Did the US Dreamcast 9.9.99 launch have the best launch lineup ever?

Which console had the best launch lineup?

  • Atari 2600

    Votes: 2 2.2%
  • NES

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Sega Master System

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • PC Engine/Turbografx-16

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Megadrive/Genesis

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • SNES

    Votes: 9 10.0%
  • Jaguar

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3DO

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Saturn

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • PS1

    Votes: 2 2.2%
  • N64

    Votes: 4 4.4%
  • Dreamcast

    Votes: 45 50.0%
  • PS2

    Votes: 7 7.8%
  • Gamecube

    Votes: 2 2.2%
  • Xbox

    Votes: 14 15.6%
  • Wii

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • PS3

    Votes: 1 1.1%
  • Xbox 360

    Votes: 2 2.2%

  • Total voters
    90

Kazza

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Tomorrow will be the 20th anniversary of the legendary "9.9.99 for $199" launch of the Sega Dreamcast in North America. After the botched US launch of the Saturn 4 years earlier, Sega of America was determined not to make the same mistakes again. SoA COO Bernie Stolar went to work repairing relations with both retailers and developers alike (although EA famously decided not to support the console at all), and the console would not be launched until an impressive library of polished launch games was complete and ready to go. As 9.9.99 approached, the hype was building:

 
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Kazza

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In spite of Sony trying its best to scupper the release by dropping the price of the PS1 to $99 and scheduling the release of Final Fantasy VIII for 9.9.99, all the hard work payed off, as pre-orders rose to 2/3 times that of the original Playstation, and sales of the console passed the 1 million mark within 2 and a half months, making it the fasting selling console in North American history up to that time. With over $97 million in revenues generated from sales of consoles, games and accessories on launch day, Stolar could claim it was the biggest day in entertainment history (beating the $65 million brought in by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace on its opening weekend). Of course, we now know that the success wasn't to last, but that's a story for another day.
 
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Kazza

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So, was the US Dreamcast launch the best ever in terms of games? First we need to look at what makes a good launch lineup:

1. Number of games
2. Variety
3. Quality
4. A feeling of "next-gen-ness"

Here is the Dreamcast lineup:







Although there have been consoles launch with more games (the PS2 would launch with 30 the next year), I think 19 should be enough to satisfy anyone. In terms of variety, the lineup is lacking FPS, strategy, puzzle, and a top-down shooter, but fighting, sport and racing games are very well represented. Quality is generally very high, with TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat and Pen Pen Tricelon probably being the weakest games (although the later is just a kids game, to be fair). Apart from the high quality of the games, it's the "next-gen" feeling the games gave those lucky enough to buy a Dreamcast on 9.9.99 which is its biggest strength. The likes of Soulcalibur, Sonic Adventure and NFL 2K were a true generational leap over comparable games on the Saturn, PS1 and N64. It's only in the Dreamcast gen of consoles that 3D games really started to leave some of their early jank behind and play smoothly. Not only that, but after years only being able to offer pale imitations of hit arcade games, the Dreamcast marked the time when arcade perfect ports finally became a reality (or superior to arcade, in the case of Soulcalibur).

Of other consoles, although severely lacking in terms of number of games, I would say that the SNES also had an impressive launch. Games like F-Zero and Pilot Wings were a good showcase for the news system's Mode-7 abilities, and were pretty fun games in their own right. Super Mario World, although being more of an evolution of 8-bit games rather than a brand new experience, is still a great game. Gradius 3 and Sim City both add to the variety of the lineup.

The original Xbox lineup is surprising good too, although it suffers from being released 2 years after the Dreamcast and 1 year after the PS2, meaning there wasn't that "next-gen" leap.

I've put up a poll so every can give their own opinion (sorry, couldn't fit the present consoles in, but surely they wouldn't be in contention anyway, right?).
 
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brap

Formerly 'xXxKi$$e$&Razorblade$xXx'
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PS2. Also Sonic Adventure is shit btw.

SSX
Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore
Tekken Tag Tournament
Armored Core 2
Dynasty Warriors 2
Rayman Revolution
ESPN International Track & Field
ESPN Winter X Games Snowboarding
Eternal Ring
Evergrace
FantaVision
Gungriffon Blaze
Kessen
Madden NFL 2001
Midnight Club: Street Racing
MotoGP
NHL 2001
Orphen: Scion of Sorcery
Q-Ball: Billiards Master
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2
Ridge Racer V
Silent Scope
Smuggler's Run
Street Fighter EX3
Summoner
Swing Away Golf
TimeSplitters
Unreal Tournament
Wild Wild Racing
X-Squad
 

Kazza

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I wanted to do it as a single post, but it said it was too long. Strange, as I'm sure I've done longer OPs before. Some photos also not displaying correctly. This Dreamcast launch OP hasn't had a very smooth "launch", haha.
 

