While I missed yesterday’s celebrations around the net for the 10th anniversary of Sega’s Dreamcast console, Kevin Williams sends us a reminder of another 10th Sega-related and Dreamcast-related anniversary – the Sega NAOMI. I personally haven’t had the chance to own a NAOMI machine for myself (yet) but it’s impact on the arcade industry is a noticeable one. Kevin writes in the latest Stinger Report:
“…2009 also marks a number of anniversaries linked to popular racing, one of the most popular being SEGA’s ‘Daytona USA’ which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year.
Meanwhile SEGA also sees their NAOMI Universal Cabinet cabinets – running third party titles – celebrating its own 10th anniversary (and still in use). This decade of success shows that while the SEGA R&D worked hard on the low-cost RingWide, the thirst for the old NAOMI architecture remained no matter how hard SEGA tried to quench it.
The NAOMI (New Arcade Operation Machine Idea) architecture was a major move by SEGA towards what we now see as the combined video amusement and console strategy. First demonstrated at the 1998 AM-Show, the system was presented as the successor to the Model 3, with a slew of titles in development, the amusement-variant of the Dreamcast console system. The platform would see over 60 amusement titles launched – and still counting.
The platform is still in 2009 a viable platform for a host of amusement studios, and at this years’ AM-Show we will see at least two third-party titles using the NAOMI. While the consumer games media celebrates the Dreamcast’s anniversary, the NAOMI will be overlooked, while the console only managed over 10.6 million sales the NAOMI would go on to beat this, many unsold Dreamcast going on to be cannibalized to become amusement platforms.
Finally, in a personal observation, KWP (owner of the Stinger Report) has a very strong soft spot for the NAOMI – and a possible ‘what if’ that it represented. At the time of the NAOMI launch SEGA showed the VMU (Visual Memory Unit) – and promised that this would be used as a smart storage device, and mini game system – not just for the Dreamcast – but also for the NAOMI. Though in reality only two prototype AM releases would be developed incorporating a connection for the mini LCD storage device, the idea still holds strong, and in its failed development the seeds of the ALL.Net were born.” – Kevin
I would post a poll asking about what your favorite NAOMI based game is but as we all know, there are an awful lot of games on that list so instead, just tell us in the comments section!