One of my favourite game systems, the Sega Dreamcast, turns 18 today. Although it was originally released on 27 November 1998 in Japan, 9/9/99 is the more memorable date, so I go by that.
The Dreamcast started strong in the last quarter of 1999, but shortly had been tied to the tracks of the PlayStation 2 hype train, losing a significant amount of its appeal. Even with a great library of titles and unique and pioneering features, Sega discontinued the system in March of 2001, not even 18 months since its release, and switched to being a third-party company releasing games for the competing consoles.
Despite its failure in the market, the Dreamcast gained a cult following thanks to new developers making independent homebrew games for it and keeping it alive, even to this day. PC Magazine names it as the greatest console of all time, and IGN names it the 8th best console in their Top 25 list.
Now, do I think it's the best? Well, no, but certainly in the top 3 for me. I've had many great experiences with the system, like raising Chao in Sonic Adventure, trying to get the high score in Crazy Taxi, making unrealistic teams in 2K1, raging at the sheer difficulty of getting A ranks in SA2, and crashing planes in AeroWings' free flight mode. I never got online with it though, since nobody used phone lines when I got it (2014). Now that there's things like DreamPi, I might get online someday.
Even if I never get online or do anything really cool with it, I will always remember the Dreamcast and thank it for all of the great times it's provided over the years, for me and many others.
"Many hardware manufacturers have come and gone, but it's unlikely any will go out with half as much class as Sega."
-Travis Fahs, IGN