Peter Moore on the death of Dreamcast and the console wars

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The Guardian’s Keith Stuart has posted two parts of a fascinating and candid interview with Peter Moore: head of Sega of America during the Dreamcast years, head of Microsoft’s Xbox division and current president of EA Sports.

The whole thing is entertaining reading for gamers, but Moore’s explanation of the Dreamcast’s death gets me misty-eyed with pining nostalgia for that pristine little console that first gave me Ikaruga:

We had a tremendous 18 months. Dreamcast was on fire – we really thought that we could do it. But then we had a target from Japan that said – and I can’t remember the exact figures – but we had to make N hundreds of millions of dollars by the holiday season and shift N millions of units of hardware, otherwise we just couldn’t sustain the business…

We were selling 50,000 units a day, then 60,000, then 100,000, but it was just not going to be enough to get the critical mass to take on the launch of PS2. It was a big stakes game. Sega had the option of pouring in more money and going bankrupt and they decided they wanted to live to fight another day. So we licked our wounds, ate some humble pie and went to Sony and Nintendo to ask for dev kits.

Other interesting comments from Moore include his appraisal of Sony (incredible PR bullshitters whose marketing department has mastered defusing competitor’s upcoming announcements with impossible-to-deliver “seeds of doubt” like the “Emotion Engine” and Killzone) and Microsoft’s obsession with killing Sony (“Nintendo wasn’t even on our radar.”)

Peter Moore Interview Part One and Part 2 [Guardian]

Image: Joystiq

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7 Responses to Peter Moore on the death of Dreamcast and the console wars

  1. Internets Was Yes says:

    I loved crazy taxi. I also liked being able to burn all of the SNES games onto one disc.

  2. dculberson says:

    Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast was the end-all be-all of the genre. Every implementation since has been a lesser game.

  3. dculberson says:

    WordVirus, I was banned from using Cervantes because nobody had a chance against me/him. Good times… good times…

  4. word_virus says:

    #2, I totally agree. I often find myself trolling the eBay late at night for a Dreamcast JUST to play Soul Calibur on. Every thing since is definitely a pale imitation.

  5. Angstrom says:

    about 6 months ago I dug out my dreamcast, just for a blast of soulcalibur and the other classics. It’s not gone back into the attic yet, that thing still has great entertainment value.

  6. fool says:

    I worked with Peter in marketing the dreamcast during those fateful days. He’s a great guy and a good story.

    One error though, not sure if Peter remembered it wrong or if the writer just misheard him. When he played the DC online for the first time after the Filter show, it was against Ice-T and not Ice Cube.

    Still it was a great night, and one of the best e3 parties I’ve ever been to, before or since.

    • Joel Johnson says:

      I have to admit that Moore is one of my favorite game execs. He always treated us like interested in adults, not twerpy little kids.

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