It’s no secret at all that Microsoft’s weakest point in gaming is Japan. Despite focused marketing and special editions that the company took a loss on in attempts to win over Japanese gamers, the Xbox brand has failed to really make a dent in the Eastern market. On the other hand, while Sega faded in the West, the Sega Dreamcast continued to sell and move software. To this day there are still games released for the Sega Dreamcast. It’s that type of dedication and cult-status that many thought Microsoft would get when the original Xbox announced major Sega titles that Dreamcast supporters wanted. Despite early Sega exclusives, the Xbox brand continued moving towards the casual gamer to the point of the now popular Kinect peripheral.
There’s no denying that Microsoft has the money to be a success. They also have a stable of establish brands and franchises. Sega, while not exactly rolling in the money, does have an unbelievably deep portfolio of franchises. The merger of the two would be practically unstoppable.
The great Yuji Naka said as recently as last year that he wants to work on the Dreamcast 2. He elaborated that he would like to work with one of the big three in designing the hardware. Microsoft faces the “corporate” stigma because they were a giant company prior to entering the game market. Despite Sony being exactly the same, they were embraced early on. Microsoft could benefit greatly from using the Sega name on the next console instead of continuing the Xbox brand.
What it boils down to is what consumers want. Would consumers prefer a Sega Dreamcast 2 if it were really just the next Xbox console? Could Sonic return to glory if Yuji Naka had a hand in the hardware design? It almost poses more questions than answers.