Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast - a moment of gaming perfection, treated unkindly

As if the travesty of the Saturn's popularity wasn't bad enough, Sega's next console, the 128-bit Dreamcast (yes, that's 128-bit, same as your modern day PS3) was going to be yet another spectacular flop, despite it being a truly wonderful machine.

Did I say wonderful? Well, yes, it is, but it's not without its misgivings. First of all was the hideous "mysterious reboot" problem. The machine was very fickle and would reset without any apparent reason. On investigation, this was found to be a bad connection inside. Lifting the cover and exposing the innards, all you needed to do was put a little pressure on some pins that connected one board to another, and that was it, put it back together, and play happily until it needed doing again, much later.

The Sega VMU Memory card

Erm... what else can I complain about... Oh yeah... Why the hell did the wire for the controller come out of the bottom of it instead of the top?? Yes, I know, there's a little grip on the bottom to loop it through so it goes that way, but that just seems like bad design to me!

Now, the memory cards... they were WEIRD! They were like little control pads on their own, with LCD displays, and, like the Nintendo 64, plugged into the controller instead of the system. However, the controllers could hold TWO cards rather than just one.

The console included 4 ports, so 4-player gaming was available immediately, and the prospect of online gaming through the Dreamcast's modem... something I wish I'd got a chance to try out.