The SEGA Dreamcast was officially released on September 9, 1999 in North America, and was the first in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding Sony’s PlayStation 2, Nintendo’s GameCube and Microsoft’s Xbox. Unfortunately, it was also SEGA’s final home console, marking the end of the company’s 18 illustrious years in making game consoles. Many considered it ahead of its time when SEGA discontinued it on March 31, 2001 after selling 9.13 million Dreamcast units worldwide. Read more for a video and additional information.
Unlike the Saturn, the SEGA Dreamcast used “off-the-shelf” components, like a Hitachi SH-4 CPU and an NEC PowerVR2 GPU, to reduce costs. Other hardware included 16MB of main RAM, 8MB of RAM for dedicated graphic textures, 2MB of RAM for sound, a 12x speed Yamaha GD-ROM Drive, and support for Microsoft Windows CE. The Dreamcast enjoyed a successful U.S. launch due to a large marketing campaign, but interest quickly waned as gamers shifted their attention to Sony’s PlayStation 2. At the end of its life cycle in 2001, SEGA initially reduced the price to $99 to eliminate its unsold inventory, which was estimated at 930,000 units as of April 2001, but a further reductions to $79 and $49.95, were required to clear out all stock.