It’s been almost a decade since the Sega Dreamcast kicked the bucket, and lots of old School Sega fans still wonder why. The Dreamcast was great, innovative and had a host of great titles, but made a few mistakes that lead to its demise. Following is how the Wii is making the same mistakes and how Nintendo could end up like Sega if they aren’t careful.
Both were innovative but outdone by competitors
The Sega Dreamcast was one of the first gaming consoles to feature online gaming, was the first 128 bit system to hit the market and was even one of the first gaming system to play other media with its built in CD player support. With all that the Sega Dreamcast had going for itself, you’d wonder how it ever fell from grace, but the Sega Dreamcast failed because it was easily outdone by its competitors: the Xbox and PlayStation 2.
Nintendo is facing the exact problem. The Wii was the first game to feature motion controlled gaming and while it clung on to that niche for a long time, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 – the same companies that killed the Dreamcast – have taken motion controlled gaming and made it a lot better with the Xbox Kinect and PlayStation Move.
Both were easily pirated
The Sega Dreamcast was the easiest gaming system to pirate and the Nintendo is closing in as a close second. The Dreamcast had no protection against backups and as long as you had the proper software to burn backup Dreamcast games you’d have no issues with playing them on your Sega Dreamcast. Many have argued that piracy was the downfall of the Dreamcast and if so, Nintendo should be worried.
The Nintendo Wii is the easiest system to pirate games on since the Sega Dreamcast. The Wii doesn’t require a modchip and is easily hackable with a software mod that allows backup Wii games to be played. Wii games don’t even allow disks as they can be loaded via an external hard drive that can hold as many games as can fit – making pirating Wii games even easier.
More geared towards casual gamers than hardcores
Another link between the Sega Dreamcast and the Nintendo Wii is their affinity towards casual gamers. The Sega Dreamcast was one of the first gaming systems to support up to four players on a single console and was introduced as a family gaming system. The Dreamcast features lots of cutesy titles and didn’t really appeal to hardcore gamers. The Nintendo Wii followed suit, but there’s one thing wrong about going after casual gamers; casual gamers are fickle and aren’t really that loyal. Casuals won’t argue over whose got the best console and they’ll likely play whatever is fun. If something better comes along – Xbox Kinect, PlayStation Move – they’ll likely jump ship – and that can really hurt a gaming system that’s built on such a fan base.
Overall, if you factor in the Nintendo Wii’s gaming blunders and add in the kooky gaming controllers as a bonus – another bad feature of the Sega Dreamcast – it’s easy to see that the Nintendo Wii is pulling a “Sega Dreamcast.” If Nintendo doesn’t wizen up, we’ll all be wondering what happened to the Nintendo Wii; a sentiment that we also share with the Sega Dreamcast.
For more, read Is the Nintendo Wii’s Motion Gaming Gimmick Dead?, Did PlayStation Move Make the PS3 the Best Game Console?, and 5 Most Pointless Wii Games Based on a Single Gimmick.
Check out my blog for the latest in tech news.