An introspection of one’s childhood memory as we celebrate the fabled console’s twentieth anniversary.
September 9th, 1999
The four nines was a date that was met with great anticipation. Not only would it be the last date where we would see such a phenom in the 20th century with 8/8/88 before it, but it marked a date that would go down in gaming history.
It was the launch day of the Sega Dreamcast in North America.
Today marks the twentieth anniversary of Sega’s final console. “It’s always thinking,” was the catchphrase for the console and it left many thinking about the console for years after its discontinuation. While it was Sega’s Swan Song, the console gave many young gamers a glimpse into the future at the time.
I’m not here to give a history lesson on the Dreamcast however. I’m here to give my personal experiences with the console as it has been an immense part of my childhood.
My first experience with the console was at a Halloween party that my neighbors were hosting. In one of the rooms, the older kids were gathered around taking turns playing Sonic Adventure. I was six at the time, so I had to watch as the older kids took priority. When it came time for my turn, I’ll never forget my jaw dropping when I saw Speed Highway for the first time.
For comparison’s sake, I was playing Crash Bandicoot 3 almost religiously on my Playstation. To compare the graphics and what you were able to do between the two games was unprecedented. I didn’t know the meaning of “generational consoles” so I wasn’t aware that the Sega Dreamcast was the first of the next gen consoles. I didn’t care either. I was enamored from first sight.
Fast forward to later that year on Christmas. My uncle had taken me to his apartment and seeing my cousins for the first time in a while, I was gifted a surprise. Wouldn’t you know it was my very own Sega Dreamcast! Bundled with it was a copy of NBA 2K.
Back in the days when Iverson was on the cover of every single 2K. Good times.
Yes, the very first original NBA 2K. To say that the 2K series had come a LONG way from it’s humble beginnings is an understatement to say the least.
What also came bundled with my Dreamcast was a demo disc. I’ll never forget it. It was the Dreamcast Generator Vol 1 Sampler, which was a bunch of game demos and trailers for current and upcoming releases. It was a great way for me to play many titles that I would have otherwise missed under my radar.
Titles such as Power Stone, the aforementioned Sonic Adventure, House of the Dead 2, and I even recall a fishing game on there. All of these games, some of which I would eventually own, further emphasized how vastly ahead of its time the Dreamcast was in my now-seven-year-old eyes.
Credit: ebay, where you can find a lot of these demo discs and many others. Demo discs that came bundled with Dreamcast magazines were also how I found out about most of the games I’d eventually play.
Unfortunately, my original Dreamcast had long since kicked the bucket, but the memories that the console gave to me are those that will live on for they played a huge part in making me the gamer I am today.
So, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the North American release of the Dreamcast, I’ll post a game each day that I remember having the most fond memories of. I cannot promise I won’t run out of games to reminisce on until the end of September, but, whichever comes first. Expect the first game tonight!
To this anniversary and many more, we’re still dreaming even as adults.
Written by Nay Holland
Remember when games came with PC wallpapers if you insert the disk in your PC’s CD drive? I had wallpapers for months!