January 31, 2001 will forever be a black day in the minds and hearts of Sega faithful. This morning, Sega has officially announced that it will cease production of Dreamcast. I must admit that I’m not the biggest Sega fan, and saw Sega’s demise as an inevitability, but I nevertheless felt a twinge of sadness for the company.
This is concrete proof of something that the entire video game industry has suspected for some time now: the industry can only support two competing systems at any one time. With Dreamcast gone, and Nintendo’s Gamecube destined to become nothing more than a child’s toy – if even that – the two winners are going to be Playstation 2 and XBox.
Those of you that have read the official announcement are probably thinking, “but the technology has been licensed to set-top box manufacturers, and Sega is still going to support the platform with games.” This is true, but think about this: how many set-top boxes have been truly successful in the marketplace? And as for games, third party developers have already begun leaving the system in droves, and I give Sega itself one year, tops, before they finally call it quits on the hardware.
But fear not, Sega Faithful, this isn’t the end of your beloved company. Sega has entered into negotiations to develop its properties on Playstation 2 and XBox, which means that your favorite brands, like Sonic and Ecco will still be around for many years to come, just not on the little white box.
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