Toronto, ON - (April 21, 1999) It's real and its coming! Sega announced today that Sega Dreamcast will go on sale in Canada for a retail price of $299.
Dreamcast, the first video game console with the ability to support games of movie-like realism, will go on sale in Canada on September 9, 1999. Reaction from Canadian retailers has been swift with major organizations coast-to-coast including Toys R Us, major market Wal-Mart stores and Canadian Superstores being the first to sign in to sell Dreamcast at launch. Beamscope Canada Inc. and Montreal-based SJS National Ltd. have also signed on to distribute Dreamcast to Canadian stores.
Boasting the power of a supercomputer with four times the graphics processing power of a Pentium II, Sega Dreamcast is fifteen times more powerful than PlayStation and 10 times more powerful than Nintendo 64. The unparalleled power is used to create characters with humanlike motions and abilities - from natural movements to facial expressions to artificial intelligence in worlds more alive than have ever been achieved on a gaming console. In addition, Dreamcast will feature the industry's first ever modem and full online capacity to connect game players around the world via a 56k modem and a Visual Memory Unit, (VMU). The VMU, a portable credit card size device can be used inside the game controller or as a stand alone game unit to hide special moves, transport created characters and saved games from one Dreamcast to another, and to provide gamers with the opportunity to take game play portable with head-to-head VMU-to-VMU play.
The North American launch will follow the highly successful introduction in Japan where consumers bought more than 1 million Dreamcast consoles since mid-December - more than 300 per hour, every hour, seven days a week from November 21, 1998 to March 31, 1999.
In an effort to manage the excitement that has spiraled across the Pacific to North American consumers, traditional and online retailers have begun taking pre-orders for Dreamcast. Orders for more than 30,000 Dreamcasts have been taken to date with major retailers expecting pre-order sales to soar to 200,000 units prior to launch making Dreamcast the largest and most successful pre-order in the video game industry history.
Exhilarated by the power of Dreamcast and consumer reaction, more than 100 of the world's best game development companies have partnered with Sega to create games for Dreamcast. Industry leaders including Sega's own legends Naka, Suzuki and Mizaguauchi as well as Midway, Konami, Capcom and Namco, Hasbro Interactive, Accolade, Acclaim, GT Interactive and Interplay are currently working on games for Dreamcast. The console will launch with 10-12 titles, with more than 30 available by the end of this year. Over 100 games will be available by the end of next year.
The launch will be backed by a $100 million marketing campaign including advertising, promotion and public relations. Temple Scott Associates of Toronto will manage communications for Sega in Canada.
"Dreamcast, the most powerful, most technologically advanced game console ever introduced, is a series of firsts" said Chris Gilbert, Senior Vice President Sales, Sega of America. "With Internet capability, the ability of the system to accommodate emerging technologies as they become affordable and a launch price point for the everyday consumer, Dreamcast is must-have product even before it arrives on North American shelves."