SEGA.COM Spinoff: Complete Details

SEGA.COM Spinoff: Complete Details

by April 5, 2000

As promised, I will start today with public reaction to this major announcement. On the DC Tech Pages, this is pretty much all the buzz. Here is a comment from VirtuaNick:

That’s pretty cool in getting to hear it. Is it me or does Brad Huang sound like Professor Steven Hawking’s computer voice? In any case this is definitely a cool move by Sega the more I think about it. Even if somebody tries to discredit Sega about this, there’s still nothing to complain about. Sega isn’t making people use their ISP it’s all up to the consumer. If somebody feels it’s a rip, I think they need to look between the lines. I could see Sega making the ISP fee just a little cheaper, for the sake of competition, but there really isn’t any except by already existing PC based ISP’s and what it is now isn’t that bad (especially if it does rock). Sega is making this to be a console gamers ISP, and not just some run of the mill. This is the first ISP of it’s kind to cater to CONSOLE online gaming and not typical PC online gaming.

I hear crap at sites like Daily Radar about how Sega’s narrowband is gonna get leap frogged by Sony when Sony comes out with a broadband network. How ignorant can people be? Sony’s online strategy is going to be very big royal pain in the rear for Sony to reach the level of Sega’s by the time they launch here. There’s no modem included with the system. That right there shoots themselves in the foot since it fragments the user base. Broadband has been talked about time and time again about how it can’t reach enough people. It’s too early for a “broadband only” network. What about the worldwide aspect of Sony’s setup? Is Square going to take a note out of Sonic Team’s book and make FFXIXIMI an international played game? Hands down, Sega has all the other companies beat when it comes to console online gaming. Sony’s high priced, overrated, complicated hardware, with no built in modem CAN NOT beat Sega at this game. Dolphin, who knows, and who cares? Heck I heard that it won’t even play DVD movies when it’s supposedly a DVD based system! I’ll just forget about Nintendo for now (even though I would like to see what Miyamoto’s got cooking). As for Microsoft, they’re not stupid. If there’s anybody to beat Sega at this new concept or match them quicker, it Microsoft. The X-Box sounds way more efficient and thought out than the PS2. It’s supposed to have DVD movie playback, built in modem, a hard drive, and specs that are through the roof. I’m sure Microsoft can whip up a nice little ISP real quick and easy (unless they already have that my puny little mind hasn’t found out about) and have online play as soon as they launch the thing.

The direction Sega’s going might be the beginning of the battle of the ISP’s more so than a war of consoles. The beauty of this though is that it really puts an emphasis on who has the better games with the better online experience. Which I feel Sega will have no problems in dealing with.

And from the DCTP Administrator, Dural:

I am really glad the modem was included, and I am sure those that use their DC to surf the web today also, even though the web browser needs work.

The Planet Web browser may not be as good as other browsers right now but it still does the job, and that’s what counts.

Because the modem is included since day one, every developer has confidence in supporting it, since everyone has one. You could not make that argument to convince developers if everyone did not have one.

Yes, SEGA could have saved money, by following your suggestion, but you need a carrot infront of the horse to get it to move.

Anyway how much money would be saved, if by your suggestion, extra work/packaging/management etc has to been done.

So I bought Chu Chu Rocket, and I signed up for the SEGA network, so I get two free modems. Hmmm?

Every online game is going to have the free modem offer?

If they have to track ownership, then that raises management costs, etc, if they wanted to limit free modems to one per DC sold. 100 times greater management needed to support your method.

Anyway, in North America we are paying for the modem, as the DC makes a $1 profit. I don’t mind paying for the modem, as I am sure it added no more then $10 to $25 cost to the DC.

And finally, from Sonicfan:

I agree with just about everything you said. And for Sony leapfrogging Sega, who says Sega’s network can’t be easily expanded into broadband. The are already talking about it. In fact I bet it will evolve into one service with both type of users. And since probably 95% of people who use the internet today are narrowband only, and will be for the next few years, Sega has the market all to them selves. But in a few years, what will be easier, building up a community from scratch for “Broadband only” PS2 networks with no modem included or ehternet card included in each box, or alowing you, as one of millions already on SegaNet, to move over to broadband if you want to.

SOJ should thank Bernie every day for insisting that the modem be included with every DC.

If you would like to actually hear the teleconference, you could A) Dial up 1-800-475-6701, and enter the code 511507 when asked to, or B) Listen to it @ Segadojo.

Also, if you are a bit hearing impaired, you can also read the transcripts, and a follow up @ SegaWeb. Here is a quick wrap up of those facts:

  • We Will See a Preview of SegaNet Service @ E3.
  • GTE will head the managed Internet access part of SegaNet.
  • It will cost $21.95/month to sign up, and you will receive a address.
  • In Las Vegas, a test of the Online Gaming aspect of SegaNet was made with NFL2K1, and it was a success.
  • An Ethernet adapter will be available for broadband users by Q4 of 2000.
  • An MP3 storage device will be available in September for $100.
  • There are plans to get this type of service to Europe, and Canada will get this by the end of the year.
  • Sega is talking to cable operators for potential DSL service

That is pretty much it. This is truly en exciting announcement by Sega, and we will extensively follow Sega.Com and SegaNet up to launch date in late Summer.