Portrait of a Sega Dreamcast video game console photographed on a white background, taken on August 2, 2013. (Photo by Jesse Wild/Edge Magazine/Future via Getty Images)
Gaming - News
The 3 Dreamcast Features Sega Executive Bernie Stolar Knew Were Worth Fighting For
Released at the tail end of the '90s, the Dreamcast was the first console to offer HD graphics, at least for the time, but its next-gen visuals weren't the only thing that set it apart from consoles before it. When interviewed with The Ringer, former Sega of America president Bernie Stolar, who oversaw the beginnings of the Dreamcast, revealed several features that he pushed for.
Along with its generation-defining visuals (compare "Shenmue" to "Super Mario 64"), the Dreamcast set itself apart thanks to its online capabilities via a 56K modem built into the console. It was the first console that let players download DLC just like on PC, and it was a feature that Stolar pushed for to "define Dreamcast in the marketplace."
Stolar also pushed for DVD support, but it didn’t make the cut in the end because it was too expensive for Sega to implement. "Online was most important to me ... I chose that over DVD and internal storage because my plan was to add those later," Stolar said. "I saw network play and the internet evolving, and I knew cloud gaming was coming."
Internal storage was another feature that was scrapped in favor of online functionality, and instead players had to use VMUs, memory cards that could be slotted into a controller to give it a small, interactive second screen. In addition to internal storage, Stolar also pushed for a dual-stick layout and several more focused hardware add-ons, but was unsuccessful.