Dreamcast 20th Anniversary |OT| Still Dreaming

Komatsu

Formerly 'enlyzer'
Oct 17, 2016
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Twenty years ago tomorrow, we will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Dreamcast's launch in North America. Yes, the console had already come out in Japan in 1998, but this was when it finally reached popular consciousness. 9/9/99 was, at the time, the single biggest day in retail history. The world had never seen anything like it. Unfortunately, the dream did not last long and the DC was killed as 2001 drew to a close. As its challenge to the industry lasted only about three years and a half, the Dreamcast stands as a perfect capsule of an unforgettable and irrecoverable moment of gaming: when the industry was already big but not yet mature. The Dreamcast was also the last hooray of one of gaming's "founding" hardware companies, SEGA, its final big push in consumer electronics.







Please click in one of the images above to be directed to the corresponding interview.





There were 619 games released for the Dreamcast in all its regions during the console's lifetime. Its best-selling game was Sonic Adventure, with 2.5 million units sold.







20 years laters, many of us are still dreaming.

Tell us, GAF:​

  1. When (if ever) did you get a Dreamcast?​
  2. Where were you in 9.9.99? Where in line at a local retailer? Did you take part in one of the "midnight launch parties"?​
  3. What are some of your best memories of the Dreamcast?​
 
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LegendOfKage

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I bought mine on launch day. It was my first Sega console since the Genesis. Soul Calibur blew me away, and Sonic Adventure was lots of fun. Crazy Taxi is one of my other best memories of the console. I was sorry to see it fail.
 
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Komatsu

Formerly 'enlyzer'
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The last time a console wowed me, saw it at epcot in the summer of '99 and the graphics blew me away.Still have mine hooked up to my crt, and I don't think I'll take it off anytime soon.
Likewise. I remember watching footage of Sonic Adventure in 1998 - a year I basically spent playing Ocarina of Time, which, though amazing, looks not that great compared to SA - and being absolutely floored. Shenmue, too, a year later, also completely blew me away.
 
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VysePSU

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I loved watching those videos by Archipel on the Dreamcast.

Three of my favorite games on the platform were Skies of Arcadia, Grandia II and Sonic Adventure. I played a little bit of Phantasy Star Online too as well as getting far into but never actually finishing Jet Set Radio (the latter of which I also played on the PS Vita and PC).
 
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GermanZepp

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Sega dreamcast was , as a child/Teen the most Amazing thing. I maybe be a nostalfag but this console truly put something incredible and ahead of his time for me. I cant recall but nice feelings When think about it. Edit: everything about dc was Amazing, the controler the vmu, the console, the games, the internet thing. Such a mind blown...
 
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DigitalScrap

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Jan 21, 2015
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I was there for the midnight launch. It was awesome. There was actually quite a long line of people there to get it at midnight. I still have the Dreamcast t-shirt they gave to all of us who were there (of course, it would be impossible for me to wear it now lol).

I still can't quite explain why, but the DC is still my favorite console of all time. There was just something about the DC. I actually think that is still my favorite era in gaming.
 

Bushido Boi

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I loved the Dreamcast. Shenmue, Jet Grind Radio, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure, etc. Fucking awesome console that died a death far too early. I still wish Sega was making consoles to this day. They are by far my favorite gaming company of all-time.
 

Poordevil

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I have the Sega Dreamcast I bought back in 1999. Still works too. When the console went under all those great games hit the bargain bin, brand new. I picked up a lot of games, good games, for cheap. I haven't counted them, but there must be 10 or a dozen games for it. Shemnue, Crazy Taxi, Skies of Arcadia, Grandia 2, Phantasy Star Online, Quake 3, Echo the Dolphin, Jet Grind Radio, Sonic, Hidden and Dangerous, Toy Commander and others. I only sold one game and I regret doing it. It was called Mr. Mosquito. The game was so bazaar. You play as this mosquito buzzing around trying to bite someone in their house. I stuck it out for about 20 minutes. Then I thought to myself, I'll never play this game. So I took it to Electronics Boutique and sold it.

