Recently, in a ceremony for the Okawa Foundation, Sega Enterprises chairman
Isao Okawa made several announcements about the Dreamcast's future and the
future of Sega as a whole.
The highlight of the show was the Dreamcast peripherals that made their
appearance. Networking seems to be the big theme for the DC and Sega, as
they displayed several new devices to help make the system even more
interactive and dynamic. Among them were the Dreamcast Digital Camera,
Dreamcast zip drive and a DC microphone.
The camera and mic are designed with both video and audio communication in
mind. Perhaps a little picture-in-picture or HUD on the other players
screen. The zip drive, however, offers some of the most potential for the
Dreamcast. Sega claims it will be considerably faster than the current PC
drives available, but has no US release date. The last heard foreign
release is February. Ideally, the drive would allow for game customization
and expansion through downloads.
Mr. Okawa also discussed the ability of the Dreamcast to compete with the
upcoming Playstation 2 and Dolphin consoles. He feels that the DCs
networking abilities and modem inclusion are the true strengths of the
machine. Network gaming is where the DC appears to be headed.
The big surprise of the evening, though, was the announcement that the
Dreamcast would most likely be Sega's last console system. What this boils
down to is that Sega will be putting a lot of effort into Dreamcast
peripherals to expand it and turn it into the greatest machine they can.
Okawa feels that Sega's future lies in the internet and software titles
rather than their console influence.
With the online support for the Dreamcast coming to the US in the near
future and the focus on enhancing addons, the DC could end up being one of
the most impressive systems to grace gamers' hands. The path Sega will be
taking after this is foggy, but could prove to be incredibly successful.