SegaNet was an online service provided by Sega for the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast video game consoles.


SegaNet is Sega's online service for the Sega Saturn in Japan. Unlike other online services, one doesn't connect to a central service, but instead tells the dial-up modem connected to the Saturn's cartridge slot to call to the person whom one wishes to play with. Since it requires no servers to operate, the service can operate as long as at least two users have the necessary hardware and software, as well as a phone line.


SegaNet was a short lived online service operated by Sega, geared for dial-up based online gaming on their Dreamcast game console. A replacement for Sega's original, PC-only online gaming service,, it was initially quite popular when launched on September 10, 2000. Unlike a standard ISP, game servers would be connected directly into SegaNet's internal network, providing very low connection latency between the consoles and servers along with standard internet access.[source needed]

SegaNet originally offered a $200 rebate with a two-year contract, to encourage sales of the Dreamcast. Sales continued to drop, and in July 2001, Sega announced they would discontinue the service. At this point, all subscribers were given the option to transfer their accounts to EarthLink.[source needed]

Online games on the Dreamcast initially allowed free access to their game servers, to be offset by SegaNet subscriptions and game sales. But with the demise of SegaNet, most games began charging for game server access, or closing down their servers altogether. An example of this was the discontinuation of online service for the games Phantasy Star Online. The online gaming service was reactivated briefly in the fall of 2002 sans service charges[1][2], but was closed for the last time at the end of the year.[source needed]

Although SegaNet is offline in North America, it still remains online in parts of Europe as Dreamarena.

See also


  1. "SegaNet: no longer pay-to-play" – an article announcing the elimination of subscription fees for SegaNet
  2. "SegaNet is free now, but nobody is playing" – a 2002 article on the decaying state of SegaNet

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