Oh sure, I take some time off from this website and Sega goes and quits on me! More later…
Well anywho, my sister’s sister site (man that pun never gets old!) got a slight makeover from my wife. Amy went to the Brazos Valley Bridal Show and after each performance there was a line of people wanting her to sing at their wedding (which is what they figured she was there for). She politely turned down the first person to ask her and then my wife and I clued her in to the fact that this might not be the worst thing she could do on the side, so we re-did her page (still needs some work) to reflect that new status. Consequently, if you’re going to get married somewhere in southeast Texas (think in the Houston-Dallas-San Antonio areas) in the next year and are interested in hiring Amy, head on over to her page and drop her a line.
Now, on to the good stuff. Or rather the bad. The aforementioned Sega has stated that they will cease manufacturing of the Dreamcast, will start developing for other consoles, such as PlayStation 2 and Game Boy Advance, and will license out the DC technology for set top boxes and the like. Yep, Sega wins the “WTF?” award for 2001.
I say WTF because Sega just got done having their best Christmas ever, and Sony had a bummer of a PS2 launch. There are some 6 million DC consoles in the world, and they have hundreds of games on the plate. More bizarre is the fact that they have stated that they will support the DC until 2002, meaning that the official “death” is a year away. Now, how would you like to be one of the ones who had planned on releasing a DC game in Q4 2001?
One of their ideas is to incorporate DC technology into a PC expansion card. Creative Labs did this as part of their 3DO agreement in 1994 or so. They released the 3DO Blaster, which used a PC-Card and specific CD-ROM drive to make a PC a virtual 3DO system, using a VGA Overlay (pass through, basically). I would say this would be a neat idea, save for the fact that PC CD-ROM dives can’t read DC discs. I’d love to see how they get around that one. Oh, and the 3DO Blaster sold badly.
Another idea is the set-top box. Daily Radar has already shown is the Mark II, a combo DC and TiVO-type unit with a 40GB hard drive. A neat idea, except for the fact that it has its controller ports in the back of the unit and it has no GD-ROM drive. Yep, the only games this guy can play are downloaded ones. Sure, I wanna download Shenmue III over the Internet and pay as I play. Lame.
The Dreamcast isn’t technically dead, but it might as well be. This set-top box idea will never work, and they sound more committed to the PS2 and GBA than the console they got us all to buy. Still, better to not lose Sega as a developer – the Jet Grind Radios and Crazy Taxis of the world will not be lost.
But I think Sega is a wimp. Sure, I’ve never stuck my neck into the hardware market and lost millions, but I think they’re pulling out too early. The DC had potential, and Sega doesn’t even want to hang with the big boys anymore. What I feel most sorry for are the people who had to sell the DC to people in stores, saying “this won’t be another Saturn”. Oh, wait, that was me!
On the bright side, at least my PS2 will find more use at some point.
Finally, while I don’t feel like working up a formal “Columns” section tonight, here’s my first article on Schnapple.com, Book Roundup.