Dude, the Dreamcast was released on November 27, 1998.
I know, because I had a friend get me one for a Christmas present. It was one of the ones with Yukawa Senmue on the box. You know, from the commercials.
He was funny and self-deprecating. It was sort of a recognition of how Sony's Playstation had managed to beat out the Saturn over time (The Saturn was the #1 console in Japan, roughly until FF7 came out for the Playstation)
I still thought the Segata Sanshirou ads were better though =) I think the Saturn would've won in the U.S. if Sanshirou had been the mascot here. He kicks your ass if you don't play Sega Saturn. =D