Kazza

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Knack > Every other launch title ever
Nice!

Classic Gaming Quarterly did a nice read-through of the Official Dreamcast Magazine's September 1999 issue:



Since I'm linking him, I may as well link again to his excellent launch episode:



He still seems to like pretty much all the games, so it seems like they've aged pretty well.
 

Kagey K

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The sheer number of games when launching doesn’t matter to me. It’s the quality of the games. That’s why Xbox will always be the dominant answer every time.

There was nothing like Halo on consoles before the Xbox launched and it made dual stick gaming what it is today.

The only other games that could compare are MARIO on systems before it. Mario 64 and Super Mario World specifically.

No other launch titles have set a system so far apart right out of the gate.
 

SegaShack

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The sheer number of games when launching doesn’t matter to me. It’s the quality of the games. That’s why Xbox will always be the dominant answer every time.

There was nothing like Halo on consoles before the Xbox launched and it made dual stick gaming what it is today.

The only other games that could compare are MARIO on systems before it. Mario 64 and Super Mario World specifically.

No other launch titles have set a system so far apart right out of the gate.
Completely agree.
 

bitbydeath

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PlayStation Classic

  • Battle Arena Toshinden
  • Cool Boarders 2
  • Destruction Derby
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Intelligent Qube
  • Jumping Flash
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Mr Driller
  • Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee
  • Rayman
  • Resident Evil Director’s Cut
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Ridge Racer Type 4
  • Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
  • Syphon Filter
  • Tekken 3
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six
  • Twisted Metal
  • Wild Arms
 
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In terms of the launch line up, the Vita did.

In terms of massive hype, the PS4 did.

Retro wise, definitely the Dreamcast.

I am wondering what launch was the most hyped in the UK. Surely it was either the Mega Drive or PS2.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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Yet not one of them changed or revolutionized the industry. Good games are good games, but only the best change the way people make games.
You can't state this as a fact because as far as we know, developers especially in the fighting game genre were influenced by Soul Caliber on the Dreamcast. It'll require more in-depth research to prove that the lineup didn't revolutionize or changed the industry, in my opinion.
 

Kagey K

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You can't state this as a fact because as far as we know, developers especially in the fighting game genre were influenced by Soul Caliber on the Dreamcast. It'll require more in-depth research to prove that the lineup didn't revolutionize or changed the industry, in my opinion.
I’m going to need some receipts, before I go digging, but you might be right. Before Soul Calibre there wasn’t much in the way of 3D fighters, but I still think most of it came from Virtua Fighter, not Soul Calibre.
 
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Naked Lunch

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Dreamcast launch was incredible. I would say its the best. Its got so many genres covered.

People listing PS2 is a joke right? That lineup was panned even at the time of its launch by everyone, game magazines especially, and they were 100% correct. It took months if not a year before the good stuff showed up.
 
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MiyazakiHatesKojima

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I’m going to need some receipts, before I go digging, but you might be right. Before Soul Calibre there wasn’t much in the way of 3D fighters, but I still think most of it came from Virtua Fighter, not Soul Calibre.
Ready 2 Brawl may have inspired the launch of the Fight Night Round franchise too. But Soul Caliber definitely raised the bar for fighting games. The only fighting game to get perfect scores during the 2000's. The lineup is not the greatest and not the most influential but it had some stonecold classics like Soul Caliber. Surprised to see SF3 not on there or Resident Evil Zero.
 
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Kagey K

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Ready 2 Brawl may have inspired the launch of the Fight Night Round franchise too. But Soul Caliber definitely raised the bar for fighting games. The only fighting game to get perfect scores during the 2000's. The lineup is not the greatest and not the most influential but it had some stonecold classics like Soul Caliber. Surprised to see SF3 not on there or Resident Evil Zero.
I said the games themselves were good. They just didn’t hold a candle to other launch titles that changed the game. (Except Soul Caliber. I’m still willing to listen to your argument here)

It’s not a knock against other games, it just shows how far ahead of the curve the other games i mentioned were.
 
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brap

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Dreamcast launch was incredible. I would say its the best. Its got so many genres covered.