Problem is now I have no TV to hook it up to. I have a Sony CRT, but the over scan is real bad. Maybe getting into the service menu would fix it. I've been in there, but everything is pretty complex, so I backed out without monkeying around. There are adapters or mods for the console, allowing it to plug in to a modern HDTV, but I haven't made the investment.
 

Romulus

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I was in bootcamp when it came out.
When I transferred to the barracks later I remember a guy down the hall had one. I was just thinking "what the hell is that thing?"
He had a football game that looked really good for the time.
 
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JordanN

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Dissenting opinion, I wasn't impressed by DC's visuals. I recognized the visuals were a lot more crisp and ran at a higher frame rate than N64/PS1, but I still disliked the chunky polygons and muddy textures. When I laid eyes on what the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox could do, it was over for Dreamcast.

That said, I still like the Dreamcast for pushing gameplay forward. SEGA being strictly a video game company, would put all their effort in bringing you lots of quality games, and for it's lifespan, Dreamcast never felt like it had a dull moment. There was always something new to play.

I believe the first game I played on it was Ready 2 Rumble boxing. I was at a friends house and he introduced me to the game and the console. It was good, and even when I got the PS2 port, I still preferred the DC version.
 

Gashtronomy

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Crazy Taxi
Heavy metal
Sonic
Blue stinger
Spawn
PSO
Head Hunter
UEFA champion soccer
Jet set radio
Vigalante 8
Whacky races
Rush 2049
record of lodoss war

Show me games today that are as weird, whacky or wonderful as those were 20 years ago. For all of our technology, we are still years away from the Dreamcast.

The Dreamcast was such an amazing console, that a bunch of pissed-up millionaires, drowning their sorrows from the death of the Dreamcast, made a drunken proposal in a bar one night, which led to the Microsoft Xbox.

For all the Nintendo/Microsoft/Sony fanboy wars that i see, i scoff at them all. Sega was the true king of consoles.
 

scalman

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console just lives as it delivers games that are new powerfull and it must have a lot of them. Not just sega learned that lesson. too small game library , it could be much better if it had more games, compare it games to Sony games list at that time.
 
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Dante83

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The DC was great at that time, but it's a shame that model 3 arcade ports like VF3 and sega rally 2 were poorly handled, and the thought of playing those 2 games at home was very compelling at that time. We never get scud racer or even a daytona 2 port. My sole reason to get the DC were the arcade ports.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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It was like the perfect storm....
..that led to nothing..

Back then I wasn't so informed about video game sales stuff, so I thought the DC was a huge success.
Really everybody of my friends had one.

I guess I was living in some kind of video game hipster bubble back then...

I was so let down by the demise of the Dream Cast that I never bought a PS2 later on.
 
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ExpandKong

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Got mine for Christmas that year with House of the Dead 2, the main game I wanted the system for (loved light gun games, still do).

Lots of fun experiences on that thing. Playing PSO with my friends, Jet Grind Radio, Skies of Arcadia, Grandia 2...oh, Code Veronica was another one I played to death. I mastered the bonus mode, unlocked all the characters and secret files and everything.

Too good for this world.
 

Kazza

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(both OT and the Dreamcast)

console just lives as it delivers games that are new powerfull and it must have a lot of them. Not just sega learned that lesson. too small game library , it could be much better if it had more games, compare it games to Sony games list at that time.
The OP states that it had 619 games released. That's plenty for such a short period.

I was there for the midnight launch. It was awesome. There was actually quite a long line of people there to get it at midnight. I still have the Dreamcast t-shirt they gave to all of us who were there (of course, it would be impossible for me to wear it now lol).

I still can't quite explain why, but the DC is still my favorite console of all time. There was just something about the DC. I actually think that is still my favorite era in gaming.
Can you remember what got you so hyped that you were willing to line up at midnight? I'm quite jealous, I've never been part of a launch day like that. It must be cool talking to everyone else waiting outside - everyone excited and happy.
 
