Recently, Sega rumors just keep popping up. Mike S. has written a timely editorial on the subject, what is next for Sega?
There have been a ton of rumors flying every which way about Sega of late. Even though this isn't directly Nintendo related it is still quite important to the world of video gaming. As much as I like to believe that it isn't, the Dreamcast is failing. The console, while being totally fantastic, is not supported enough by the industry; this is the key to its failure. My local Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, and I'm sure yours also, both carry very meager Dreamcast pickings. Retailers were scared of the Dreamcast because of the poor performance of Sega's Saturn system (although Saturn did do better than the N64 in Japan). They just didn't want to take the chance of having another failure on their shelves. Thus the Dreamcast was under-supported at launch and the trend has continued.
Because of these recent shortcomings, Sega has been considering its future as a company. They are looking into producing chips for computers that will enable them to play Dreamcast titles. This much is true. Respected news orginizations have made numerous reports concerning the Sega's future. It all started with reports of Sonic the Hedgehog being developed for the Game Boy Color. The rumor was denied by both Sega and Nintendo. Hot off the heels of the Sonic rumor, The New York Times stated that Nintendo was in negotiations to buy Sega. The rumor was denied, of course. It was even followed up by a second article, which not only got denied but also fired up Sega enough to write a nasty letter to the NY Times. Then, all was quiet for a while.
Now, we have new rumors. Another respectable news organization, Reuters has stated that Sega will be developing for both the Playstation 2 and the Xbox. This rumor, also, was flat out denied. This story was followed up by two other stories. One at IGN Pocket and one at FGN Online. The IGN Pocket article stated that a Japanese magazine, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, said that Sega is going to step out of the hardware race and become a third party software developer. It went on to say that Dreamcast fabrication would end in March but that Sega would still support the system. It also stated that 2 games were already in the works for the Game Boy Advance.
FGN reported that a contact close to Sega stated that:
"There are a lot of announcements coming down the pipes for next week, and work is going on to get them out effectively. We're getting everything in line internationally right now. But this is the first I have heard about PlayStation 2."
The strange thing is that I don't know what to think. With all these rumors it's impossible to know how solid they are. I'm believing that FGN article, don't ask me why. It just sounds more solid than the others. Or maybe it's just false hopes and I'm dreaming that Sega will never develop for the PS2. I also don't believe that Sega would develop for both the PS2 and the Xbox without developing for the GameCube. I'm sure we'll hear even more rumors about Sega and where it is going in the next few days or weeks. I'm also sure that we probably won't be getting an official announcement from Sega in a week. These press statements never come on time for editorials like these.
For now though, Sega isn't going anywhere. If they are going somewhere, I can assure you that they will still support their beloved Dreamcast. If they didn't, their hardcore userbase would destroy them. What will be the fate of Sega? Will they stay where they are, will they develop for the PS2, Xbox or Gamecube, or will they go 3rd party and create games for all the platforms? One thing is true though; at the end of the day, we all know that no matter where Sega goes, great games will follow.