People listing PS2 is a joke right? That lineup was panned even at the time of its launch by everyone, game magazines especially, and they were 100% correct. It took months if not a year before the good stuff showed up.
You really think some arcade ports, shitty sports games, sonic and blue stinger are better than TTT, SSX, midnight club and doa2? Dreamcast fanboys are literally the worst. Your console failed because it fucking sucked and had nothing worth playing. And it's made even more obsolete that people can just use NAME instead of playing Dreamcast ports.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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I said the games themselves were good. They just didn’t hold a candle to other launch titles that changed the game. (Except Soul Caliber. I’m still willing to listen to your argument here)

It’s not a knock against other games, it just shows how far ahead of the curve the other games i mentioned were.
Halo CE is by far the most influential launch game of all time, no doubt. But I'll read the list that you posted on this thread, didn't realize you wrote one!
 
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Naked Lunch

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You really think some arcade ports, shitty sports games, sonic and blue stinger are better than TTT, SSX, midnight club and doa2? Dreamcast fanboys are literally the worst. Your console failed because it fucking sucked and had nothing worth playing. And it's made even more obsolete that people can just use NAME instead of playing Dreamcast ports.
Spoken like someone who wasnt there at the time, and lacks all context, or perhaps youre just mis-remembering. The fact that you list TTT and DOA 2 when Soul Calibur was its competiton speaks volumes. SC owned the gaming world back then - especially the 3d fighting game genre. SSX and midnight club? The DC racing titles easily compare/trump especially Hydro Thunder. The biggest game at launch for casuals at the time was NFL2k vs Madden. 2k was a night and day difference and it was only on Dreamcast. Some people still prefer the 2k games to the Maddens of today.

The Ps2 launch is still regarded as one of the worst launch lineups to this day and the fact that it was even called out and panned back then when it was new and shiny tells you all you need to know.
 
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Kazza

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Dreamcast launch was incredible. I would say its the best. Its got so many genres covered.

People listing PS2 is a joke right? That lineup was panned even at the time of its launch by everyone, game magazines especially, and they were 100% correct. It took months if not a year before the good stuff showed up.
Could be just joking, either that or trolling.

I think what makes the PS2 lineup seem much worse is the discrepancy between the massive hype and the underwhelming reality. The PS2s early success is a testament to the power of marketing. Thankfully, the console did end up with a fine library of games.

It's not hard to find articles critical of the early PS2 games:

PlayStation 2 turns 15 today, so let's take a quick look at the awful launch line-up

Despite the unrivaled success it would go on to achieve, the console’s launch is not one to inspire that much sentimentality.

In fact, it is often derided as one of the worst launch line-ups of all time for a major console. Maybe the original PlayStation has it beat, but nothing on this list of games screams “Buy me!” or “Greatness Awaits!”
The PlayStation 2’s launch might not be the most horrible group of games of all time, but keep in mind that these were running against the PlayStation, which was still cranking out masterpiece JRPGS deep into 2000, and a yearlong stockpile of excellent Dreamcast games such as the unfathomable SoulCalibur. To say that the PlayStation 2 made a poor first impression would be an understatement.
I personally think the original PS1 lineup was ok (in Europe anyway). Having a proper 3D system at home for the first time was exciting enough to be able to forgive some mediocre games. Wipeout and Ridge Racer were great. Hell I, like everyone else, was even super impressed with Battle Arena Toshinden. Next-gen launch games can get away with a lot, so long as they can give you a next-gen experience.
 
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Birdo

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I have to go with the 3DS just because it launched with Ocarina of Time 3D.

How do you top launching with the greatest game of all time?

EDIT: I was mistaken.
 
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ROMhack

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In terms of the launch line up, the Vita did.

In terms of massive hype, the PS4 did.

Retro wise, definitely the Dreamcast.

I am wondering what launch was the most hyped in the UK. Surely it was either the Mega Drive or PS2.
Going by memory, definitely the PS2. There was a huge allure to its release, coupled with difficulty obtaining one. Some people had to wait weeks/months.
 
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ROMhack

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Birdo

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Sp3eD

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Soul calibur was life changing for me at the time after being throughly addicted to tekken 3 months before on ps1

Though I’m not sure I can call it the best for me because ps2 launch had tekken tag which my friends and I played to death for weeks. Namcos fighting games decided launches for me back then. Now I don’t really even bother with them. Times a changing.

And 20 years? Holy shit I’m getting old.
 
