Playstation II casts a shadow over Dreamcast

Competition and delays have been the main reason for the Sega Dreamcast's disappointing first week, according to a major retailer.

Luke Goldsworthy, David Jones' buyer for audio visual, electronics and telecommunications, said that half way through its first week the Dreamcast had attracted "quite a few questions but not many takers".

He said the mediocre response to the Net-oriented console's release was due to delivery delays and hype surrounding Dreamcast's competitor, Sony's Playstation 2 (PS2).

"The hype of the PS2 over the last couple of months has overshadowed it (the Dreamcast)," he said, speculating the "true gamer" would favour the PS2.

Additionally, Goldsworthy said customers would be confused by the differing delivery dates of the Dreamcast's consoles and compatible software.

"It's one thing to have your console but it's another thing to have your software," he said. He said the Dreamcast's first weekend (December 4 and 5) would still "make or break" the Dreamcast, and a whole week of sales would provide a better prediction of the product's success.

Earlier this week, Sega said the Australian delivery of the Dreamcast had been delayed due to unexpectedly high overseas sales and over demand from the company's one Holland manufacturing plant.

In North America, over 1 million Dreamcast consoles have been sold since its release.

Just 70 Dreamcast consoles have been sold in all Australian Harvey Norman stores to date.

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Byron Kaye

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