Sega had quite a reputation in America after the success of Genesis/Megadrive. So when Dreamcast hit the States in Sept 1999 packaged with Soul Calibur, it went down a storm. In fact, Sega even managed to beat Nintendo 64 console sales for a time.
During the eleven months wait in Europe the console was a hot import fetching up to £1,000 with gamers desperate to experience 128 bits. The TV advertising for Europe even included Robbie Williams on vocals. All the hype ensured Sega sold well over 1.2 million units.
Sega was running out of time by the start of the new millennium. Sega Net had only just got of the ground and Sony was about to release its new sleek black console - the PS2.
The hype was gone for Dreamcast and Sega could not even attract people with the offer of a free console if you signed up to Sega Net for a minimum of two years. The plug was pulled and Sega ceased production in the States and Europe in March 2001. In Japan however the fan boys loved it and Sega carried on producing Dreamcast till 2007.
Sadly Sega bowed out of the hardware marketplace and decided only to be a third party producer of games.
For well over a decade this was one of the most expensive games ever to be developed. Shenmue even earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records; that was until Grand Theft Auto IV came along and cost over a $100 million.
This real-time game was the first of its type to have characters with flowing hair and wrinkles. It is a living, breathing 80s Martial Arts movie.
Yu Suzuki developed Shenmue but it has been left a cliffhanger as he retired from Sega in 2009. The final instalment - Shenmue Online - will now never be finished. (Ed note: ok so Paul Phoenix was never in Shenmue but just watch that quiff move!)