..and yes, this is the official birthday of he Dreamcast, not 9/9/99, which is the anniversary of the American launch. Today (or was it tomorrow? Whatever.) ten years ago the system was launched in Japan, almost a whole year before the west got it.
Admittedly they probably should have released it a bit later as the games available on day one weren't exactly all too exciting: they got Virtua Fighter 3tb (early versions of this game had some nasty bugs), Godzilla Generations (shit), July (shit), and PenPen (not bad, but not a system seller). That's it. Also, stocks were limited as NEC struggled to get the graphics chip produced in time, and it took at least a month for some great games to show up (when Sonic adventure was released that December, it was even buggier than the version we got, hence the re-release "Sonic Adventure International"). These reasons might be why the Dreamcast didn't quite click with the Japanese quite like the Saturn did (everything over there appears to be opposite land).
With this in mind it was a smart move of Sega to release the system in the West almost a year later, as it gave them plenty of time to prepare what could quite possibly be the best launch line up of games ever when it finally arrived in America, with the likes of Power Stone, Soul Calibur, Sega Rally 2 and House of the Dead 2 all there at day one, rather than a few months down the road.
Still, while the Dreamcast wasn't quite so hot in Japan as it was for a short while over here, there has been a small hardcore gamers market for it for many years after it's supposed shelf-death. Last year we saw two final retail releases in the form of Trigger Heart Exelica and Karous, and we also saw the debut for German-based indie publisher Redspotgames, who released Last Hope last year and has just released Wind and Water Puzzle Battles, just in time for this anniversary.
A pretty crummy way of celebrating this, but I did have a few things planned for today/tomorrow/even this week that I won't be able to now thanks to my computer conking out, including a ten minue long tribrute video featuring around 100 games, and my Rummage video for Wind and Water. Oh well, I'll be able to get back to work on them soon. =)