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Friday September 10, 2010 3:00 pm

The shared anniversary of Playstation and Dreamcast




Posted by John Kilhefner Categories: Culture, SEGA, Sony

September 9th marks the anniversaries of two systems that found their place nestled in the bosoms of video game culture in their own different ways. The PlayStation solidified itself as the first console to reach 100 million units sold (the PS2 has since surpassed this), while the Dreamcast remains a cult favorite among gamers. Both consoles helped to revolutionize the way that video games are played today, and we owe them a bit of gratitude on their American birthdays.

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Launched in North America on September 9, 1995, it marks the 15th anniversary of the Sony PlayStation. Fifteen years ago the PlayStation included eight launch games that dazzled gamers with 3D graphics the likes of which had never been seen. These included the killer app Ridge Racer, as well as: Battle Arena Toshinden, ESPN Extreme Games, Kileak: The DNA Imperative, NBA JAM Tournament Edition, Raiden Project, Rayman, and Street Fighter: The Movie. Sony’s PlayStation was the first successful CD based console; and through great branding, genius marketing, and genre bending games like Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid, the PlayStation achieved unparalleled greatness.

The original Sony console still breathes with life thanks to PSN on the PlayStation 3. Many of the PS’s classic games can be found on PSN, such as: Twisted Metal, Crash Bandicoot, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy 7-9, and many more!

The Dreamcast launched in North America on September 9, 1999. The Sega brand was in a bad way, and the Dreamcast was the company’s last hope for a viable future in the console biz. Consumers began to associate Sega with failed consoles like the 32X and Sega CD, and so Sega hoped to change all of that with their Dreamcast. The system launched with a whopping 17 games, the killer app being Sonic Adventure. However, Soulcalibur soon emerged as the title to buy, racking up perfect reviews in video game publications around the country. In fact, many of the Dreamcast’s launch titles became fan favorites. Hydro Thunder was an amazing arcade style water racer that featured incredible graphics and game play. It recently even surfaced as an arcade title on the Xbox 360. NFL 2K became a major contender for console Super Bowl champion, which was selfishly held by EA Sports. The boxing genre became reawakened with the cartoon-ish, but immensely fun Ready 2 Rumble Boxing. R2R featured real time bruising that showcased the Dreamcast’s impossible power. Another gem came from Capcom in the form of Power Stone. Power Stone was a full realm 3D fighter that is still considered one of the funnest fighting games to this day. Other launch titles included: Blue Stinger, Expendable, Flag to Flag, House of the Dead 2, Monaco Grand Prix, Mortal Kombat Gold, NFL Blitz 2000, PenPen Trilcelon, TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat, Tokyo Extreme Racer, and TrickStyle. With the sheer quality and diverse quantity, the Dreamcast had arguably the greatest launch line-up ever in the history of consoles.

The Dreamcast is credited with bringing the first successful application of online gaming to home consoles (Sega Saturn had tried before that). With Games like Quake and Phantasy Star (as well as DLC and online leader boards) Dreamcast helped usher in the new style of home gaming. But despite Sega’s best efforts, and the quality of the console, the Dreamcast would plummet like cement to a river bottom as soon as the Playstation 2 was released. However, indie developers still support the ill fated console to this day, and Xbox Live Arcade is slated to receive a slew of classic Dreamcast titles. *crosses fingers for Shenmue*  Today marks the console’s 11th anniversary: Long live the Sega Dreamcast!

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