What if the Sega Dreamcast was actually successful?

This is an 'alternative history' theory I once heard in a video once. While I never personally owned a Dreamcast, I have seen the models and such growing up and after a while I grew to admire the console despite the sad history behind it.

So, I wanna hear your thoughts, what if the Dreamcast was an actually successful console? How would it effect the gaming industry? How would Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony try to deal with SEGA still kickin' it to contemporary times with whatever hardware they pushed out? Gonna be frank, there's just something I like with the aesthetic it had along with the graphics and advertisements around it.

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GENOSAD

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I think the Dreamcast's success would have been at the expense of the Xbox. That's not to say that Xbox was a bad console, but that it came latest in the line of Gen 6 consoles and it was made by a company that hadn't already been establish in the gaming scene. I honestly doubt the GameCube would have sold much differently, although Nintendo fanboys would have definitely had a more loyal connection to it considering their long-time rivalry with SEGA.
I do think the PS2 would have come out on top in the end, however the Dreamcast would have been a big contender with it in Japan moreso than in the US. Microsoft is, after all, an American company, which loans a lot to it not performing well at all in the Eastern market.
 
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The Dreamcast was the first console with a built-in modem. A lot of the early games and applications for it used the interconnectivity for everything from gaming to email. Plus, the roster of games was rather experimental compared to its contemporaries

I think if the Dreamcast won the console wars, we would have more games pushing boundaries around art styles and ways of interacting with each other online. There would probably be less of an obsession of "realistic graphics" and a lot less Call of Duty-type trash. We'd probably have more colorful games like Rez or Power Stone (or at least that's what I want to believe)
 
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The Dreamcast was the first console with a built-in modem. A lot of the early games and applications for it used the interconnectivity for everything from gaming to email. Plus, the roster of games was rather experimental compared to its contemporaries
Oh shit, I completely forgot about that... It's likely that online play would have taken off a decade before it did, had the Dreamcast succeeded.
 
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Personally, I think one of the big failings of the Dreamcast was the lack of anything Konami on it, at a time when they were at their peak. Metal Gear and Silent Hill: that's what's missing. A lot of the appeal though, is precisely that it never got big. It has always been an alternate future machine, I feel. My favorites, Sengoku Turb, Lack of Love, Seventh Cross, Napple Tale, they are my favorites because of how alien they can be at times.

I think the Dreamcast's success would have been at the expense of the Xbox. That's not to say that Xbox was a bad console, but that it came latest in the line of Gen 6 consoles and it was made by a company that hadn't already been establish in the gaming scene.
How would it effect the gaming industry? How would Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony try to deal with SEGA still kickin' it to contemporary times with whatever hardware they pushed out?
At points during its development, the Xbox was planned as a direct successor to the Dreamcast, and was planned to have backwards compatibility with it. In a lot of ways, Microsoft is only in the industry because the Dreamcast was not successful (though iirc they announced their intentions to enter, before that was the case). Halo, even, had a Dreamcast version at some point early on.
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Oh shit, I completely forgot about that... It's likely that online play would have taken off a decade before it did, had the Dreamcast succeeded.
Hmm, unlikely. All the same factors that limited online console gaming at the time would still exist. Most dedicated online games during this generation required payment to access the online functionality, online play was rare in general, Internet speeds were slow, and it really wasn't until XBOX came along with it's single payment online access in XBOX live that things took off and even that took until the 360 to actually catch on, mostly due to Halo. The only thing I see changing is under this circumstance is free cosmetic/small download events may have been much more popular due to SEGA regularly implementing them in their Dreamcast releases.

Personally, I think one of the big failings of the Dreamcast was the lack of anything Konami on it, at a time when they were at their peak. Metal G
At points during its development, the Xbox was planned as a direct successor to the Dreamcast, and was planned to have backwards compatibility with it. In a lot of ways, Microsoft is only in the industry because the Dreamcast was not successful (though iirc they announced their intentions to enter, before that was the case). Halo, even, had a Dreamcast version at some point early on.
That is fascinating, a Dreamcast success would have killed XBOX, being replaced by Dreamcast 2.0. It's success would have come at the direct expense of the PS2 since that was the thing that unironically killed it in the first place. With the victory of the PS2 damaged going into the next generation may have kicked Sony out of the market due to the PS3 floundering on launch, setting up another Sega vs Nintendo situation.
 
