I started playing on consoles in 2003, so it’s not that far from 2000, yet a lot happened during these two years. I just realized that many of the games/systems I have a fascination for were released during these days.
The Dreamcast was released on 09/09/1999, and I think the 64DD was released in December of the same year. Moreover, tons of games were announced for the DD, even though they were never released, or pushed to a cartridge release (Super Mario 64 2, 64 Wars, Fire Embem 64, Zelda Ura, Zelda Gaiden, Animal Crossing…).
This may have been a turning point for the industry.
Nintendo was suffering from the weak third party support on the 64, and their own failure with the 64DD. Sega was struggling with the Dreamcast, and still suffering from the Saturn. Yet, Sony was skyrocketing with the PlayStation 2.
Many people say the PlayStation 2 was hyped, and succesful in Japan because of the DVD playback. I suppose there is some truth to that. Let’s not forget the “real time footage” that was in fact pre-baked CG.
With the fall of the Dreamcast, first in the US, comes the rise of another company : Microsoft, who was affraid that Sony could grab the PC-gaming audience. Microsoft learned a lot from the Dreamcast, and also got some games from them.
In order to please the console audience, Microsoft had to get the best developpers with them. A bunch of games from the Dreamcast were re-released on Xbox, or had sequel, like Shenmue and Jet Set Radio Future. And let’s not forget Rareware. Nintendo sold their shares to Microsoft, and lost an ally that made the most pre-ordered game of all time, Diddy Kong Racing, but also many classics, like Donkey Kong Country, Banjo and Kazooie, etc…
It’s almost like the end of an era, yet it’s fascinating.