Posted by: epicwes | March 7, 2008

Console Rundown~ Part III: The Later Years

Part 3 of the awesome saga known across the internet as Console Rundown. Here, I’ll be explaining about last generation of games. There is a total of 7 generations, the 7th being the current one (Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation3). This segment is about the 6th, and anything before that is considered retro in the eyes of the gaming world. There are 4 consoles here, so I’ll start with the first on released, the SEGA Dreamcast.

The DC. Wow, such an accomplishment. It was higly renowned for its pioneering in gaming, being the first system to ever support online gaming (the Microsoft Xbox didn’t come until 3 years later). It had many working names during production, inculding the following; White Belt, Black Belt, Dural, Dricas, Vortex, Katana, Shark, and Guppy. First released in America on September 9, 1999 (the date 9/9/99 was used heavily in the US promotion for the console). However, the DC didn’t drum up enough support, and was overshadowed by the PlayStation2, which came 16 months later. The DC did sell well, but because SEGA hadn’t been keeping up with it’s current console (The Neptune was scrapped for the Saturn, and the Saturn was ignored for the DC). Sony, however, had the PlayStation going steady for a long while, and the PS2 was as good an upgrade as could have been expected.

So, the DC was good, but just not good enough to stay in the race. The PlayStation2 launched in America in October 26, 2000. IT was a huge success, claiming its early title as the best of the newest consoles. It beat out the DC in both graphics, games, and price. But that didn’t stop the DC from hanging in there.

Then, a double-whammy for the DC. First, the Microsoft Xbox came out in full steam on November 15, 2001. It didn’t have time to catch on as much as the PS2 did, because the next system came out only 3 days later. It was $299 at launch, pretty pricey for a game console. But the price didn’t stop it from selling so well.

Three days later, on November 18, 2001, the Nintendo Gamecube jumped into the race as the last of this generation. The GC was only $199 at launch. It was the most compact and had the cheapest hardware of the four. But being from Nintendo, it was nearly garunteed to last. It never had internet, which is why it didn’t di as well as it could.

Now this was all fine and dandy, but the market was getting crowded. The PS2 was the frontrunner in sales, and the XB was keeping up with it’s wide variety of games (mostly first person shooter, which ws becoming all the rage). And the GC was, well, Nintendo. You can’t say video games without thinking of Nintendo. So, the only one left to go was the Dreamcast. It worked quite well, leaving room for the three left to battle it out. It was a sad time to see the Dreamcast go, but it had to be someone. Most of these dejected SEGA fans turned to Sony when the DC died. They would never betray their company by joining their rivals Nintendo, and Microsoft didn’t quite fit the bill. This was also a big contributor to the success of the PS2.

Now, there was no clear winner. Many people say the PS2 won, and it certainly had the best sales. The GC sold the least, but more many was spent on its games. XB was somewhere in the middle most of the time. Either way, all three of the companies went on the make consoles in the next genration, so the winner didn’t matter.

Stay on close watch for next week when I review portable gaming systems. This will give me an excuse to show off my blantant Nintendo fanness (couldn’t think of the right word to use here). So, I hope you enjoyed me reviewing of the latest generation of gaming to conclude.

Nintendo Gamecube = GC
SEGA Dreamcast = DC
Sony PlayStation2 = PS2
Microsoft Xbox = XB



  1. The failure of the dream cast is a real shame. Think about this; if the dreamcast had been a success, sega would still be in the game competing( maybe even defeating) with the 360 and wii.
    SEGA R.I.P

  2. I truly love this series! I mean, I am a computer and video game history nut, buy many things are new to me. The dreamcast wow! Sega’s demise was truly a shame. I remember one of the first games I ever played was sonic; those were the good old days. Epicwes, do you own a nintendo DS? If so, what games do you recommend purchasing? I own a DS as well. Right now, I am playing zelda. A great game but it is really hard.

  3. Yes, I do own a DS. I play it frequently. I just beat the Zelda game for the DS (Phantom Hourglass). It was actually pretty simple. The only challenging parts for me were the Temple of the Ocean King, where you keep having to go back there.
    My recommended games would be StarFox: Command, Mario Kart DS, and maybe Mario and Luigi: Partners In Time.
    The starfox one has interesting gameplay which involves stategy and planning out your forms of attack. I can see you’d like it. Mario Kart is always fun, and the DS one bring a new light tot he series with the WiFi. Mario and Luigi is an RPG, turn-based attack that involves an awesome plot with aliens and time travel.
    But before you get any games, I’d advise you get a WiFi USB connector. You can get one for about $30 at Best Buy or Circuit City. It also works for a Wii to get internet.

  4. Sega played a huge role in the developement of the GC. Nintendo has stated that it based a large part of its software configuration on the dreamcast. This could be one reason that the GC never did as well as Nintendo expected it to. Also, Gamecube was overshadowed by the amazing graphics(of the time) of the Xbox. Nintendo is now at the top of its game with the release of the Wii!

  5. I agree, the DC did play part of the GC making. but its hardware was smaller. The GC really didn’t do so well, but it still sold enough. Gamers claim that the Wii is more of a novelty and not for serious gamers. but that’s all about to change with the release of Super Smash Brothers Brawl on Sunday. I’m going to the midnight release at GameStop on Saturday night. ANd I’ll make a post about afterwards.

  6. I agree that the DC was a great product and it was a shame it never worked out. It came with a built in modem that was a cool feature, but was never properly utilized. I would have loved to see another Sega console. But I would have to say that the PS2 was the winner of this generation of the console wars. It came out at the perfect time, IMO. It wasn’t the best technically, but they are still the popular to this day.

  7. luckily, I have wi-fi in my house so I do not need the usb connecter. Here i my problem with the DS wi fi. I recently updated my network to WPA2 encryption. Sadly, the DS only supports the old version of wireless encryption( WEP). I have played on the wi- fi service( when i had WEP) and it was pretty cool. I wish mario cart DS had voice communication( probably to intense). I have another question? Do you think it is worth getting wii fit when it comes out? Or should I get smash brothers brawl? I am torn between two worlds. The classic nintendo games like smash bros., and the newer more innovative games like wii fit.

  8. Just a quick thought; Have you ever noticed that nintendo mimics Apple in tons of ways? I have a few excellent examples. First: A long running staple of apple was its use of polycarbonate plastics( the same stuff bullet proof glass is made of) in their products. Well, the wii and ds are polycarbonate also. In fact, the ds( lite) has the same inside matt finish as the macbook! Second: I think the most obvious mimic is nintendoes site and apples. From the toolbar to the layout, everything mimic apple’s style( see screenshot below) Apple homepage
    Nintendo home page:

  9. Mario Kart does support voice chat. All DS games with WiFi do. The DS has a built-in microphone, and some games require you to speak into it. I would say wait on Wii Fit. Smash Bros is one of the greatest series in existence, and the hype about Brawl is expected. Wii Fit doesn’t come until May, so that should give you enough time to save some money.

    Also, I wouldn’t really call it mimicing. Apple didn’t patent the site layout or the use of polycarbonate plastics. Sure, they’re similar. But so are a lot of things. And who’s to say that Nintendo didn’t have that site layout first? All I’m saying is that its not so much mimicing as much as it is a coincidental similarity.

  10. Great series, keep it up

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