A competitor's site posted a story about Dreamcast being Sega's last console, but they were in error. Read the official response!
Earlier today, Videogames.com posted a story about a Sega executive, Isao Okawa, saying that Dreamcast was Sega's last console, and that the future of the company was in software and the Internet. We even ran the story ourselves! However, something smelled off about the whole deal, and Sega Web got curious...especially when it led to a rumor that Sega was about to be bought out by Microsoft!
Considering Microsoft is facing some serious consequences of being found to be a monopoly by the US government, we could resist no longer and called up our contact at Sega for the full monty on the situation. As it turns out, there were translation problems between Mr. Okawa and some of his English-speaking listeners. Sega Web e-mailed a Sega representative directly and got the full scoop from an eyewitness to the interview.
According to Sega, an editor asked, "If the Dreamcast does not succeed, how will Sega compete in the future?" Mr. Okawa's response was that the "future of Sega is the Internet, not hardware." What he was trying to convey is that Sega is going to be focusing its efforts increasingly on the Internet. That means using the Internet as a delivery system for software, online gameplay, e-commerce, etc. However, you still need some form of hardware to receive that information.
Sega will not be delivering content for PSX2, Dolphin or the PC through the Internet. So, Sega will always need to develop some form of console. Sega Dreamcast will have a long future thanks to it upgradability and evolutionary design. However, to say that Dreamcast will be the last console Sega will ever produce, is short sighted and not Mr. Okawa's intention at all.
Mr. Okawa knows that Sega's strength against Sony and Nintendo is its ability to pursue new technologies and advances designed to expand the gameplay experience, such as the Internet. Sony's PSX2 doesn't even have a built in Internet solution, nor have either of our competitors outlined any form of Internet strategy for their new systems, as Sega has already done publicly.
Sega is a little hesitant to host interviews with Japanese executives because of the translation problems. Mr. Okawa in no way meant Sega was getting out of the hardware business: he merely wanted to emphasize the importance Sega is placing on exploiting the Internet as the next great resource for advancing gameplay.
So there you have it, Sega fans! Fear not, the future of Sega does not end with Dreamcast...it's just the new beginning!