According to fan website Dreamcast-Scene
citing an official Japanese announcement, Sega of Japan has announced that it will cease to offer a repair service for the Dreamcast and Saturn console from September 28th this year.
Although the company no longer manufactures either machine, it does still offer repair service for the consoles and accessories, such as power and A/V cables, in Japan. With the company having previously also ended production of the Dreamcast’s proprietary GD-ROM media format, the news brings a formal end to the company’s involvement in the home console hardware market.
The Dreamcast was first launched in Japan in November 1998, with a Western launch the following autumn in 1999. The console was initially praised for its strong launch line-up, capable graphics and seminal online options.
However, a successful marketing campaign from Sony, which was able to deflect consumer interest until the 2000 launch of the PlayStation 2, and limited third party publisher support in the West – particularly from Electronic Arts – limited overall sales to around 10 million worldwide.
Production of the console was discontinued by Sega in 2001, with new releases from major publishers continuing until early 2002. In Japan, though, new games continued to be released, from both Sega and other minor publishers, while the system also became a popular format for homebrew programmers around the world.
So popular did the console become amongst retro fans that Sega began selling refurbished consoles and some software from its online Japanese store in early 2006, with the last official game for the system being Under Defeat
from G.Rev in March 2006. Despite this, and the end of GD-ROM production, further unofficial releases have continued to be announced for the console.
Despite Sega’s exit from the home console hardware market, it continues to design and manufacture its own proprietary arcade hardware, with current titles such as The House of the Dead 4
and Virtua Fighter 5
running on the company’s Lindbergh system board.