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This is an 'alternative history' theory I once heard in a video once. While I never personally owned a Dreamcast, I have seen the models and such growing up and after a while I grew to admire the console despite the sad history behind it.

So, I wanna hear your thoughts, what if the Dreamcast was an actually successful console? How would it effect the gaming industry? How would Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony try to deal with SEGA still kickin' it to contemporary times with whatever hardware they pushed out? Gonna be frank, there's just something I like with the aesthetic it had along with the graphics and advertisements around it.

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I don't think there would have been room for four consoles in the Xbox/PS2/GC era. If Dreamcast took off, I think it would have eaten one of those console's lunch.

I'm going to assume a success is around 40 million units sold and those come at the expense of all the other consoles that generation. I actually think Sega could have taken a bigger bite out of Gamecube sales than PS2, because PS2 was also marketed as a DVD player and JRPG machine, while both Dreamcast and Gamecube would have been similarly positioned as smaller, cheaper consoles with four controller ports that could be easily taken to someone's house and set up to play local multiplayer games. I also am assuming would would have got some kind of Sonic Kart racer and other party games for Dreamcast to compete with the like of Mario Party, Mario Kart and Smash Bros. Given those similarities and assumptions, I think in an alternate universe where Dreamcast is successful, Nintendo exits the home console market to exclusively make handhelds after the failure of Gamecube.
 
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I think in an alternate universe where Dreamcast is successful, Nintendo exits the home console market to exclusively make handhelds after the failure of Gamecube.

That's pretty scary to think about because the GBA Hardware, although the GBA was a great portable console, isn't really enough to take on the weight of the console hardware that of the Gamecube and later Wii down the line. I think in this timeline Nintendo would likely go into a panic as the GameCube begins to slog in sales and would take drastic steps to get their feet back up. Which is what happened in 2005 and 2006 with the announcement and launch of the Wii, which revolutionized console gaming as we know (Hence the project name's "Revolution")

I would think that Nintendo would have to find ways to not only get back at their feet but also to get back into a stronger position to compete against with Nintendo. Maybe the Wii continues to be developed in this time period?
 
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If this were to ever happen Sega would have to not fumble the ball with everything they do and keep the Genesis hotstreak going. But I would think that the industry would be for the better if Sega was still in the console race. They seemed to be very into experimenting with their games (they made arcade games out of fishing for christ's sake) so I think it all wouldn't be as stale as it is now.

Like punishedgnome said, there would be too much room for 4 consoles so I think Microsoft would be the most likely to go. But there's still every chance that the launch of the PS3 could've strangled Sony out of the race if we want to play the long game. Microsoft would just have to hang on and they'd have a niche of being on the pulse of the American side of gaming.
 
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punishedgnome

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That's pretty scary to think about because the GBA Hardware, although the GBA was a great portable console, isn't really enough to take on the weight of the console hardware that of the Gamecube and later Wii down the line. I think in this timeline Nintendo would likely go into a panic as the GameCube begins to slog in sales and would take drastic steps to get their feet back up. Which is what happened in 2005 and 2006 with the announcement and launch of the Wii, which revolutionized console gaming as we know (Hence the project name's "Revolution")

I would think that Nintendo would have to find ways to not only get back at their feet but also to get back into a stronger position to compete against with Nintendo. Maybe the Wii continues to be developed in this time period?
Maybe. Most of their money came from GBA during the Gamecube years anyway IIRC, so they probably still would have had the resources to focus on R&D for the Wii had the Gamecube only sold ten million or so units.

I was just thinking about how they merged their two lines into one after Wii U flopped hard. I was picturing a similar process, but a decade earlier if Gamecube flopped as hard as Wii U due to Sega actually selling a few Dreamcasts. Maybe we would have gotten a more powerful Nintendo DS?
 
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