Online before it was mainstream

Online gaming is a huge thing today and it allows people to play and interact with thousand to millions of people around the world.  Many years ago it was hard to even think about playing with someone in Japan while you sit in the comfort of your living room.  The closest anyone could get to playing with others is actually having people coming to their house or going to their local arcade.  Arcades is a huge part of gaming culture and it actually shape many of the games that people play today.  But with technology rapidly growing, these locations are becoming obsolete .

The new home consoles are actually taking up this market now.  All three of the main systems; Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, and the PS3,  have functions that allows the player to connect with others all over the world.  Xbox live, Playstation Network, and Nintendo Wifi, has millions of people signing on everyday so they can play and interact with others.  Conversations grow and the online community begins to have their own groups within this network.  Within these groups conversation topics flutter from the weather, to how had the best play in the games.  Online gaming on home consoles is a new wave, but many people truly do not  know where it originally came from.

When ask what is the first online community for video game consoles many people would say and argue that Xbox live was truly the first network to allow gaming online into peoples homes. This is actually not true, because the Playstation 2 had an online network of its own.  The first actual gaming console that allowed people to communicate and play with others online presented itself on September 9, 1999 (9/9/99).  The Sega Dreamcast was a new console that showed better gameplay and far more superior graphics then its competition.  The one special thing about owning this system was that it allowed people to go online on web browsers and play games with others in the network.  You where allowed to play with others around the world and finally speak your mind to them when they decimate you in a game.

Although it was a great idea and very revolutionary for its thoughts and efforts, the Sega Dreamcast was the last system that the company Sega manufactured.  It did not do well with its sell, but critically it was a success.  The Sega Dreamcast did not work out and it fell off very quick.  The Dreamcast is the perfect example of technology before its time.  Even though it is an idea that is mainstream today; in 1999 it was not very premature and not ready for the public.  Many technological steps has this problem when they first come out.  Many publishers have the risk of releasing a new idea that the public is not ready for yet.  The Sega Dreamcast fell in this category.  Even though it did fell off, many gamers still want a new version of the Dreamcast.  This link shows the impact the first Dreamcast had, and still holds 12 years later.

One comment

  1. This is a really fascinating post. I also really enjoyed your link. I remember the failure of the Dreamcast which lead to the downfall of Sega in the console wars, so your link kinda of made me nostalgic for it and games like Crazy Taxi and Soul Calibur. I also didn’t know that the PS2 had an online function, I have to look at my PS2 and see where its at. In addition, I didn’t know that the Dreamcast was the first online console. Do you think now that all systems have online capabilities, if Sega had released the Dreamcast now (with next gen graphics, of course) it would have fared better?

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