machines for bored GIs to play while stationed in places like Yokosuka. The team they assembled in the US, with Tom Kalinske, Al Nielsen, etc., launched what to this day remains perhaps the greatest Western operation of a major Japanese manufacturer.

Unfortunately the Japanese suits, Nakayama chief among them, practically only made poor decisions. SEGA had the worst corporate of any video game company, with the Japanese leadership actively sabotaging Sega of America.
 
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Derktron

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Honestly, I want them to come back into the gaming hardware business and try again.
 

Bo_Hazem

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Only had Mega Drive then went to PS1-PS5. At the time Saturn was inflated in prices here and only seen one in person. Dreamcast? Only saw it on Arsenal's shirt.
 
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Jan 16, 2021
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I didn't care very much when i was a kid, althought i had their Game Gear and their Megadrive. I just wasn't much into their games to be honest. I was more into Super Nintendo and Gameboy, and later with Playstation.

I didn't care about Sega not making consoles anymore. Nowadays i like their Yakuza games, amongst others. That wasn't happening anyways when they were making consoles, so I think that, in fact, i like them more now than then.
 

D.Final

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Twenty years ago, SEGA Enterprises announced they would discontinue their console Dreamcast, leaving the hardware business for good. It would soon be purchased by SAMMY and close all of its fabled second party studios: United Game Artists, Hitmaker, Overworks, etc., consolidating all their development staff in-house once more. SEGA's demise as a platform holder spelled the end to almost four decades of innovation in arcades and home consoles. The company that arguably developed the current dominant game demographic - teens and young adults - as well as moved the industry into something that was not only "for kids" but also something stylish, edgy, "mature", is sorely missed.

20 years! It feels like yesterday. Crazy to think there are young adults today with no memory of SEGA as a dominant force in the field.
The ancient war with Nintendo
 

Alan Wake

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My saddest day in gaming. As a Sega fanboy back then, playing on their systems since the Master System, the decision to pull the plug came as a shock. For some time there I wondered if gaming was over for me. I decided it wasn't, pre-ordered the Xbox and kept going. Sega today is nothing like it was back then, though. I miss the Sega we had in the year 2000. What a year to be a Dreamcast owner.
 

lachesis

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The death of Dreamcast was pretty much the death of Sega that I love. I still love Sega very much - but not as much as I used to, nor they have as many experimental and ambitious projects anymore but more of safe bets. In following years, my gaming has been dwindling after being married and all - but thankfully I am back playing good games more often.

I wish them luck in their future, and someday we may see something out of them. Either some ground-breaking gaming experience, or maybe even some HW (other than minis) of sort? Heck, one can always dream.. :)
 
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Oct 2, 2019
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The DC deserved so much better. A console truly ahead of its time.
........ How? It's a console that relied heavily in Arcade ports when the arcades were daying and people wanted more deep and complex games from their consoles.

If you're going to say online play, well every machine of it's gen had that and Xbox especially killed it with Xbox Live just 2 years later, so how is it "ahead of it's time"?
 

Alan Wake

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........ How? It's a console that relied heavily in Arcade ports when the arcades were daying and people wanted more deep and complex games from their consoles.

If you're going to say online play, well every machine of it's gen had that and Xbox especially killed it with Xbox Live just 2 years later, so how is it "ahead of it's time"?
What are you talking about? Sega launched online play on console with SegaNet/Dreamarena. PS2 and Gamecube had nothing to compare at that point, and it wasn't until PS3 Sony really had a presence there (Nintendo ignored online play until the Switch, basically). Microsoft were the ones who took it further with Xbox Live.

Dreamcast was much more than just arcade ports. It had great racing games, big blockbuster adventure games, platformers and fighting games. It had motion controls, Japan even got karaoke and webcam peripherals and so on.
 

sncvsrtoip

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Had Sega Saturn, quite a good console even tough lost badly to psx. To be honest little disappointed with Sega as a game developer, it's not a aaa producent but back in the days they were pioneers with top notch graphics (vf1-4, shenmue etc)
 

Ma-Yuan

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Saw it in the German TV show called giga which back then was from NBC europe and couldn't belive it 🤣
 
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ksdixon

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Yeah... 2001 was a traumatic year for me. Lost SEGA and WCW within 2 months of each other.
 

Orta

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You've missed out on nearly two decades of incredible games that consoles have provided...because Sega left the hardware business? Really?

Kind of. I still bought the post-Sega consoles but barely played any of them.

From that era, you name it, I probably haven't played it!
 

Fahdis

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Fix thread title to... Sega was bitchslapped out the industry by Sony. It seems more factual and accurate.

I love Sega though. The Mega Drive 2 was my first system.
 

Radical_3d

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I was a pup back then, what actually happened? What caused Sega to abandon console production all together?
Fooled us many times. The Saturn had nothing but 3 laps arcades or fighting games for 60€ for many years. And inferior hardware while the PS got FFVII and all the goods. Before that the 32X and before that the Mega CD. By the time they made a compelling and yet inferior hardware nobody believed in them. The master system II was dope, tho.
 
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cireza

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The Saturn had nothing but 3 laps arcades or fighting games for 60€ for many years.
We read such nonsense on these threads, people don't know what to shit on anymore.

The video-game market was shifting anyway. What place is there today for SEGA games we loved before ? They could release Shining Force IV or Jet Set Radio 3, nobody would care. For these projects to exist today, they would need to be low budget games, which I think explains why SEGA could not go down this road anymore. Even when they do make the effort, it is still to relatively low success (Valkyria Chronicles for example is a 100% pure SEGA title, like the ones we loved before, and this series had a hard time, even though I am happy it somehow managed to survive).

SEGA represented everything I loved in video-games, and all three manufacturers we have today fail at this. I buy their consoles to enjoy third party games, but the first party output is abysmal in my opinion, with a few rare exceptions.
 
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Komatsu

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If you're going to say online play, well every machine of it's gen had that and Xbox especially killed it with Xbox Live just 2 years later, so how is it "ahead of it's time"?

Not sure how old you are, but anyone alive and conscious back then can tell you there was NOTHING like the Dreamcast in 2000. The GC and the Xbox were not even out, and the PS2 had nothing really online to offer at that stage.

You are comparing the DC to consoles that were released AFTER its lifecycle (1998-2001).
 
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YeulEmeralda

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There was a console that beat the PS2 in power and had games like Halo, GTA, Morrowind and Ninja Gaiden in its library. And yes Shenmue 2. It was ahead of its time.

PlayStation 2 demolished it. Sony always wins.
 
Oct 2, 2019
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Not sure how old you are, but anyone alive and conscious back then can tell you there was NOTHING like the Dreamcast in 2000. The GC and the Xbox were not even out, and the PS2 had nothing really online to offer at that stage.

You are comparing the DC to consoles that were released AFTER its lifecycle (1998-2001).
Oh i know 1998-2001 there was nothing like it's online BUT it was the 6th gen and every console of that gen had online games, maybe not out of the box like DC but it was there eventually.