Sega's True Dumbest Creation Ever?

Behold, arguably the most gloriously insane video game hardware this side of Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

That thing was just horrendously impractical. A friend owned one, and claimed he could only play it laying prone with the screen facing down over his head. This, though?

This makes me think Sega conducted hideous early-2000s splicing experiments involving a dead iMac desktop that should now have Apple brass maybe scrambling for an ex post facto copyright suit. Behold, the Divers 2000 series CX-1 Dreamcast.

A “Total Recall” installment posted Wednesday night on Kotaku featured this . . . thing, and it was honestly the first of its kind I’d ever seen. Bear in mind, the Dreamcast came out during what was a gaming black-out period for me in which I couldn’t afford current-generation hardware. Still, I remember enough to remember the many, many failed consoles of the mid-to-late 90s and a few from the early 2000s. I honestly had no idea such a thing ever existed, and I can’t fathom why in God’s candy-centered green Earth someone thought it was a good idea that it should.

(Reads down a little further . . .)

Oh, that’s why. “It was only ever released in Japan.”

So the country where vending machines dispense panties and disposable plastic vaginas found a way to cram a Sega Dreamcast behind a 14-inch monitor and also packaged along with the set a special controller, keyboard, remote control and the Dreamcast’s signature camera? And it was priced out at four times what a Dreamcast alone cost?

I don’t need convincing.

That price-point is bad enough. But atop that, it was released in 2000 when the system already wasn’t long for this world as Sony’s PlayStation 2 was poised to run roughshod over the console market. Give Plunkett this much: he’s absolutely right that Sega was ahead of the curve when it came to the concept of employing a camera. After all, somebody had to try the concept and fall short for first Nintendo, then Sony and Microsoft to make the leaps in motion gaming that the Wii, PlayStation Move and Kinect eventually did. Sometimes genius must begin with failure.

What’s more, the Dreamcast was truly an underrated console, more a victim of Sega’s horrendous horse-sense with hardware and just bad timing to hit shelves circa the dawn of the PS2 than anything. Plus, pairing a console with a TV wasn’t a completely horrible idea – as long as one never intends on using the system anywhere except one’s own living space. Even consider the fact that Plunkett has a point about it resembling Sonic the Hedgehog’s head, when viewed from certain angles. If you’re a Nintendo, Sony or Microsoft fan-boy/girl, how awesome would you feel essentially playing games via Sonic’s decapitated cranium? In fact, a little paint and maybe some practical makeup around the bottom, and that’s a nightmare-fuel illusion that becomes complete pretty easily.

Go on out and find one, if you like. They pop up on eBay occasionally, according to Plunkett – and priced to own at around $5,000, no less.

Sega did indeed do what Ninten-didn’t . . . and that, of course, is ironically why I don’t have a console-in-a-TV appliance molded in the likeness of Mario’s head.

Thanks for nothing, Nintendo.

(Genuine thanks, however, to Luke Plunkett at Kotaku for writing about this. I don’t even . . . wow.)

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[images via: Kotaku]

 

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2 Responses to “Sega's True Dumbest Creation Ever?”

  1. never knew about but am glad you did. ive done some research on past consoles before but never have i stumbled upon this console…. if you can even call it that lol. good article

    • Thanks, Jacob. ‘Twas but something funny that I found on Kotaku, and just couldn’t resist sharing. This thing is about nine different kinds of insane….give or take. The Dreamcast was the epitome of the under-appreciated console, but I can just imagine this poor thing begging to have a bullet put into it.

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