Shortly after the Dreamcast announcement took place in Japan, the Internet was alive with discussion of the new system. Fans ran to various web sites to check out the first pictures of the system and demos. It was a frenzy, a mob scene, truly a Creamcast - and the best thing to happen to Sega in two years.
Not surprisingly, reaction was mixed to the new name given to the machine formerly known as the Katana. Most found it hard to get used to the name, but it seems to be slowly sinking in. Reader Eric Boles told us, "I like the name Katana better, but I guess a name really doesn't matter, but it's what the system can do."
One reader told us, "Couldn't they have called it something less wimpy sounding, though? Although I have to admit the first time I heard 'PlayStation' I just about hurled."
Another said, "What's with that swirl? I thought new consoles were supposed to be marketed like super hi-tech mega performance machines, not Fruitopia!"
But generally, the consensus is that a system by any other company would not have sounded as sweet: "Too much is being made of the system name and logo. It's not the greatest name ever conceived but it'll do," one reader commented. "At least Sega put some thought into the name (*ahem* Nintendo 64), and it's still better than the name PlayStation. A name doesn't make or break a system."
As for the system's look, Michael Thompson's comment mirrors one similar to what we thought when we saw the first pictures. "Dreamcast. The answer to the burning question, "What if Nintendo64 and PlayStation had a baby?" Because that is exactly what Dreamcast looks like!"
Jeremy Likes told us, "As I watched the first news trickle in from Bernie Stolar's US press conference, I began to develop a truly good feeling about what Sega is striving to accomplish. I have never seen such a positive 'I can win' attitude for anyone in the gaming biz."
While reaction was generally really good, some weren't quite as impressed by the machine. "The Dreamcast is an obvious attempt to reap status as 'the first 128-bit machine,'" said reader Daniel Hall. "With specifications which merely add numbers to existing technology, i.e. more RAM, faster CD ROM, 128-bit processor, etc. etc., it is obvious that the Dreamcast is not breaking new ground, but merely creating a PC-like console that will be out an entire six months in Japan before it is eclipsed by faster incarnations of the same technology."
The specs are one area where reaction took a downturn. While most were impressed at the step up, some thought that Model 3 and some of the more advanced PC graphics cards were more impressive. "Although specs are good and all, it doesn't have the 'standard' it needs. What resolution? Textured? At what color depth? etc.... Although I can see specs as better with higher numbers, I'd like to see a game that utilizes it."
The Microsoft connection was also frowned upon by some, saying that the company currently under investigation by the US government gives the system a different agenda. "They partnered with Microsoft - who people trust even less," Anthony Guzman told us. "Microsoft has proven time and time again that it is concerned only with profits and not at all with user satisfaction. I thought that that was the image Sega was trying to get away from."
Another reader said of the Microsoft connection, "I hope they don't force people to use Internet Explorer."
One of the biggest disappointments of the announcement was the fact that no games were announced or shown. "What is disappointing is that no games were announced or shown. I would have loved to have seen a few shots of one or two games." Believe us, we would've liked that too.
ViperZX told us, "As for me buying the import - you're damn right I'm buying it! Me and two other people will be spending a thousand dollars that day. Hey, we might even videotape the whole occasion - that's how pumped up we are."
Among the wish list of games for the Dreamcast that we received were: Sonic, VF3, Sega Rally 2, Street Fighter 3, a good RPG, Virtual On 2, Grandia, Shining Force 2&3, Daytona 2, Lost World, Bio Hazard 3, Panzer Dragoon, Quake, Duke, Phantasy Star V, new Golden Axe, Super GT, all sports, Tomb Raider 3, a Twisted Metal-type game, Shinobi 3D, House of the Dead sequel, Harley Davidson Riders, WipeOut XL, and Marvel Vs. Capcom. With just a few of these, Sega could have a seriously winning library.
Reader Don3z says, "As long as Sega of America and Sega Enterprises support this system to the fullest and see to it that quality games are being produced to meet the needs of the gamers, it will be a huge success. Well, here's hoping anyway."
Chris Merrill told us, "Overall I think it sets the standard. If it comes in at US$199 then good, if it's $201 then we'll see. I really think $225 could be dangerous if Playstation2 is announced. It would be easier to wait, especially if the PlayStation 2 is backwardly compatible."
Keep sending us your thoughts and questions - we'll do our best to get them answered.