Consoles have come a long way in a short time, evolving alongside computers as one of the center pieces for video game entertainment. As the line between computer and console begins to blur, it's easy to forget just how far the console has journeyed. A good reminder of that came this week, when the Sega Dreamcast turned ten years old.
The much-hyped console was highly anticipated by gaming communities all over the world, but it ended up proving to be a disaster for Sega as a company, as it was their last console endeavor. Even though it was a commercial failure, the console pioneered many of the ideas that are common among modern consoles.
The idea of an Internet-connected gaming console was first realized with the Dreamcast, which came stock with a built-in dial-up modem and featured one of the first console web browsers. Along with the PC, it was one of a very few hardware devices that allowed people to play games with each other online. The Dreamcast also had a controller design that is suspiciously similar to the Xbox 360's -- though that may be just a coincidence.
Though other consoles quickly surpassed the Dreamcast, including the current most popular console in the world (PlayStation 2), it was an example of high technology at the time and is curious to look back on.