Mentioned many times before, the threat
to the Dreamcast is its brand name. Sega has not had a good history with its
consumers, and numerous failures over the company's history have caused
many consumers to
distrust Sega, and even Sega fans are constantly on the lookout for any signs of failure,
and are ready to jump to another system if necessary. Also, there has been no 'big
game' announced for the system. The Dreamcast has neither a Donkey Kong or a Final
Fantasy, and Sonic's success has been abysmal
at best. Without a 'big game',
consumers may not be easily swayed to buy the Dreamcast, since lack of software would
certainly mean a failed system, no matter how good it is technologically.
The Playstation 2
The great weakness lies within the irony
of the system. Unlike the Dreamcast's easy-to-program hardware, the complexity of
the Emotion Engine may prove to be too difficult a task for developers. All of a
sudden they have to take note of many new functions, like the frown on a character's face,
or a dust cloud when the wind blows. All this makes for extremely realistic
gameplay, but also means a lot more work for developers. Backward compatibility
means that new games developed for the Playstation 2 will have to contest with numerous
'old' games or 'Greatest Hits' for $10 a game. Will consumers buy the new, more
expensive ones, or the older, yet cheaper and 'classic' games? This will pose an
extra problem for new, unestablished titles.
And so, the verdict is...
Time will tell. The Dreamcast is
strong now, and if it can rally more gamers during the one year period it will have ahead
of the release of the Playstation 2 then the Dreamcast
will stand a good chance of emerging
as the victor of the console wars. However, Sega cannot dally, since Nintendo has
also released some tentative plans for a 128 bit system to rival the Dreamcast.
Within that one year, time must be well spent, lest the Dreamcast be added to
Sega's list. The 'failure' list of course.
The Playstation 2 has yet to show any
third party support, and if it does not have any, the system will surely fail. The
Playstation 2 is a very promising console, and if good games and a number of respectable
third party developers like SquareSoft and Enix can be bought over, the Playstation 2 has
the greatest chance of becoming the gaming console to have for the next 3 years!