The Dreamcast (ドリームキャスト, Dorīmukyasuto?) is a video game console which was released by Sega in November 1998 in Japan and later in 1999 in other territories. It was the first entry in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding its rivals: Sony PlayStation 2, Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo GameCube. 10.6 million units were sold worldwide, as of 2002.
Dreamcast sales were positive during launch, but when Sony announced the PlayStation 2, sales of the Dreamcast plummeted. When the PS2 was launched, it became very popular, and the Dreamcast lost much of its momentum. Sega later came to the realization that it did not have the resources to compete. The Dreamcast was discontinued as early as February 2002, which marked Sega's withdrawal from the console hardware business altogether. Support of the system continued in Europe and Oceania until the end of 2002, while in Japan, consoles were still sold until 2007 and new licensed games continued to be released.
Despite its short lifespan, the Dreamcast was widely hailed as ahead of its time. It saw the release of many new game series which have been considered creative and innovative, such as Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Shenmue, which was the most expensive game produced at the time. The console itself is still held in high regard for pioneering online console gaming; it was the first console to include a built-in modem and Internet support for online play. As of 2012, the Dreamcast is still supported via small independent companies such as RedSpotGames and the GOAT Store.
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“The vanity of the sciences. Physical science will not console me for the ignorance of morality in the time of affliction. But the science of ethics will always console me for the ignorance of the physical sciences.”
—Blaise Pascal (16231662)