Fun history: Dreamcast was used as a virtual showroom for Toyota

The late 90s and early 2000s were a whacky time; All sorts of cool technologies popped up, including Tamagotchi, the iMac and the PalmPilot! Video games were taking their first steps into the sixth generation, with the debut of the SEGA Dreamcast.

The Dreamcast separated themselves from the pack with their gigantic marketing plan. It included millions of dollars into Super Bowl and MTV commercials, to promotions with Pepsi. In Japan, the Dreamcast looked to a particular car company to spread the good word.

This might take the trophy for best marketing idea: Toyota and SEGA partnered up to show off new cars in a virtual showroom. Dreamcasts were installed at Japanese Toyota dealerships, where prospective buyers could examine and customize the latest models. In turn, these tech demos were used as a graphical showcase for the Dreamcast.

Images from a Japanese Yahoo! auction

The Doricatch series of discs showcased nine of Toyota’s vehicles. These included the ’99 and ’00 models of the Toyota Celica, FunCargo, Gaia, Hilux Surf, Land Cruiser 100/Cygnus, Celsior, Estima, Land Cruiser Prado and RAV4 L.

Unfortunately, these discs were not sold to the public. CRI-CSK Research Institute – was responsible for developing these CDs. CSK was SEGA’s corporate parent. The video above showcases one of Toyota’s fine hatchbacks.

This was definitely an interesting piece of history that I didn’t know about before. What do you think of this Toyota x SEGA promotion? Let us know in the comments below!


Marcin Gulik

Live and learn everyday. Dreamcast and Shenmue are the epitome of gaming!
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