The two posts below are prime examples of the latent confusion, reactions, and outbreak of the news that everyones been going on about The Death Of The Dreamcast
You havent see me post any of it on SHQ News because quite frankly I had no idea if any of it was true and neither did many of the sources at the time. So I'm composing this news article to get some facts straight and hopefully inform people as to whats going on....
The source I'm going by is IGN's News Articles (as thier the best to decipher) which you can find here: IGN Dreamcast. The article is being reprinted here in full. Important things to note will be in bold and underlined.
The Death of Dreamcast: Sega Confirms Price Drop, Inventory Reduction, and More
How's that for an elaborate revenge plot, EA? Come witness the coming shift of power.
A great man once said, "It's true, it's true." After months of denial, the house that Sonic built decided to follow suit, confirming what many thought to be unthinkable: Sega of America is calling it quits in the hardware business, and as part of their plans to completely wash their hands of that side of the business, they are dropping the price of the Dreamcast to $99.85 US as of February 4th, 2001. In addition to the price drop, Sega will be offering a number of incentive plans to retailers to help move the excess stock, though details were unavailable at press. Sega manager of marketing communications Heather Hawkins stated, "We'll continue to support the hardware through December 31st, as we anticipate some hardware will still be in retail at that time, but we'll no longer be holding inventory as of March 31st."
As reported earlier this week, Sega will be re-focusing its hardware efforts, and will look to license Dreamcast technology to outside hardware manufacturers. While Pace Micro Technology was the first such partner to be announced by Sega, VP of Corporate and Marketing Communications Charles Bellfield did not rule out the possibility of other agreements entering the picture, "Pace is going to be a key partner for us, the main one, but we're looking at other opportunities for the technology, obviously."
As hinted at by multiple announcements from Sega of Japan, the company will now approach a new focus as a publisher (WB note: For those that dont understand this - Think along the terms of Square and Capcom and how they are big game producing companies, but develop thier games for multiple platforms - The best examples of them being mega Man and Final Fantasy). This multi-platform strategy, dubbed "platform agnostic," will mean that from this point forward Sega will now be openly and aggressively developing content across all platforms in an attempt to become the world's leading game publisher.
Hawkins sees the position as the best route for Sega, stating, "Being platform agnostic means that we will have the opportunity to look at all platforms to determine which one will be the best fit for our content, both from a development/technical side and a demographic one, meaning we won't have to determine the feature set of a title by what by the constraints of any particular system."
On that note, Sega has announced several titles already in production for other platforms, most notably Yu Suzuki's upcoming sequel to the popular Virtua Fighter Series, Virtua Fighter 4, which is being developed from the ground up as a PlayStation 2 exclusive for a Fall release. [Ed's note: Pick your jaws up off the floor now, please. Done? OK, good. You may now continue reading.] Sega also confirmed that United Game Artists' Space Channel 5 would make its way to PlayStation 2 from Sega later this year, as well as titles in the Sakura Wars and Let's Make a Pro Sports Team series, though the latter 2 look unlikely for release in the States.
Sega finally confirmed the poorly-kept secret of their deal with Acclaim, and stated that the company will release Crazy Taxi, 18 Wheel American Pro Trucker and Zombie Revenge on the PlayStation 2 some time after April 2001.
Confirming statements made by Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s president Hiroshi Yamauchi earlier this week, Sega has revealed that they are working on multiple titles for Game Boy Advance, including Sonic the Hedgehog Advance (WB note: This had actually been rumored for quite a long while, before the Sega news ever came into existance), Chu Chu Rocket!, and Puyo Puyo. Sega officials also noted that while they made no announcements with regards to Microsoft's Xbox or Nintendo's other hardware effort, the upcoming GameCube, they are currently in negotiations to provide content to both platforms, with more concrete information undoubtedly on the way.
Sources inside Sega also mentioned that the company is looking into bringing some classic Saturn titles to the original PlayStation, though no decisions have been made to that effect yet.
All hope is not lost for the Dreamcast platform, however. Bellfield explained that "We're not giving up on Dreamcast. We'll continue to support the platform well into the next 18 months, and beyond that, as long as it is profitable." Now that Sega is moving out of the costly hardware business, this should prove to be a tricky proposition, as the system's limited install base will undoubtedly limit sales potential for new software.
Sega has confirmed over 30 titles for Dreamcast for the remainder of 2001 (WB Note: Sonic Adventure 2 - which looks to be the final Sega produced Sonic game on a system of thier own, is one of these), many of which we have revealed here, and it appears that Sega will be carefully evaluating where they will focus their content beyond this calendar year, where it will truly begin to expand on its new focus.
