Why I killed the Sega Dreamcast

The man who pulled the plug on the greatest games console of recent times has been telling the world why he did it...

Sega's brilliant-but-doomed Dreamcast

Just the mere mention of Sega’s superb Dreamcast console is enough to get us into a bit of a rage, all this years later. The machine boasted the kind of software line up that any of the three major console manufacturers would kill for, and showed all sorts of innovations that were simply ahead of their time (the ability to go online, for starters). Sadly, such was the mistrust that people had in the Sega hardware brand, and such was the power of the PlayStation name, that the machine died a premature death, and Sega started making games for other people instead.

Peter Moore is the man who pulled the plug on the Dreamcast. At the time, he was head of Sega of America, and since then he’s been the chief of Xbox, before moving onto, ironically, his new job as President of EA Sports. It’s ironic, because EA also had a heavy part to play in the death of the Dreamcast, given its refusal to make games for it. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have been careful to toady up to EA where necessary ever since, as they all silently filed past the Dreamcast’s corpse.

Moore has now given an interview to The Guardian, where he talks about the point where he decided to pull the plug on the Dreamcast project. “We knew we could win”, he says at one point in the interview, before going on to criticise the lack of brand integration, and the unrealistic targets set by the Japanese parent company. “We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then 100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical mass to take on the launch of PS2”, he says. “It was a big stakes game. Sega had the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they decided they wanted to live to fight another day. So we licked our wounds, ate some humble pie and went to Sony and Nintendo to ask for dev kits”. Moore than talks about how he found himself in the position of pulling the plug, and breaking the news.

He puts it all most succinctly though when he utters the words “I’ve never met anyone who regretted buying a Dreamcast”. Too true, Peter. Too true. Here are our ten reasons for buying a second hand Dreamcast. Even now, you wouldn’t regret it…

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You can read The Guardian interview here.