Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

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Retro STrife
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Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby Retro STrife » November 25th, 2020, 8:37 am

We had a topic about how boring the 2020 system launches have been.. so it got me thinking, what was the best launch ever? There's a lot of ways to look at it, but for me personally the games are the biggest factor. For comparison, this link over to Gamepedia gives a good overview of all the launch line-ups over the years: https://gamicus.gamepedia.com/List_of_v ... unch_games

Another site did a poll which ranked them: (1) Dreamcast, (2) Xbox, and (3) Super Nintendo. And I'd agree, except I'd bump NES ahead of SNES. But the Dreamcast launch list is way more impressive than I remembered, with these 19 games:

AeroWings; AirForce Delta; Blue Stinger; Expendable; Flag to Flag; House of the Dead 2; Hydro Thunder; Monaco Grand Prix; Mortal Kombat Gold; NFL 2K; NFL Blitz 2000; PenPen TRiIceLon; Power Stone; Ready 2 Rumble Boxing; Sonic Adventure; Soulcalibur; TNN Motorsports Hardcore Heat; Tokyo Xtreme Racer; TrickStyle

The games I bolded especially stand out to me, and especially Soul Calibur, which was getting "best 3D fighting game ever" accolades from just about every critic out there. Plus you had the 9.9.99 marketing campaign, the $200 price, and the hype of the big graphics boost over the PS1 and N64. It almost sounds impossible that the system could fail.

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VideoGameCritic
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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 25th, 2020, 8:41 am

I say the answer is YES. It was also the last system you could get at launch without camping out!

I took off on 9/9/99 to pick up my pre-ordered Dreamcast at the malls' Electronics Boutique. It was a bit anticlimactic that I was the only one there! Still, I was giddy as a schoolgirl loading up my big bag with games, controllers, vmus...

And when I got home I was blown away by the first stage of Sonic Adventure. This may have been the last console with that immediate WOW factor. The only downside was that my Ready 2 Rumble disc didn't work. Apparently some of the launch games were defective.

Cafeman
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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby Cafeman » November 25th, 2020, 11:36 am

I would agree with Dreamcast launch. Similar experience, I went to EB at 6AM on 9/9/99 to ensure I got my DC, Sonic Adventure, and NFL2k, then took off some days to play them. Then I got Soul Calibur and Hyrdro Thunder, fantastic stuff.

The thing about that launch was not only the extreme jump in performance, but also there were many available games that were fresh and seemed very exciting at the time. Compare to PS5 launch, yes there is Dirt 5 and Miles Moralis which look a little better than the PS4 versions. But I can wait a year or two before I upgrade and it won't bother me for a single ray-traced moment.

Laugh if you want, but the Wii launch was quite an event. It was sold out all over the place. People loved it, and it was because of the new motion controls and Wii Sports, of all things.

matmico399
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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby matmico399 » November 25th, 2020, 5:29 pm

For me personally it would be the PS1. I remember there was so much hype for it much more than the Saturn. And it was a cd-based game one of the first that wasn't an add-on to another system. Me getting the PS1 was magical.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby Retro STrife » November 25th, 2020, 5:47 pm

Yeah, if I was to give a critique to the Dreamcast launch it would be -- despite all the strengths of the system and the games -- it just didn't seem to generate the same "gotta have it" appeal that other launches did. Part of that was that Sega had lost a lot of gamers' trust by then. Part of it was that PS1 was dominating the marketplace, and Sega had trouble pulling people away. But I think that's part of why you could easily find a Dreamcast at launch.

I can't remember any of the launches before Dreamcast (I was too young and broke to be paying attention), but from 1999 and after, I think Playstation 2 was the one I remember having the most hype surrounding it. And unfortunately that same hype is why a lot of people just skipped the DC entirely and waited for PS2 to come out.

Cafeman wrote:Laugh if you want, but the Wii launch was quite an event. It was sold out all over the place. People loved it, and it was because of the new motion controls and Wii Sports, of all things.


I actually agree with you about the Wii -- I wanted one badly and they were impossible to find for months upon months (longer than any launch I can remember). However, my recollection is that "day one" launch hype for Wii wasn't all that insane.. instead, it was like a growing wave after launch, where everyone and their grandma saw Wii Sports in action and had to buy one. Usually it's just hardcore gamers competing for launch systems -- Wii was the one time where even casual gamers had to have it, and it resulted in the most sustained launch hype I can remember.

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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby Gentlegamer » November 25th, 2020, 9:50 pm

Super Mario World is one of the best games of all time. And it was the SNES pack in at launch.

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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby BlasteroidAli » November 26th, 2020, 2:29 am

Atari Jaguar. The last console with true wow!! Factor. It was such a step up and had some great games like Club Drive!!! Ok Doom which was amazing. Until its last update Doom Raider.

DC. It showed so much early promise. Cannot remember when I first bought it but it has Resident Evil Code Veronica. Back when the series was going from strength to strength.

Then the games started to dry up. Though there were some classics released on it. Like Kiss Psycho circus. I did hope for an update to Kiss Pinball but sadly that was not to be.

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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby Robotrek » November 26th, 2020, 2:42 am

The original Xbox launch hit me pretty good. I was hyped as heck for this thing. I brought it home with more games than I should have purchased. I had Tony Hawk, Halo, Oddworld, Project Gotham, and Shrek of all games. I actually played Oddworld FIRST, which sounds odd considering the hype machine behind Halo. I was quite impressed with the graphics, and the game was pretty solid. I tried Shrek second, and I remember being VERY impressed with the lighting in that game. When I finally got around to Halo though, I was totally gripped. It stood out to me as a real step forward as far as shooters go. I had been gripped by Half-Life on my PC a few years prior, but this totally blew it out of the water as far as visuals went. Now as far as HOLDING my interest went, well, it didn't do that very well. Strangely enough I found the first Red Faction to have more staying power, especially in the multiplayer department. But it showed me just how much a step forward in visuals the Xbox provided. While I loved my PS2, the Xbox was my console of choice for all multi-platform games of the era. They all looked great. True Crime New York still looks great today!

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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 26th, 2020, 10:36 am

Blaster - I take it you were joking about the Jaguar! Club Drive gave it away. That console wasn't as much launched as jettisoned!

About the original Xbox, that was fun for me too. It came out around the holidays and I was going to wait to buy one, especially since I had camped out for the disappointing PS2 launch.

But I think I got a tip that CompUSA had them so I called over and they had three! So I went over and picked up the console with three games: Halo, Gotham Racing, and some other one I don't recall. I remember joking with the security guard to keep an eye on me when I was carrying my stuff out to the parking lot.

When I got home I was really impressed. The hard disk was a revelation - no need for memory cards! And once I played Halo, I thought to myself "I'll never need another game".

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Re: Best system launch ever? Was it Dreamcast?

Postby DocHix » November 26th, 2020, 12:23 pm

Very cool posts with nice memories of system launches past! I feel the Dreamcast was a great launch. I remember thirty minutes to midnight on 9/9/99 very well...there was a small group of gamers waiting for the east mall door to open which was nearest the Electronic Boutique. Everyone was excited, knowledgeable, and friendly. People comparing notes on which launch titles they were most interested in, speculation about what you might actually be able to do with a VMU, and debates concerning whether or not the rumors of free official Sega launch night t-shirts were true (they were not.) Most of all, I remember a young Mom who showed up with a 10 year old kid about five minutes to midnight. He was wearing a Sonic the Hedgehog shirt...they were last in line and the kid was worried that he might not get a system. There were a dozen or so people ahead of him...and EVERYONE on line insisted that he move up to the front and be the first one into the store.


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