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Orta

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I'm still a gamer twenty years on but my interest in it nosedived spectacularly after Sega and the Dreamcast left the building

My favourite ever console and software library. Gaming peaked for me during its lifespan and I've never had as much fun playing games since.

Got mine on launch day from simplygames.co.uk, £179.99

Wow moment: playing Sonic Adventure for the first time

Best game: Crazy Taxi, its second in my all-time list only to Doom.
 
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Kazza

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I read earlier today that those two ads featuring the Frenchman and British man were banned (along with those featuring people from other European countries), as the authorities thought they might incite racial hatred. Seems like that shit was already a thing in the UK way back in 1999. I think it was a cool and humorous add, which showed the excitement of being able to play with and against people from around the world for the very first time.

This one was also good:

 
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Dec 25, 2018
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Too bad it died in the UK with little to no marketing.

I remember going into Toys r Us and having a demo kiosk with Sonic Adventure, and I did love it for looking so advanced but other than a neighbour owning it for a year, never saw it in shops until a few years after the Gamecube where the games were like £4 each.

Sad times really but the console fascinates me. I actually own one now and have a few games on it, including VOOT!
 

Kazza

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A nice Facebook post by Peter Moore (President of SoA at the time of launch) on the 15th anniversary of the console (5 years ago):

Once again, I trust my employers here at EA will allow me the indulgence of reminiscence and nostalgia on this day, 09/09/14, the 15th anniversary of the launch of the Dreamcast here in North America on the wonderfully numerically-correct date of 09/09/99. It certainly doesn't feel like fifteen years have gone by since this innovative console ushered in the era of online gaming, albeit through a 56K modem, and thus changed the face of interactive entertainment forever. The memories of course are bittersweet - we all know how this movie ended - but I was fortunate to have worked at that time with some of the most amazingly dedicated individuals, all of whom were galvanized around a single goal: prove the naysayers wrong, launch the console with a bang, get to a meaningful installed base within the first twelve months, and keep the momentum going in the face of the upcoming stiff competition. We still get together as a team from time-to-time, and oh the stories we tell. Lots of coulda/shoulda/woulda, but primarily pride in our accomplishments and the legacy we firmly believe can be seen and felt in gaming to this day.


With the Dreamcast's online capabilities, we coined a phrase "We're taking gamers where gaming is going". In our heart of hearts, we worried that we would not be there for the entire journey, but it was with great pride that with our Sega Sports games in particular, that we ushered in the era of connected interactive entertainment. I don't think it is an overstatement to say that the Dreamcast and it's online network laid the ground for what we all take for granted today - online game play, linking innumerable gamers from around the world to play, compete and collaborate, as well as enabling new content to be delivered in addition to that which was delivered on the disc. Rarely does a week go by where I don't bump into somebody that fondly reminisces about this wonderful piece of hardware and the great times they had (and are still having!) playing some of its superb games. So as we all enjoy everything the next generation of hardware has to offer, give a tip of the hat (or glass) this evening to The Little Console That Could. The Sega Dreamcast...
 
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Naked Lunch

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The Dreamcast and its lineup somehow seems to get better with age. So many unique titles - and I love all the Capcom arcade stuff. Sega 1st party had it all covered even obscure genres like fishing titles, to light gun games, to maraca rhythm stuff (Samba de Amigo). They have to be given props for taking all those risks and just going for it.

Beyond all the well known stuff there was hidden gems like Cosmic Smash, Record of Lodoss War, Psyvariar, Canon Spike, Spawn, Illbleed, and Mars Matrix - to name a few.

...and its still the best looking game console.
 
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Shifty1897

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I was 14 at the time and couldn't afford the console at launch. I ended up buying it used off a spoiled kid down the street for 50 bucks a year later.

Skies of Arcadia, Jet Set Radio, Grandia 2, and Phantasy Star Online, Soul Calibur, Virtua Tennis, Crazy Taxi, Shenmue, Power Stone... What a great little system. It's a shame it couldn't live alongside the PS2 once it came out.
 

Sp3eD

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Dreamcast had so many amazing fighting games. Soul calibur, marvel vs capcom 2, sf3 versions 1,2,and 3, powerstone 1 and 2, capcom vs snk 1, etc. play those all so much. It was huge to me back then.
 

