In a new interview, former Sega of America president Peter Moore reflects on the accomplishments and legacy of the Dreamcast, which turns 20 years old today.
The Dreamcast launched in North America on this day twenty years ago with its “9/9/99” marketing campaign, kicking off a next-generation of gaming that would include Microsoft’s entry with the original Xbox, Nintendo’s GameCube, and Sony’s dominant PlayStation 2.
Moore was at the center of Sega of America’s push to make the Dreamcast a commercial success. While they ultimately fell short on that count, the legacy of the Dreamcast is decidedly brighter.
“I think what we did is this great little device kicked off what is now a $140 billion industry, which is primarily based on being connected and online” Moore says, pointing to Sega’s final home console as the grandfather of online gaming. “This baby was the first non-computer that could access the internet.”
Indeed, online gaming is high among Dreamcast’s major accomplishments. It’s the first major video game console to launch with a built-in 56K modem, allowing for online functionality right out of the box. It might not seem like a big deal today, but it was revolutionary in 1999.
Two years later, Microsoft launched the Xbox with a built-in ethernet port. Online functionality was not a priority for either Sony or Nintendo, and it was reflected in the relatively lackluster online experiences that followed in the years to come.
After leaving Sega of America, Moore was hired at Microsoft to lead the company’s floundering Xbox brand against the industry-leading PS2. He helped to make Xbox a household name, gaining notoriety with fans after sporting a Halo 2 tattoo at E3.
In 2007, Moore joined EA, which infamously declined to support the Dreamcast – perhaps due to Sega’s insistence on releasing its own lineup of sports games. At the time, NFL 2K was widely considered superior to EA’s Madden NFL series.
Watch the interview below: