The Dreamcast was released by Sega in November 1998 in Japan and later in 1999 in other territories. It was the first entry in the sixth generation of video game consoles, preceding its rivals, the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube. The Dreamcast was Sega’s last home console to date.
the Dreamcast was initially well received with a very successful launch and strong sales. However when Sony announced the eagerly awaited PlayStation 2, sales of the Dreamcast plummeted and it lost its momentum.Despite its short lifespan, the Dreamcast was widely hailed as ahead of its time. It saw the release of many new game series which have been considered creative and innovative, such as Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, and Shenmue, the most expensive game ever produced upon release. Ports of games from other platforms were also praised for the system and the console introduced many aesthetic and software design features to be later emulated. It was the first]games console to render full frames (as opposed to interlaced only) in VGA mode at 640×480, and it continues to be held in high regard for pioneering online console gaming; it was the first console to include a built-in modem and Internet support for online play. The Dreamcast is still highly regarded and remembered, and its influence can be greatly seen in Microsoft’s Xbox, as Sega worked with the company before the Xbox’s release. As of 2013, the Dreamcast is still supported via small independent companies such as RedSpotGames and the GOAT Store. The Dreamcast was chosen as the best console ever by PC Magazine.
The Dreamcast introduced numerous features that would be standard to future consoles. All models were shipped with modems allowing users to browse the net and play games online via dedicated server through SegaNet (Dreamarena in Europe), a precursor to services such as PS2 Network and Xbox Live. ChuChu Rocket! was Sonic Team’s first online multiplayer game. Alien Front Online was the first online console game to feature live in-game voice chat. It also featured downloadable content, such as items and missions for games such as Phantasy Star Online andSkies of Arcadia. Jet Set Radio, a Dreamcast original, popularized cel-shaded graphics. Shenmue had introduced a game with vast scope and Seaman was one of the first virtual pet games for a console. In 2009, IGN named the Dreamcast the 8th greatest video game console of all time, out of a field of 25.
The system’s processor is a 200 MHz SH-4 with an on-die 128-bit vector graphics engine, 360 MIPS and 1.4 GFLOPS (single precision), using the vector graphics engine. The graphics hardware is aPowerVR2 CLX2 chipset, capable of 7.0 million polygons/second peak performance and trilinear filtering. Graphics hardware effects include gouraud shading, z-buffering, spatial anti-aliasing, per-pixel translucency sorting (also known as order independent translucency) and bump mapping. The system supports approximately 16.78 million colors (24-bit) color output and displays interlaced or progressive scan video at 640 × 480 video resolution.
For sound, the system features a Yamaha AICA Sound Processor with a 32-Bit ARM7 RISC CPU operating at 45 MHz, 64 channel PCM/ADPCM sampler (4:1 compression), XG MIDI support and 128 step DSP.
The Dreamcast has 16 MB 64-bit 100 MHz main RAM, 8 MB 4 × 16-bit 100 MHz video RAM and 2 MB 16-bit 66 MHz sound RAM. The hardware supports VQ texture compression at either asymptotically 2 bpp or even 1 bpp 
The system reads media using a 12x maximum speed (Constant Angular Velocity) Yamaha or Samsung, in later hardware revisions, GD-ROM Drive.