Skipping a Generation
February 27, 2002
I know it's been more than a year since my last update. Many things happened in that time. The most important one (to me at least) was that Sega left the hardware business. That really saddened me because I believe Sega did everything it could to make the Dreamcast a success. However, Sega lost so much goodwill over the years with its previous consoles that the retailers, the press, the third parties, and, probably most importantly, the consumers, were not willing to give the Dreamcast a chance. This became, then, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Sega then lost so much money with the Dreamcast that they had to either change tactics or go out of business. They decided then to become a third party and make games for all the consoles.
While of course that is better than Sega going out of business, it is just not the same anymore. I have fond memories of buying Sega consoles just to play Sega's games. The other third party games were just the icing on the cake. Plus Sega had a reputation (unlike Sony) of making strong, well-manufactured consoles that lasted a long time without giving you any problems. All this is lost now. Now it seems like Sega will distribute its different franchises among all the other consoles, basically forcing its fan base to either buy only a few of its games, or buy all the consoles in order to enjoy all of Sega's games.
I think what bothers me the most, however, is that now one of the companies that cared the most about gamers and one of the most innovative in the business is no longer making consoles. That means two of the other main console manufacturers, namely Sony and Microsoft, are almost entirely dependent on third parties and have almost no good games of their own. Theoretically, if the third parties decided to make their games for both consoles to maximize profit and minimize development costs, there would be no differentiating factor between the consoles. That's unlikely to happen, though, since both companies are paying huge amounts of money to developers to get exclusive games for their own consoles. That is still something to think about.
The other company, namely Nintendo, is the Apple of the video game industry. They don't care about a large market share. They only want to be profitable, serve their own niche market (children and portable systems), and make the games they want to make. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, I don't know if I want to buy a console where 90% of the games are "kiddy" games. I am not a kid, I am an adult. I could play "mature" games like House of the Dead 2 on my Dreamcast. So now I have the choice of either buying a console from a manufacturer who only cares about the money, or give up on these types of games.
Maybe I'm being too harsh. Maybe the times have changed and I'm falling behind. Maybe the console market is so "cut throat" right now that the only way to survive is to be a company with deep pockets who can buy everybody out and who can endure the deep loses from making the actual consoles. However, I need some time to grieve about what was lost. I'm not buying any of the new consoles, at least for now. I'm just going to play my old games and see form a distance what happens in the industry. I have many Dreamcast games I have not even opened. Plus I have many other games (for several consoles) that I would like to play again. That will keep me busy for a while.
So don't expect me to write many more editorials for now. I will continue to update the "Classic Sega Games" section, with my favorite games from the Genesis, the Sega CD, the Saturn, and the Dreamcast. This will take me a long time.
Don't worry about me, I'm not going to stop caring about video games. This is not the first time I do this. After I bought the Atari 2600 and the Atari 7800, I didn't buy any other consoles until I bought my Genesis. That gave me the time to play and enjoy my old Atari games. When I did buy the Genesis later on, I noticed a huge improvement in gameplay, sound, and graphics, since I skipped several consoles, like the NES. And speaking about a Nintendo console, I did buy a Game Boy Advance. But that was primarily for nostalgic purposes, since it reminded me of the old Genesis games I used to play. So that doesn't really count. Thanks for reading, and take care.
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Previous editorial, Shenmue is Out - Big Deal
Previous editorial, The System That's Dying
Previous editorial, Something is Lost
Previous editorial, The Dreamcast Launch: Good and Bad
Previous editorial, The Next Genesis
Previous editorial, Waiting For The Dreamcast
Previous editorial, I Don't Deserve a Mother As Good As Mine
Previous editorial, Shen Mue at the Game Developers Conference
Previous editorial, Saturn, the King of 2D
Previous editorial, Fade Away
Previous editorial, The Disadvantages of Being a Working Designs Fan
Previous editorial, Change the Camera Angles!
Previous editorial, Be Careful With What You Wish For
Previous editorial, The Second Time I Play an RPG
Previous editorial, Tons of Crap
Previous editorial, The PlayStation from a Sega Fan's Perspective
Previous editorial, Thoughts about the Genesis Nomad
Previous editorial, Mainstream
Previous editorial, Why I love the Atari 2600 so much
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