Retro gaming is back and in full force, as we have a number of ways to celebrate the old-school days of gaming. Nintendo has been selling both the NES Classic and SNES Classic Edition consoles like mad; Sony is about to enter the fray with its own PlayStation Classic, which was announced last night; and Sega is even getting into the act with its Sega Ages game lineup, as well as its previously released Sega Genesis Classics.
So what’s the next step? Well, for Sega, it just makes sense -- it’s time to bring back the Dreamcast.
The system was making waves in the industry back in the early 2000’s before Sega decided to try its hand at third-party developing, but it left behind a legacy that many fans still love. So, it only makes sense that Sega should give it a go in an all-in one system design -- and we’ve got a few reasons as to why this would totally work in their favor…
Even though Sega dropped the support of the Dreamcast rather abruptly when it went into third-party game publishing, many fans ended up hanging onto the system, namely because of its strong game library and its superb peripheral support. The VMU memory cards are still one of a kind on the market, thanks to their structure; and the controllers are still quite comfortable, despite the advancements we’ve seen with peripherals on other systems.
But, really, the games just remain fun to play after all these years -- ask anyone that’s hopped into a four player session of Virtua Tennis or taken to the streets of Crazy Taxi, or demanded to get an online version of Phantasy Star Online working after all these years. It still has the drive to stand up in today’s market -- and a classic version with online support would do really well for Sega.
There’s a reason the PlayStation Classic and the SNES/NES systems are selling like mad -- people like the convenience of playing in an all-in-one system. And if Sega could package it the right way, the Sega Dreamcast would do amazing on the market, between a strong collection of games, four player controller support (this would also lead to good sales of peripherals and memory cards, like those wanting a VMU -- Virtual Memory Unit -- again) and the ability to just take it with you to a friend’s house and enjoy a marathon session of your favorite games.
Sega could probably make it a good, convenient size as well, just as it was planning to do with the Sega Genesis Mini. It could even go for a nostalgic, old-school look, complete with that white system design (maybe that black Sega Sports one for the true nostalgic types). All it needs is the initiative and a push from the marketing squad, and it could have a real hit on its hands.
Oh, man, we don’t even know where we’d get started when it comes to the amazing games that could be available for the Dreamcast Classic. Just picking around 20 is a rough feat, because there are so many good ones.
For instance, right off the bat, we need Soul Calibur, because that’s the launch title that made us all want the Dreamcast to begin with. But then there are obvious favorites like Jet Grind Radio, Crazy Taxi, Sonic Adventure (or its sequel), Virtua Tennis, Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star Online, House of the Dead 2 (even without that gun peripheral, it’s fun) and more.
Granted, some of the sports titles would have to be left out, like the superb NFL 2K and NBA 2K games. That’s a bit of a sore spot. But there are so many more classics to choose from that we wouldn’t mind in the least.
Speaking of which...
There’s another opportunity with the Dreamcast Classic that some folks aren’t considering -- third party strength. Look at what’s happening with the PlayStation Classic and games like Tekken 3 from Bandai Namco. Yep, drawing interest.
Now imagine if Capcom could do the same with the likes of the Power Stone games, the Street Fighter classics, and the older Resident Evil titles. Hell, we’d even take Cannon Spike again if they gave it to us, just because it’s so much fun. And dare we say Capcom vs. SNK? Because we need that in our lives again. Or Marvel vs. Capcom, if it can be done.
And why stop there? Get Midway on board and bring in Hydro Thunder and have Bethesda bring us an epic version of Quake III Arena, just like the good ol’ days. There are so many countless choices...not to mention obscure favorites from Sega themselves, like Space Channel 5 (or as we say it, Spaaaaaace Channel 5), Chu Chu Rocket (“TSUBABABABA!”) and Samba de Amigo.
Of course, there are some hurdles that would have to be overcome. For example, figuring out an online network along the lines of SegaNet, and putting in the work to make sure it’s maintenanced. After all, none of the other all-in-one systems have online functionality, though there’s word that the forthcoming Intellivision one will have downloadable games.
So maybe Sega would have to figure out a solution there. But still, it’d be worth it, especially if it can get a version of Phantasy Star Online up and running. That series has a huge following in Japan, and giving it a second chance at life on other markets would be just the ticket for its resurrection. We’d definitely be down for buying it again, and engaging in another epic battle with buddies.
Again, it’s probably the last thing Sega is considering -- we’ll probably see Dreamcast games on the Nintendo Switch before we ever see a standalone -- but the publisher should give a Dreamcast Classic some consideration. There’s just a lot to love here, and it’d make a killing on the market, recouping some of those development costs in the best way possible.
At least think about it, guys. We’ll be playing a few rounds of Virtua Tennis in the meantime!