The SEGA Dreamcast is one of the more forgotten relics of gaming lore, and in many ways, it marked the demise of the formerly great SEGA gaming empire.
However, there are still those out there who haven't forgotten about its weird controller and proto-online connectivity. Indeed, there are some out there who want to bring it back from the dead.
Check out some commercials for the 1999 release of the Dreamcast below:
In fact, you may have seen headlines on your Facebook feed recently claiming SEGA plans to release a Dreamcast 2 -- a kind of PC-console hybrid dubbed Project Dream. Before we get ahead of ourselves I need to be a bit blunt. No, this probably isn't going to happen. Sorry.
The story in question, which rocketed to the top of Facebook trending recently, carried the title of "Sega Reportedly to Release New PC-Console Hybrid." The inclusion of 'reportedly' is important here, as it is basic 'journalistic' jargon for, "Well, we haven't heard anything official yet, but some person on the Internet said it, so we're going to publish it as quasi-fact anyway. Alright?"
In reality, Project Dream is quite an apt name, since at the moment it is a relatively pie-in-the-sky dream of a group of avid SEGA fans who plan to pitch their concept to SEGA. The group, headed by Patrick Lawson, has dubbed itself a 'coalition' and consists of "an indie OEM Silicon designer, the founder of the Shenmue 500K group, the SEGA fan behind the Dreamcast 2 petition and some SEGA of Japan interns." It is at this point that alarm bells should be ringing - since as you can see, no one from SEGA (save for some interns) is actually involved on the project.
At the minute, the group's main modus operandi is a change.org petition which they hope to use to persuade SEGA to release a limited edition of a HD SEGA Dreamcast console. In fact, given the recent inaccurate reporting surrounding the project, a member of the coalition, Ben Plato, added a post which cleared up some of the misconceptions. He stated:
- Let me make this clear:
- 1. We are petitioning Sega and want as many signatures as possible.
- 2. When we hit a satisfied number of signatures, we will put forth a detailed proposal to Sega (Japan) along with plans, desings etc.
- 3. We have a developer on board willing to build the console providing Sega give the green light.
- 4. The console is intended to be a Hybrid PC Dreamcast system with updated specs and the ability to redraw games in High Definition.
- 5. If Sega don't like our proposal, we are planning to push forth and create a machine capable of doing so, however that will require crowd funding.
- 6. There are other interested parties and we are in ongoing discussion with them and exploring many avenues.
- 7. The console is yet be named and is not planned to be called "Ring Edge or Ring Zero"
So, as you can see, we are still, a long, long way from a SEGA Dreamcast 2. In fact, it is likely that even with millions of signatures, SEGA would be reluctant to go back into the hardware market. It left that part of the industry for a reason, and now it irks a fairly successful existence out of creating third party content and publishing games.
Moreover, signing a petition is not the same as using your actual money to buy an actual console. Ask any gamer "Do you want to see a Dreamcast 2?" and they'll probably say, "Yeah. Sure. I guess?". Ask them if they're willing to actually buy one and you'll probably hear, "Err. No. I don't think so. Sorry."
In any case, it seems like the Project Dream guys do have something to announce. Their newly released, and pretty bombastic, website features a countdown that is due to end on December 31st. I'm not sure what it is they're going to announce, but I'm almost certain it is not the Dreamcast 2.