Sega has announced a three-point strategy to help pioneer and proliferate online console gaming. The first is a price reduction for the Dreamcast. As of August 31, the console will sell for US$149.95. Customers can then apply for the SegaNet rebate program, which will begin when Sega's new ISP launches on September 7. Included in the rebate package are 50 free hours of online service. Players who sign up for the SegaNet service for 18 months (at $21.95 per month) will receive a $150 rebate for their Dreamcast at the new price point, as well as a free Dreamcast keyboard. To further lure gamers to SegaNet, Sega has confirmed several online games, including NFL2K1, NBA2K1, Phantasy Star Online, and Quake III Arena.
"The new suggested price of $149, the free 50 hours of use of SegaNet for every Dreamcast game console, along with the SegaNet rebate are just the latest steps Sega has taken to provide a myriad of benefits to consumers," said Peter Moore, president and COO of Sega of America Dreamcast. "We are confident that our combination of great hardware, unsurpassed title lineup, and the industry's first-ever online console gaming network will prove irresistible to consumers - especially those who may be frustrated by the lack of availability of other game systems this fall. Sega is in a great position now to extend to a much wider audience and continue to be an innovative and dynamic force in the video game industry."
Peter Roithmayr, vice president of merchandising/video games for Electronics Boutique, agreed. "With the announcement of the new suggested price of $149 and the upcoming launch of SegaNet, Sega is sure to enjoy a great holiday season and beyond," Roithmayr said. "Sega is bringing an additional level of choice to the category that will benefit consumers and the industry alike."