Phantasy Star Online Dreamcast and Gamecube Servers Will Shut Down Soon

 Even back in the Dreamcast’s prime years I had a bad feeling about online game. While I did have fun (and frustration) playing Dreamcast games like Unreal Tournament online, I knew that games that primarily depended on online gameplay would not be worth the long-term investment as they would eventually be turned off. As a classic gamer, I like my games to last “forever”, not just a few years.

While Phantasy Star Online was popular enough to stay online this long, the game that was the highlight of the Dreamcast’s groundbreaking network will be closing its servers soon.

From the fine folks at OnlineConsoles.com

I just found out this morning. Phantasy Star Online will be terminated world-wide on March 31st, 2007. This will impact not only the Dreamcast versions of PSO, but GameCube PSO episode 1&2, as well as episode 3. The termination is not specific to Japan, it will be a worldwide server termination. Sonic Team specifically notes this on the news listing. This is a crushing blow to the OC community as a whole and OnlineConsole gaming at large.

Let me first say: Please do not panic.

There are multiple alternative server options available. I will be taking steps to ensure that members of OC have a place to play legit, uncompromised Phantasy Star Online.

Until then please enjoy Phantasy Star Online, and take advantage of any official holiday events while you still can.

I will obviously have more to say about this down the road, but for right now I need to collect my thoughts. One thing I will say, is that the OnlineConsoles community is having fewer games to worry about as time goes on. PSO going officially offline was inevitable. The one good thing that comes from games being terminated is no more stress and worrying about when the game is going to go offline. Atleast now we know, and can make preparations for the future.

You can read the official news posting at the Dreamcast JPN PSO news page here:
http://pso.dricas.ne.jp/pso_dricas. html

Note: The Xbox version and PSOBB for the PC will be remaining online. However since these do not pertain to the systems covered here at OnlineConsoles, please do not discuss them on the OC forums. Thank you.

So, those of you that still play the original versions on your Dreamcast better get your gaming in while you can unless there are some homebrew servers that show up.

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7 Comments

  1. alonzobots says:

    You could play online with the dreamcast up until now? Oh man, I still own a copy of that game….and I just assumed it shut down years ago.

  2. racketboy says:

    Honestly, I thought it was shut down already too…

  3. SegaVega says:

    The US version has been offline for a while, they probably mean the JPN, GC etc. It is still possible to get online with it in the US, but it’s tricky.

  4. lordnikon says:

    Hi racketboy, I stumbled across your site from slashdot referencing one of your other articles.

    You state that you want games to “last forever” and not just a few years. This is one of the most important facets of OnlineConsoles. If you hit up the Online Game List at the Dreamcast site, you will see games marked with a green X. They are online forever. I will list them below:

    Starlancer
    Quake 3
    4×4 Evolution
    Sega Swirl

    Each of these games are what we call “Online Forever” and have independent means for taking them online with no loss of gameplay.

    PSO has not been classified yet. In theory it is online forever, but updated software for the game has not been released yet. In-addition to this the alternative servers that are available are not working 100%. Basically, homebrew PSO servers are currently a briar-patch in terms of functionality. This isn’t to say their existance is a bad thing by any means. I should have more commentary on the future of PSO over at OC in the coming months.

    Anyways my main reason for commenting was to clarrify that most of the games currently online for the DC are in-fact online forever. You can play the NTSC-U/C version of Quake 3 Arena and not have to worry about it going offline 🙂

    -nikon
    onlineconsoles.com

  5. link says:

    just get psu for x box 360

  6. rodrigo says:

    well i wanted to know will they ever let u play pso i still see people playing including me we want to play online hope they put it back on