Dreamcast

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Dreamcast
Dreamcast Logo.jpg
Manufacturer Sega
Distributor Ozisoft
Released AU November 30, 1999
NZ December 3, 1999
Launch RRP AU $499.95
Discontinued 2002
Generation Sixth generation
Userbase ~50,000
Predecessor Sega Saturn
Successor Nil

The Dreamcast was the first console released in the sixth generation era and the final video game console to be released by Sega. It was released in Australia on November 30 and in New Zealand on December 3, 1999. Ozisoft's perceived mis-handling of marketing and distribution for the Dreamcast is largely believed to be the main cause of the system's failure in Australia.

Pre-Launch

The Sega Saturn was unsuccessful in Australia, a fact which former Ozisoft employees attribute to Sega Japan's unwillingness to allocate a sufficient advertising and marketing budget to the company. Saturn inventory was cleared out at rock bottom prices by retailers, and fans wanting official releases had to pre-order them at specialty stores and hope that Ozisoft did not cancel distribution at the last second due to lack of demand (which happened with many later-life Saturn titles such as Shining Force 3).

Notes

  • Claimed 60% sell through at launch. 17,000 units at AU launch, 3,000 in NZ. 20,000 more to be shipped by end of 1999. Telstra deal not signed til Nov 30, hours before launch.<ref>Hellaby, D. (1999, December 7). Dream run for Sega consoles. The Australian</ref>
  • Attempted relaunch in September 2000 as entry level web deviice, dropped price to $299. <ref>Amjadali, S. (2000, September 10) Sega plays Net games. Sunday Herald Sun.</ref>

Factors that caused the DC to fail<ref>Dreamcast's Dismal Aussie Outing - GameSpot - http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/Dreamcast%27s%20Dismal%20Aussie%20Outing.htm</ref>

  • High Price
  • Complete lack of mainstream media advertising

Other annoyances

Lame excuses from Ozisoft <ref>World Stares Aghast as Ozisoft Passes Buck - C+VG -http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=9232</ref>

  • Stock held up at customs due to country of origin not being satisfactorily labelled
  • Stock was mixed in pallets and difficult for warehouse personnel to sort and count
  • Software had to have shrinkwrap removed and ratings stickers applied
  • Demo disc was delayed in same shipments
  • Ozisoft and Telstra would be thoroughly testing internet browser and hardware to ensure good performance
  • "Peripherals are in short supply worldwide. Due to the phenomenal success in other markets we have been left with very small quantities on most peripherals and none on the most popular, the Visual Memory Unit. We are trying our utmost to get some stock of the VMU into this territory and it looks like mid December we will have a small shipment.<ref>http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/Update%20On%20Dreamcast%20Launch%20In%20Australia.htm</ref>
  • Advertising meant to kick off december 5 but never happened
  • Marketing was meant to start 6 weeks before launch. Blamed Sega Japan for no advertising - No marketing funds have been supported by Sega Japan. All spends are funded locally and confusion from Sega Japan means we have not been able to commit to any sort of planned activity. <ref>http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/Your%20Questions%20Answered%20-%20OziSoft.htm</ref>


Retailer POV<ref>Australian Dreamcast Launch - The Retail View - IGN DC - http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/Australian%20Dreamcast%20Striken%20With%20Delays!.htm</ref>

  • Stock was meant to arrive for midnight launch on Monday - had no word from Ozisoft about what was happening
  • Had to put up signs saying stock was not there and postponing launch events when stock did not arrive
  • Told by Ozisoft "we don't know where the shipment is"
  • Shipment found at Ansett in another state
  • Ozisoft put shipments on standby to save money - stock would only be sent when there was spare room on a flight
  • Ad posters never shipped

Original launch details <ref>Australian and New Zealand launch details - Dreamcast Weekly - http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/Australia%20&%20New%20Zealand%20Launch%20Details.htm</ref>

  • 28 September was chosen to "avoid clash with Grand Final weekend"
  • 33.6 modem chosen because AU/NZ internet "not as busy"
  • Dreamcast mag published through E-MAP

Dreamcast launch aftermath

New Zealand Launch<ref>http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/NZ%20Launch%20Update.htm</ref>

  • Launch spread over two days - Dec 3 and 4 due to stores not receiving units at the same time
  • VMUs didnt make launch - mid december or early 2000
  • Extra controllers were 2nd shipment
  • 3,000 units for NZ launch, half of what was expected
  • Second shipment was 24/12
  • No HOTD Guns
  • Launch titles: Sonic Adventure, VF3tb, Sega Rally 2, Soulcal, HOTD2, Dynamite Cop, Snow Surfers, Toy Commander, Buggy Heat

Pre launch bs<ref>http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/NZ-AUS%20Dreamcast%20FAQ.htm</ref>

  • Dedicated servers in AU
  • standard jewel cases

Launch day games <ref>http://www.goodcowfilms.com/farm/games/news-archive/DC%20Launch%20Down%20Under.htm</ref>

  • Aero Wings, WWF Attitude, TrickStyle and Ready 2 Rumble
  • Attempted re-launch in April 2000. It has appointed the advertising agency Vroom Creative and this campaign is very different to the previous one. The previous campaign did not work well for a variety of reasons. Vroom Creative has focused on the functionality of the games machine. The Dreamcast is a multi-function entertainment unit offering Internet access. The new advertisements are speedy and show users actually using the game and connecting to the Internet. There is a television commercial and a print campaign aimed at those aged 16 to 24. <ref>Kelly, T. (2000, April 7). Ozisoft re-casts its play to sell dream. B and T.</ref>
  • Australian advertising agency BAM SSB has in May, 1999, won an $A18m account for the launch of the Sega Dreamcast gaming machine

References

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