September 27, 2000
How can Sega compete with the Playstation 2 and all it's power? It won't be easy but there are several areas in which Sega have an advantage.
The world has been stunned by the specification of the Playstation 2. With over 6.2 Billion Floating Point Operations per Second (compared to 1.6 for the Dreamcast), a DVD drive, backward compatability to the Playstation, a graphics processor that can draw 75 million plain polygons per second, or 20 million with all effects on (the Dreamcast around 3 million) this is one serious piece of kit. But Sega can't be counted out just yet. Below are ten points that will keep the Dreamcast in the race.
1) THE ARCADE GAMES
Everbody loves Sega's arcade games. With games like Daytona USA 2, House Of The Dead 2, Virtua Fighter 3:TB, Sega Rally 2, Scud Race, Get Bass, Star Wars, just to name a few, Sega have a wide variety of titles to choose from for conversion. The conversions to date have been very good and as the programmers become more accustomed to the Dreamcast they will get better. Sony on the other hand don't have an arcade division which means they will have to create the games specifically for the PSX2 without being tested in an arcade.
2) THE HOME GROWN GAMES
This is where you'd think that Sony might have a slight edge. With games such as Gran Tourisimo coming out of their studios there's no doubt that they have the talent to produce original games. But once again Sega have their measure. Sega are pouring money into games like Shen Mue (around 2 billion yen ~ $AU25 million). They have also proved themselves with Sonic Adventure and Sega will be putting more effort into games that will show off their system. New titles from the Nights, Phantasy Star, Shinobi and Streets Of Rage series' are certain to appear at some stage.
3) CHEAPER SYSTEM
Yes, the Dreamcast will be a lot cheeper the the PSX2. It's believed that the Dreamcast will launch in the US for around $US199, but the PSX2 has a projected price of between $US250 and $US400. Theres a lot of difference between those prices and with the PSX2 still well over a year away there is potential for even more price drops from Sega's system.
4) SECOND AND THIRD PARTY SUPPORT
The Dreamcast has a lot of big companies backing them already. Capcom, Namco, Konami, Midway, SNK, and Take Two are just some of them. Enix have promised to develop for the Dreamcast if they can sell 1 million units by the end of April which at this stage looks like happening. The PSX2 is still an unknown in the area of 2nd and 3rd party support, but without support from these companies the PSX is as good as dead.
5) TOO MUCH POWER
While this may sound funny it's possible that the PSX2 has too much power. During the unveiling of the PSX2 a representative from Square stated that there are probably only 5 compnies in the world that could make use of the PSX2's power. So many games on the Dreamcast may not look that inferior to the PSX2 games.
6) SEGA WILL HAVE A YEAR'S HEAD START
The Dreamcast will be out a long time before the PSX2. Sega have stated that they wish to have sold 3 million Dreamcast's before the PSX2 comes out in Japan. And at the rate the Dreamcast's are selling that's very likely. People are already looking beyond the N64 and PSX and the Dreamcast is the biggest thing looming in the public's mind. With the number of killer titles due out on the Dreamcast this year sales for the system outside Japan should also be brisk.
7) ONLINE CAPABILITES
The Dreamcast's online abilities will be fully established by the time the PSX2 comes out. Most games will have an online function and many parents will see the Dreamcast as the cheapest option to get on the internet. There has been no mention of a modem for the PSX2 at this stage.
8) SEGA SPORTS GAMES
Although Sega doesn't yet have the backing from Electronic Arts there will be a wide variety of sports games available for the system. Already there are Golf, Wrestling, Basketball, NFL, Soccer, Fishing, Boxing, Horse Racing, Snow Boarding, Skiing and a tonne of Racing games on the release lists. This will ensure success in the sports crazed world outside Japan.
A Saturn emulator on the Dreamcast would be a very welcome addition and would be a great incentive for Saturn game owners to move to the new system. What's even better is that apparently the Saturn games will look better when running on the Dreamcast, not even the PSX2 will improve the look of old Playstation games.
10) OBSCURE GAMES
This is where the Dreamcast can come to the front. If you look at the Playstation lineup over the last year there has been very few games that don't fit into the tiring platform, fighting or racing categories. The Dreamcast has the chance to expand on generes. A perfect example is the fishing controller and Get Bass. This game is unique, graphically impressive and uses an innovative controller. But there are other games that would be welcome outside Japan. Shem Mue promises a totally new RPG type gaming experience and Pop N Music and Real Sound 2 look like great music titles.
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