Kazza

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It will be cool to see how SEGA celebrate this.......

Surprise Dreamcast Mini drop tomorrow! Only joking, it'll be the Dreamcast 2 announcement :messenger_tears_of_joy:

Seriously, I just expect a tweet from Sega of America. They even did one for the Saturn, so I think the Dreamcast will at least get that if nothing else.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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This was my main console for most of that generation (in addition to PC, and I did eventually get an Xbox). Quite a few gems that have now been ported to every platform under the sun, so it's easier to dismiss the original console in its heyday.
 

ExpandKong

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Ahhh how did I forget about Soul Calibur! Probably the last true fighting game I was actually any good at, haha.
 

Meesh

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Oh yew fuck'n guys ❤ There's no better way to wake up than to a Dreamcast thread... well that and my gamer GF. Lol
 

Kazza

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This was my main console for most of that generation (in addition to PC, and I did eventually get an Xbox). Quite a few gems that have now been ported to every platform under the sun, so it's easier to dismiss the original console in its heyday.
Is there any Dreamcast game that you feel is still lacking a modern port (apart from Skies of Arcadia)?
 

VysePSU

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These are all of the Dreamcast games I remember playing:

4x4 Evo
ChuChu Rocket!
Crazy Taxi
Grandia II
GTA 2
Jet Set Radio
Looney Tunes: Space Race
Metropolis Street Racer (MSR)
NFL Blitz
Power Stone
Phantasy Star Online
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Ready 2 Rumble Boxing
Shenmue
Skies of Arcadia
Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure 2
Sonic Shuffle
Starlancer
Vigilante 8: 2nd Offense

And these are a couple that I didn't, but intrigued me when reading about them in the official magazine:

Blue Stinger
D2
Evolution: The World of Sacred Device
Psychic Force 2012
Resident Evil - Code: Veronica (later played it on the PS3)
Sakura Wars 3: Is Paris Burning?
Segagaga
Shenmue II
Speed Devils
Tokyo Xtreme Racer (later played Tokyo Xtreme Racer Zero on the PS2)
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Is there any Dreamcast game that you feel is still lacking a modern port (apart from Skies of Arcadia)?
Yeah, quite a few: Soul Calibur, Mars Matrix, both Power Stones, Crazy Taxi 2, Chu Chu Rocket, any of the 2K Sports games from this time period, Bangai-O, Giga Wing 1 and 2, Tech Romancer, Project Justice, Cannon Spike, SEGA Rally Championship 2, Daytona USA 2001, etc.
 
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Lugnut

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How cool would it be for Sega to tease a Dreamcast mini tomorrow?? I have two and Skies of Arcadia is still one of my favorite RPGs and Sonic Adventure still makes me smile when I get chased by the killer whale.
 

kunonabi

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Got my Dreamcast on launch day. My friends and I all got out of school early thanks to our parents and we all went out and got consoles and games before coming back to my house for a huge launch party.

I wasn't actually a huge SEGA fan prior to the Dreamcast. I had a Genesis but there were only handful of games I really loved on it. We had a local anime shop that got in a Dreamcast and I became an instant fan once I walked in and saw Sonic Adventure. Prior to that I was never really impressed with 3D graphics on consoles but the Dreamcast finally proved that the experiment was worth it to me.

To this day it is still my favorite console and when it died a lot of my love for games kind of died with it. It wasn't really until the Wii that I regained much of my passion for the hobby.

As for my favorite memories there are so many but probably the highlight was the day I got Capcom vs SNK. The game is notorious for taking forever to unlock everything but my friends and I managed to do it in a single night. We had two people playing on the Dreamcast, two people earning points on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, and another guy resting. We would then cycle the roles so nobody got too burned out. It was probably the most productive we have ever been.

I'm going to have a big Dreamcast day tomorrow so I'll post some more then.
 

