The impulse for the Sega Dreamcast derived from the relative failure of the Sega Saturn, which struggled against the PlayStation and Nintendo 64. Sega saw an immediate need to reinvigorate their brand, and they did so by creating the first of the sixth generation consoles.
The Dreamcast was a groundbreaking device at the time of its release, due especially to its support for online multiplayer gaming. Sega also strived for more creative game development, resulting in inventive titles like Crazy Taxi, Power Stone and Jet Grind Radio, as well as some unusual peripherals (for example, a fishing rod controller and "Dream Eye" camera/headset).
Sadly, despite its many innovations, the Dreamcast was short-lived. Faced with stiff competition from the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube, Sega discontinued the system in 2001. The company has yet to release another console, instead focusing on its more lucrative arcade games. Rumors of a Dreamcast 2 emerged in 2009, but were quickly dismissed as false.