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Wednesday, 24 November, 1999, 12:39 GMT
Dreamcast beats Playstation record
Sega Dreamcast players The Dreamcast has repeated its Japanese success in US

Japan's Sega Enterprises says that sales of its new Dreamcast video game console have topped a million units in North America since its launch on 9 September.

The landmark has been reached more quickly than the industry had expected.

The sales performance outstripped that of the Sony Playstation, which was launched in September 1995 and which sold one million units in nine months, Sega said.

Since the Playstation's launch the whole market has grown significantly, reducing the value of making a direct comparison

Sony's Playstation remains the dominant video gaming console with about 60% of the market.

It is due to launch a new version next year of the console (the machine through which games can be played on the television).

Like a box office smash

Sega said it had passed the million mark six weeks ahead of its prediction.

The Dreamcast has also achieved strong sales in Europe, with 400,000 sold since it was launched on 14 October.

Chris Gilbert, senior vice president of sales, Sega of America, said: "By hitting the one million units sold landmark, it is clear that the Sega Dreamcast consumer has moved beyond the hard-core gamer and into the mass market."

He likened it to a music album going platinum or a film netting $100m in box office receipts.

Sega has needed to shift as many as possible of the Dreamcast before the revamped rival, Playstation2, is launched in the autumn of 2000.

"Now the window of opportunity is narrowing because Sony will start stepping up the Playstation marketing and hype," said one analyst.

"Can Sega build up a base fast enough to keep developers happy and developing more software? One million units is great, but they need more. Sony is at 20 million units," he added.
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