The Sega Dreamcast, Sega last major console release celebrates its 15th birthday.
The Sega Dreamcast debuted in North America on Sept 9, 1999, 9 months after its Japanese release back in November of 98. The Dreamcast was the first major console to have internet connectivity out of the box which was the beginning of the internet connected gaming that has become so ubiquitous today. The Dreamcast debut with a 56k modem built in and had add-ons for broadband as well as keyboard and mouse setup.
The games available for the Dreamcast included Crazy Taxi, Phantasy Star Online, Sonic Adventure, Seamen and the suite of sports titles from 2K. Phantasy Star Online was the first console RPG that allowed for friends to tackle quests together online, but Quake 3 Arena was First Person Shooter that ushered in the era of online deathmatches for FPS games on consoles.
There was a lot of potential in the Dreamcast, however piracy, lack of third party support (particularly from Electronic Arts) and the debut of the Playstation 2 spelled the end for Sega’s little console that could. By March of 2001, Sega had discontinued production of the Dreamcast and would bow out of the console market soon after. While the Dreamcast had a short life, its impact on gaming was far-reaching and is still with us today.