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lame gag1990

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You really think some arcade ports, shitty sports games, sonic and blue stinger are better than TTT, SSX, midnight club and doa2? Dreamcast fanboys are literally the worst. Your console failed because it fucking sucked and had nothing worth playing. And it's made even more obsolete that people can just use NAME instead of playing Dreamcast ports.
Midnight Club and DOA2? You taking the piss? DOA2 was better on Dreamcast too.

You don't know what you're talking about really do you? Anyone using the term "fanboy" is most likely a fanboy themselves which you sound like. Dreamcast was fucking great. SEGA couldn't financially keep going, not because the Dreamcast "sucked", they had no fucking money. Let me guess, you weren't around at the time the Dreamcast launched either 'brap'?
 
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peter42O

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For me, it's still SUPER NINTENDO which is what I voted for.

Super Mario World is STILL a classic and what it did at the time was amazing plus it showed off the capabilities of the SNES. Dreamcast was good but none of those games were anywhere near the level of a Super Mario World on an inferior cartridge based system. I loved my Dreamcast when I owned it and played some great games. I would choose Dreamcast over Nintendo 64, Sega Saturn and Nintendo Gamecube but for me, PlayStation One made me a PlayStation guy which I still am today. Overall though, SNES with SMW is still the best launch in my opinion.
 

Kazza

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If I could only choose 3 of the games at launch, it would probably be SoulCalibur, Sonic Adventure and NFL 2K. I'm not even that into fighting games, but SoulCalibur is just such a masterpiece. although I've never played the Dreamcast one, I did play the Gamecube sequel a hell of a lot (I hear they are pretty much the same). I think I would have been thirsty for a proper 3D Sonic game having been blue-balled all the way through the Saturn era. The third choice is tougher, but I think I would have chosen NFL 2K, despite not being American and so not really understanding the sport. Just like Soulcalibur, some games are good enough to warrant a purchase even if you're not a fan of the drama.

The only games I wouldn't be interested in playing would be the PenPen, TNN and Mortal Kombat games. The rest would be a combination of weekend rentals and purchases, finances permitting, of course. A really strong lineup, plus you had games such as Marvel v Capcom, Fighting Force 2, Dynamite Cop, Sega Rally 2 and VF3tb all releasing before the end of 1999 too.
 

Dane

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IMO Dreamcast had the best launch line up in NA and EU release, and it was already damn worth to buy at launch with awesome games being released weeks to very few months later, most consoles have a first weak year.

The OG Xbox had the most influential launch title exclusive (Super Mario Bros was only a launch title in Europe), Halo. But also at that year, it was worth buying one of the three consoles, October 2001 was when the 128 bit generation finally came for what it promised.
 
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Petrae

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No other console launch was stronger for me than the Dreamcast. I bought 11 games on September 9th, 1999: Sonic Adventure (the game that made me want the console), NFL Blitz 2000, Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, Hydro Thunder, Tokyo Xtreme Racer, AirForce Delta, Flag To Flag, NFL 2K, SoulCalibur, Mortal Kombat Gold, and Expendable.

Between those games, the extra controller, and three VMUs— I dropped almost $750, and that was AFTER my FuncoLand employee discount.

The PlayStation 2 is in the conversation for this, though I didn’t get mine until January 2001. I was strictly a Dreamcast guy... until a rumor came (and subsequently verified) that SEGA was discontinuing it. Extremely pissed off that the console was having its plug pulled after less than 18 months, I threw all of my Dreamcast shit into bags, drove to my local independent game store. and traded it all away for a new PS2 and five games.
 
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Miku Miku

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Soul Calibur 1 was so sick. We were still going to the arcade regularly to play it there. Then got a Dreamcast, played it unlimited hours for free, and it looked better than the arcade.

Good times.
 
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Thaedolus

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It was a pretty magical time, 9.9.99, but if I had a time machine I'd slap my 14 year old self upside the head for trading in Mega Man X, X2 and X3 for Sonic Adventure. Goddammit.
 

12Goblins

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It was soul calibur, power stone, rdy 2 rumble and a bit later nfl 2k for me. That hasn't been topped for me since, by a long shot..

I remember being blown away by how good ready 2 rumble looked lol..
 

dolabla

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The Dreamcast was really something special. I didn't get mine until Christmas of 99. I don't know if I will ever get that same feeling I got with a console release as I got with the Dreamcast. Popping in Sonic Adventure and NFL 2K for the first time was just a mind blowing experience for me.
 
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Lord Oso

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I don't remember much about the Dreamcast back then... But I do remember my pops being sooo excited for a Dreamcast. He bought every Sega console released.... He was a Sega fanboy.
 
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