"Sega is a company that has always dared to be innovate and push this industry forward," said Peter Moore, president and COO, Sega of America. "Sega will continue to do so with its new strategy, and the result for consumers will be what you would always expect from a 'rules-breaker' like Sega – a library of pioneering, jaw-dropping content now available any way you want to play."
While the move will obviously benefit Sega, the effect of their new direction will have on Dreamcast owners remains to be seen. Expect the picture to become increasingly clear as we approach E3 2001, where the announcements should surface like baby seals in the wake of the Exxon Valdez.
Thier second story on this matter had this to say...
Sega of Japan has issued a few statements regarding the discontinuance of the Dreamcast hardware platform. Yes, folks, it's happening even in Japan. Throughout the world, Sega has amassed a surplus stock of 2,000,000 units, and these must all go out the door.
Here's what went wrong, according to Sega. Previously, game consoles were sold on the oft-publicized "Razor Principle", where you sell the razor at or below cost and make all your money selling blade cartridges. Similarly, one used to sell game systems at or below cost and make all the money back on software. According to Sega, this strategy didn't work with Dreamcast as the hardware cost was too high. Furthermore, the company was forced to discount the price of its hardware in order to remain competitive, which further added to the problem (WB note: Remember the Dreamcast Price Drop a while back?). Combine this with a difficult software market, and the Dreamcast business model was not able to meet the required returns in software for balancing out hardware sales.
It is because of this that Sega has decided to stop Dreamcast production. Additionally, the company mentions that it has suspended research and development on new hardware (WB note: This means that there will ABSOLUETLY BE NO DREAMCAST 2 OR NEW HARDWARE or WHATEVER. Software will continue, but no more hardware. Got it?). Anyone hoping for a new Sega system five or six years down the line when Sega has recuperated its losses are probably in for some disappointment.
Sega comments that it will continue supporting the Dreamcast system into the future, as previously mentioned. The company states that it has 30 first party titles in development with third parties accounting for an additional 40. We're not sure how one gets the previously mentioned total of 100 Dreamcast titles from this, even adding in American support, but we have a feeling even the 30 and 40 numbers are being optimistic.
So will Japanese-based Dreamcast product and support become hard to find in the future? Sega doesn't seem to think so. Dreamcast Direct and the various Sega partner shops will continue to carry Dreamcast product, meaning if someone in Japan wants a game, they need only turn here. If your Dreamcast should malfunction, Sega promises to have you taken care of. The company will keep various Dreamcast parts in stock for the next six years and will be open for servicing and repairs.
But what should happen if you write for a videogame website devoted to the Dreamcast platform? What do you do then? We'll see… we'll see… but I don't know nothin' 'bout writin' 'bout no Xbox! ^_^
And ladies and gentlemen - THAT is THAT.
All your questions and whatnot on just what the Death is have been answered. Dreamcast is DEAD, Sega however will continue as a third party platform. Whether or not they will develop for X-Box or Gamecube has yet to be decided (my sheer biasness for the PS hopes that Sonic will end up on one of the two) More news will surface on the up and coming weekend and I'll keep you posted.
So what does thsi mean for Sonic?
To be honest. No one knows that yet. Sonic Team is independent now and is still doing Sonic Adventure 2.
Sonic Advance was talked about ages ago since Sega did not wish to start a new Game Gear, so this was already known by many, but probably forgotten with all of the recent talk.
What is known is this - Considering that SA 2 will be a fouth quarter release in America, Sonic Adventure 2 will be the final Sonic Team produced Sonic game _PERIOD_ on ANY SEGA SYSTEM. THIS DOES NOT MEAN that this is the final Sonic game, but rather we'll probably no longer see him after this on a Sega Console. Consider it the end of the second Segasonic era. Its rather ironic really. Sonic began Service Games and kept it going. Sonic will now end out Service Games as its last hurrah and take it into its next step.
Sonic The Hedgehog however is NOWHERE near dear. Sonic Advance (appropriate title for the situation) will be the very first Sega Sonic game on a new rival system and will mark the beginning of the 3rd Segasonic Era. I cannot specifically say this, but I think I remember reading somewhere that Yuji Naka had actually liked the X-Box. And perhaps that Sonic/Mario crossover RPG that had been talked about and laughed at for YEARS may now have a way of actually seeing the light.
And thats that folks. Hopefully that will clear everything up. And if you have further posts or disccusion the topic (and this news story), like others is free for discussion on Station Square. And is now the Editorial Focus for the month of Feburary.
Hope to see you there!
Discussion: The Station Square Message Board: Sega's Big Goodbye