Console Wars: Is the Sega Dreamcast & The Xbox Related?
In the last 15 years, Microsoft’s Xbox has risen to become, along with Sony’s PlayStation. One of the twin pillars of home console gaming. While stalwart companies like Nintendo have enjoyed success as well. Xbox and PlayStation are Coke and Pepsi.
Let's Discuss if Sega DreamCast is the first version of the original Microsoft Xbox Console
While Microsoft’s machine has built a solid reputation for itself. Through solid hardware and an extensive game's library, it didn’t materialize out of thin air. In fact, it wasn’t even the first of the famous “sixth-generation” of consoles. That honor goes to the Sega DreamCast, which was Sega’s last-ditch effort to save a sinking ship. And recapture some Sega Genesis mojo they’d lost along the way.
The Sega DreamCast exploded on the scene upon its release in 1999. The Dreamcast had rave reviews and high sales. Then 18 months later it was discontinued, making room for Xbox’s meteoric rise. But is that all there is to the story? Are these two consoles more intertwined than the official records suggest? Was the Xbox a successor to the Sega DreamCast’s historical footnote? Is there an argument to be made that it paved the way for Microsoft’s console? Here’s looking at the question from a few different perspectives.
DreamCast & Xbox Controllers
Right off, gamers will notice an aesthetic similarity between the two consoles controllers. While it’s true that there aren’t worlds of difference between many console controllers. Yet, it’s clear that Microsoft was influenced by the Sega DreamCast. When they designed their stick. This can be seen in the four A, X, B, Y buttons in diamond configuration, as well as the sheer size and bulk of the controller. But the real tell is the ports. The Sega DreamCast controller came with two expansion ports. Surprise, surprise—the Xbox aped that very same feature.
The game library
Both the Sega DreamCast and original Xbox were (and still are) beloved by hardcore gamers. For their extensive libraries of solid games. You can hardly accuse Microsoft of following in Sega’s footsteps by giving gamers good titles. What is more suspicious is that after the Sega DreamCast’s demise. Many of that console’s games, such as “Crazy Taxi” and “Shenmue,” released on the first Xbox.
Then there was the general cross-pollination of titles between the two systems. The popular Xbox series “Project Gotham Racing” was an extension of Sega DreamCast’s “Metropolis Street Racer”; “Jet Set Radio Future,” a reimagining of “Jet Set Radio” for Sega DreamCast, could also found on the Xbox; and the popular Sega Saturn game “Panzer Dragoon Orta,” which was supposed to have been released on the Sega DreamCast, finally found a new home on the Xbox. So, again, the links between Sega and Microsoft are obvious.
The online factor
The very first Xbox console released in 2001. Microsoft was eager to push the fact that the Xbox included a built-in modem, allowing for online play. For many gamers, this was a welcome innovation. And one feature that the other big boy in the room, the PS2, didn’t focus on (at least initially). But Xbox didn’t get there first—the Sega DreamCast included a built-in modem before any of ‘em.
While this feature represented the nascent stages of online compatibility. For the home video game consoles. The Sega DreamCast also managed to do a pretty good job with it. Sega was forward-thinking enough to allow users to upgrade the internal modem. Sega t delivered on its promise: allowing gamers to fire up the system and play with folks around the world. All one needs to do to see that the Xbox is the Sega DreamCast 1.5. It is to draw a line from that system to the wild popularity of Xbox Live a few years later.
When Microsoft announced in August 2015 that the Windows 10 was coming to Xbox One. This created quite a buzz. This was the moment Microsoft was finally, after 15 years, combining its two behemoths. But it wasn’t the first time the company had such an idea. The forerunner for putting a Windows operating system on a game console first occurred in ’98. Before the release of the Sega DreamCast. Sega had partnered with Microsoft to allow developers to make games. On Sega’s own platform or the Microsoft CE OS. To Sega, the notion of gamers being able to play titles. On either the Sega DreamCast console or personal computers running Microsoft CE. Meant less risk that their new console would flop.
The majority of developers chose to use Sega’s platform to produce titles. By the end of Sega DreamCast’s run, it had a paltry 50 or 60 CE-based titles. Despite this tactical failure, Microsoft saw the future. By 2016 they had finally made good on running a slick Windows operating system on a powerful console. In another way, the Sega DreamCast was the forerunner of the Xbox.
Whether the Xbox One is an extension of the Sega DreamCast?
Or the Sega DreamCast is a stand-alone precursor to the first Xbox. That, is one that stokes passionate online debate. Some don’t put much stock in the links between the two systems listed above. While others view much of Xbox’s success due to being built on the back of the Sega DreamCast. If the above points serve to illustrate anything, it’s that there is some weight to the latter argument.