Something any Sega fan will attest to each year around E3 time there is always some sort of Sega-related rumour, be it hardware related or something to do with Shenmue. This years at least seems to be backed up by a rather ominous-looking image referring to something called ‘Spectrum’. Could this be the new console fans are waiting for? More likely, this is actually an online service similar to Steam or Origin but it begs the question, why would Sega choose E3 to announce more of things we’ve seen from Valve and EA? This service could be used as a way to convey Sega’s retro games from Dreamcast all the way back to SG-1000 in a convenient self-contained ‘store’ online.
One thing is for certain, this isn’t a piece of new hardware to compete with Sony or Microsoft – Sega just aren’t that company anymore, they are known as Sega-Sammy Holdings – not Sega Corporation. Here at Dreamcast Today we’d love this to be a new hardware unit, if it does indeed turn out to be just that we imagine that it’ll be more in the mould of the recent Ouya system – something relatively basic capable of running Sega’s massive back catalogue of titles as well as new Android-based ports. A console like that would certainly sell like hot cakes and it’s not as if Sega hasn’t been licencing it’s name to hardware recently AtGames’ Megadrive consoles spring to mind.
On a closing note, let’s look at what we do know. Sega are currently making games for other systems in fact, only a couple of days ago Sega announced they were releasing three Sonic titles exclusive to Nintendo platforms, had they been making a new machine this certainly wouldn’t be the case. Sega’s arcade business has been a bit cold recently so in theory ‘Spectrum’ could just be a new type of arcade cabinet like Ringwide/Edge was. Spectrum could be a unity program designed to sign up independent developers for publishing under the Sega brand or possibly a joint partnership with Nintendo since the Sega branding still carries some clout across the world. Also we could be looking a Spectrum being a diverse merchandising deal – Sega went on record to say they wanted Sonic to be more like Hello Kitty in a merchandising stance – this could be a deal with manufacturers for just that.
It’s most likely to be none of any of the stated ideas but it’s our duty as Sega fans to dream around E3 time! We’ll cover more on Spectrum as it gets announced on June 12th.