14/02/2001 It's a shame about Sega. I remember with fondness the first time Sonic the Hedgehog spun across my screen: there was something ineffably right about that game that made all others seem somehow lame and lumbering. All platforms have one; Mario, Tetris, Quake, Manic Miner, Elite... (and if you look at zone.msn.com/bejeweled and don't sleep for a week, it's not my fault). But now the company is doing what so many have done before and jacking in the hardware business. The Dreamcast is a fine console, as good as the PS2 in many ways, but the marketing, the timing, the price points were wrong and this isn't a game where you can make many mistakes. And I wouldn't hold out too much hope for today's announcement, the integrated Dreamcast-cum-digital TV set-top box. It seems like a nice enough idea: you have your cable network or satellite system delivering top games for a few pence; you spend an evening playing them and a good time is had by all. Except that if you want a videogame console, you want to plug it into the spare telly so that others can watch the soaps. You want to take it to your pals' houses. You want your set-top box to have hard-disk TV recording... In other words, there's not much more point to doing this than there is to having a TV with an integrated console, and look how many of those there were.