Press release: 1999-06-29: Sega of America and Hollywood Video in Landmark Deal for Exclusive Rentals of Sega Dreamcast Beginning July 15

From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

 PORTLAND, Ore.--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--June 29, 1999--

Hollywood Video To Have 56-Day Rental Exclusivity For New Console System And Software, Exposing 40 Million Hollywood Video Customers To Sega Dreamcast Before System's Official U.S. Launch On September 9

Sega(R) of America Inc. and Hollywood Video Corp., dba Hollywood Video (NASDAQ: HLYW), Tuesday announced an exclusive deal that will make the national video chain the sole retailer to rent the much-anticipated 128-bit Sega Dreamcast(TM) videogame system almost two months before its United States launch.

On July 15, Hollywood Video will begin renting Sega Dreamcast, the superconsole with a built-in 56K modem that brings the most realistic and advanced game play ever achieved in a consumer videogame system, at more than 1,000 of its 1,390 stores nationwide, raising awareness among a potential consumer audience of approximately 40 million.

Sega Dreamcast officially launches in the United States on Sept. 9, 1999, at a retail price of $199 with a launch library of 16 titles.

Hollywood Video will support hardware rentals with the availability of one of Sega's premier launch titles, "Sonic Adventure(TM)" in which Sega's beloved Sonic the Hedgehog(TM) will make his Dreamcast debut in a 3D thrill ride not possible on any other system.

Hollywood Video and Sega plan to expand the rental offering in August with such titles as "Ready 2 Rumble Boxing(TM)" from Midway Home Entertainment.

The Sega Dreamcast units will be available for a rental price of $19.99 and will include one Dreamcast game. Additional games will be available for rental separately at a price of $4.99. The hardware units will be available with two controllers and an RF unit used for connecting Sega Dreamcast to a television.

"Consumers in the U.S. can't wait to get their hands on Sega Dreamcast," said Bernard Stolar, president and chief operating officer, Sega of America. "Retailers are already seeing pre-sell numbers going through the roof. Hollywood Video provides us an excellent outlet for giving consumers across the country a taste of the system before they head to retailers on September 9th to purchase."

"Hollywood Video is extremely pleased to join with Sega in an ambitious marketing effort to introduce the most anticipated video gaming system in history to the millions of customers who walk through our doors every week," said Jeffrey Yapp, president of Hollywood Entertainment Corp.

"Hollywood Video is strongly committed to expanding its reach in the video game business, which today represents the fastest-growing revenue stream in the entertainment industry. Video games have been a key part of Hollywood Video since the company's founding and this exclusive agreement for Sega Dreamcast will help drive long-term growth in our game business."

Hollywood Video is supporting the exclusive rental program with a multi-million dollar marketing campaign including advertising via radio, in-theater, online, in-store, mall flyers and wildpostings.

Approximately 600 stores will also feature in-store interactive Sega Dreamcast units. Hollywood Video will dedicate an entire page at to providing visitors with Sega Dreamcast information and updates.

In addition, select Hollywood Video stores in each of five cities -- New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland -- will host in-store consumer events and begin renting the system at midnight on July 14. Radio promotions at these midnight events will give consumers the chance to win a Sega Dreamcast system and a year's worth of Sega Dreamcast rentals at participating stores.

Fueling Pre-Sales

Fueling an already strong pre-sale program, Hollywood Video renters will receive bounce-back coupons redeemable at launch at select Sega Dreamcast retailers. By the time the system makes its United States debut, retailers expect to secure in excess of 200,000 pre-orders.

Available in more than 15,000 retail store fronts on its launch date, and with more than 10,000 consumers lining up to place pre-orders for the system on a weekly basis, Sega Dreamcast is headed for the largest launch in the history of videogames. Answering the demand to experience Sega Dreamcast, there will be 6,000 interactive units at retail by launch so consumers can try games and see the system first hand.

Sonic Speed

"Sonic Adventure" demonstrates the amazing power of Sega Dreamcast's 128-bit graphics engine and 64 channels of home theater-quality sound. The blue hedgehog is now in full 360-degree 3D and is blazing across the screen at supersonic speed.

Sonic is a whole new character in "Sonic Adventure." He can now climb, fly, snowboard and even talk -- whatever it takes to stop Dr. Robotnik. Five other fully playable characters join him, including two new characters designed specifically for the game. With their own special abilities and intertwined story lines, a new experience is created each time the game is played depending on whom you choose.

Sega Dreamcast's advanced architecture makes it the first console with evolutionary capabilities, allowing it to grow and change to match advances in technology and the needs and desires of the consumer. Sega Dreamcast is also the most powerful video game console ever created. It is 15 times more powerful than a Sony PlayStation(TM) and 10 times more powerful than a Nintendo 64.

In addition, Sega Dreamcast is the first console to feature online capabilities through a 56K modem and to utilize hand-held gaming through its Visual Memory Unit (VMU), which allows players to swap games with friends in the home or head-to-head using two VMUs.

About Hollywood Video

Hollywood Entertainment Corp. owns and operates Hollywood Video retail stores, the second-largest video store chain in the United States, and, the leading Web-based movie store. Hollywood Video superstores average approximately 7,200 square feet and typically carry more than 12,000 videocassettes.

Hollywood Video is one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world, opening on average one new store every day, with a weekly average of 7 million customers in its 1,390 locations. Hollywood Video's World Wide Web site is located at Hollywood Video and Hollywood Entertainment are registered trademarks of Hollywood Entertainment Corp.

About Sega of America

Sega of America Inc. is the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega video game systems and video games in the Americas.

Sega Enterprises Ltd. is a nearly $2.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at

Note to Editors: Sega(R), Sega Dreamcast(TM), Sonic the Hedgehog(TM) and Sonic Adventure(TM) are registered trademarks of Sega of America Inc. and/or Sega Enterprises Ltd.
COPYRIGHT 1999 Business Wire
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.