The Launch of the Sega Dreamcast (1999) | Classic Gaming Quarterly

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  • Published on:  9/6/2019
  • Episode 61 - The Launch of the Sega Dreamcast. Sega may have been playing with the big boys in the early 90’s, but the middle third of the decade saw the American side of the company fall far and fast. Genesis games were starting to look aged compared to Nintendo’s 16-bit offerings, and while maybe a good idea in theory, the 32X did more harm than good. Sega of Japan made the rash decision to launch the Saturn early and overpriced in the US, and to say that it struggled against the Nintendo 64 and Sony Playstation would be putting it mildly. Bernie Stolar joined and later led Sega of America, and although almost universally hated by gamers, he helped ease the dying Saturn into the grave and ready Sega’s next generation hardware. The Dreamcast was launched on September 9, 1999, a.k.a. “9/9/99”, and a massive 19 games joined it on store shelves. Sonic Adventure, NFL 2K, and SoulCalibur were easily the marquee day one games, but other launch games, including Hydro Thunder, Power Stone, NFL Blitz 2000, and Expendable are still great to play even today.

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    - All VGA-compatible games were captured at 1280x960 using a Retro Access Dreamcast 576i/480p cable, an OSSC upscaler, and a Startech USB 3.0 capture card. Interlaced signals of games not compatible with VGA were processed through a Framemeister and captured on the same device. Take home message: 480p DC games still look damned good on modern displays.

    - When discussing the Dreamcast video cables, I said that the Dreamcast displayed 240p and 480i through composite and s-video. While it is true that the DC can output 480i, 576i is the more common interlaced mode. But while not technically correct, had I said “576i” without explaining what that meant, it would have been confusing for most people.

    - At an hour and fifteen minutes, this is the longest video on the main channel, including the unscripted magazine read-throughs. It is roughly twice the length of the next longest launch video, the Sega Master System.

    - Speaking of length, the script for this episode is 10,164 words and 16 pages long. The next longest script was “The Sega Genesis in 1990”, at 8,834 words.

    - If at one point in the video you got startled, you were supposed to.

    - I think the NFL Blitz 2000 segment is too long, but at the same time I wouldn't know how to cut it down. I find it impossible to play that game without a smile on my face. "THAT WAS AN ILLEGAL HIT!" Check it out if you've never played it.

    - “NAMCO” was literally the first shot that I knew that I wanted in this video.

    - Try playing the new “Classic Gaming Quarterly Eating Game”. Every time I say “meat & potatoes”, you have to eat some meat & potatoes.

    - This is my favorite-ever ending to one of my videos. I feel like the last few bits of the video are a downer because I mention the ultimate fate of the Dreamcast and of Sega, so the ending was a way to celebrate the good times.

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