There was a time when the future of Sega looked firmly to be in the console market. There was the odd play fight with Nintendo here and there, but they both knew that there was plenty of kids’ pocket money to spread between them.
Sonic was a force to be reckoned with, the Mega Drive was the greatest thing around and even Sega’s handheld Game Gear was miles ahead of the Gameboy with a colour screen rather than blocky black and white one.
And now what does it have to show for itself? A dancing penguin. To go along with the dancing dog and fish it released before. Where did it all go wrong?
Of course Sony didn’t help matters, sneaking in its PlayStation and unbalancing the market. Now it wasn’t just a choice of whether you wanted Sonic or Mario – here was a third big player and the market just didn’t feel right anymore. Spin on to a time when everyone was wondering if the millennium bug was just a big scam by IT contractors to make a bit of money for a decent New Year’s Eve party and Sega’s last console just didn’t really stand a chance.
It was like everyone was just going through the motions with Dreamcast, Sega included, as people pretended that they weren’t really just hanging out for a PlayStation 2 – a machine that not only let you play games but also allowed you to watch those shiny new DVD movie discs.
It’s all history now, and maybe Sega is on to something with electronic audio pets, but it just doesn’t feel like it’ll be back at the forefront of the market again. Maybe it should just make a hedgehog shaped one and be done with it.