RAIDEN1

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Where the hell is the Dreamcast Mini.....yes the genesis holds significance as being Sega's one and only mega hit of a console....but the significance of the Dreamcast can't be ignored either....it was Sega's last ditch attempt to stay in the ring...when it came to hardware....
 

VysePSU

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Yeah, quite a few: Soul Calibur, Mars Matrix, both Power Stones, Crazy Taxi 2, Chu Chu Rocket, any of the 2K Sports games from this time period, Bangai-O, Giga Wing 1 and 2, Tech Romancer, Project Justice, Cannon Spike, SEGA Rally Championship 2, Daytona USA 2001, etc.
ChuChu Rocket! I can't believe I forgot to put that one in my post. Probably because I kept losing at it while playing with others but it's such an ingenius game, they really should consider remastering it.

Actually, it would have been a perfect addition to the 3DS and PS Vita.
 
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EightBit Man

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The US launch date doesn't apply for me. I did get a Dreamcast I believe five days after the European launch.

To me the best console ever made, and one that will never be beaten. So many unique, good-looking, and interesting games. The console deserved a better fate. When I saw the first screenshots of the PlayStation 2 I didn't understand why anybody would wait for that, instead of getting a console that had games like SoulCalibur on it. The PlayStation 2 did get many classic games however, but not from the start. Sold all my previous consoles and their games to fully dedicate myself to this marvelous piece of hardware (though I did rebuy my favorite PlayStation games later). Was it a fantastic era? Yes. Was it painful seeing it fail and discontinue? Very much so. It was all of it. Don't think I ever felt so sad for something failing (though the PlayStation Vita comes close).

Here's the list of games I own (and bought during that period):

18 Wheeler: American Pro Trucker
Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare
Blue Stinger
Bust-A-Move 4
Cannon Spike
CAPCOM vs. SNK (Millennium Fight 2000)
ChuChu Rocket (pack-in game)
Crazy Taxi
Crazy Taxi 2
Daytona USA 2001
Dead or Alive 2
Dino Crisis
Dynamite Cop!
Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the Future
F355 Challenge: Passione Rossa
Fighting Vipers 2
Giga Wing
Grandia 2
Headhunter
Hidden & Dangerous
Hydro Thunder
Incoming
Jet Set Radio
KISS: Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child
Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver
Marvel vs. CAPCOM: Clash of Super Herous
Marvel vs. CAPCOM 2: New Age of Heroes
MDK2
MSR: Metropolis Street Racer
Mortal Kombat Gold
Phantasy Star Online
Phantasy Star Online ver. 2
Quake III Arena
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Resident Evil 2
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Resident Evil Code: Veronica
San Fransisco Rush 2049
SEGA Extreme Sports
SEGA GT
SEGA Rally Championship 2
Shadow Man
Shenmue
Shenmue II
Soldier of Fortune
Sonic Adventure
Sonic Adventure 2
SoulCalibur
Speed Devils
Star Wars Episode I: Racer
Street Fighter Alpha 3
Super Runabout: The Golden State
Suzuki Alstare Extreme Racing
Tokyo Highway Challenge
Tomb Raider: Chronicles
Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation
TrickStyle
Unreal Tournament
Vanishing Point
Virtua Fighter 3tb
Virtua Tennis
Zombie Revenge

Best memories? Playing through Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, and Sonic Adventure for the first time; there was nothing like it. The first game is my all-time favorite video game. Metropolis Street Racer is my favorite racing game too.

But why did you not get The House of the Dead 2? Because I completed that game in the local arcade. Spent a lot of money on it mastering the game, so didn't feel like buying the game at the time.

Bought Rez later on the PlayStation 2.
 
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Komatsu

Formerly 'enlyzer'
Oct 17, 2016
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I'm a very late adopter, though I rented the Dreamcast very often from the mom and pop shop right around the corner where I lived. I've had probably four or five Dreamcasts since then (one in every country I lived).

This is my current collection - none of which (besides Jet Set Radio) are the games I bought during the console's run, which are currently in a storage compartment near my folks' house. Apologies for the poor quality as it was night when I took it and I couldn't stand very close due to the number of games to be captured.