Next Week is “SEGA Dreamcast 20th Anniversary Week” at The Splintering

Next week marks the 20th anniversary of the U.S. launch of SEGA’s final console, the SEGA Dreamcast.

Released on 9 September, 1999 (9-9-99) for $199.99, the SEGA Dreamcast brought along 19 launch games on day 1, including Sonic Adventure, The House of the Dead 2, Power Stone, NFL 2K and Soulcalibur. The Dreamcast hardware would also introduce several innovative features for home consoles, including a built-in 56k modem for online play and “Visual Memory Units” (aka VMUs) which not only served as memory cards, but sometimes displayed game details and allowed you to take small pieces of your games on the go (years before Nintendo’s Wii U and Switch hardware would attempt the similar ideas).

At the time, the Dreamcast launch was the most successful in history, though it would quickly be eclipsed by the PlayStation 2 the following year. Preorders of SEGA’s little white box numbered 300 thousand units. A total of 500 thousand Dreamcast consoles were sold in the first two weeks, including 225,000 during the first 24 hours, which set a video game sales record at the time. 

The Dreamcast would go on to sell more than 10 million units over its short lifespan. SEGA halted Dreamcast production in early 2001, and with that decision, the company made the transition to being a third-party developer.

Three early prototype designs for the SEGA Dreamcast

To celebrate the legacy of SEGA’s console swan song, The Splintering is aiming to deliver reviews, features, and other content over the next week. We hope you enjoy what we have in store for the SEGA Dreamcast 20th Anniversary celebration!

But why wait? Our friends over at Mega Visions Magazine (the only SEGA-themed print magazine out there) are hosting the annual Dreamcast Dreamless 24-hour Marathon starting tomorrow, 7 September on the Mega Visions Twitch channel. The Mega Visions team will be playing dozens of Dreamcast games, and you can help them support Extra Life (a charity supporting Children’s Miracle Network hospitals) at the same time. You can check out their full play schedule here.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you back next week!

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