News From Japan
Gary Evans aka Gaz sends news from
Japan on SEGA's latest updates to their website:
Sega of Japan's webpages
for the Model 3 game L.A. Machineguns by AM R&D Dept. #3
Sonic Adventure Music:
SEGA of Japan's webpages
for the Model 3 game Magical Truck Adventure by AM R&D Dept.
in the introduction section
in the story section
two different arcade cabinets shown
in the specifications section.
Sonic Adventure sound section
Latest SEGA Rally 2 commercial playing
music CD section
has details of the 4 Sonic Adventure music CDs:
SONIC TEAM "Power Play" -Best Songs
from SONIC TEAM-
SONIC ADVENTURE "Songs With Attitude"
SONIC Adventure REMIX
SONIC ADVENTURE "Digi-Log Conversation"
Original Sound Track
for the 7 Sonic theme songs: Sonic Adventure, Sonic, Miles, Knuckles, Tails,
Amy and Big
details of the "Digi-Log Conversation"
Original Sound Track released on 1.20 at Y3,360. The two red links
on that page
show lists of the 36 tracks on Side A & 33 tracks on Side B in English.
The latest Sega Rally
2 TV ad shows a young salaryman walking down a street. Suddenly,
a noodle vendor pulling his cart, schoolgirl on a bicycle, mechanical digger
and toddler on a tricycle go skidding past him rally style in quick succession,
scaring the life out of him.
A big thanks to Gaz for the above information!
SEGA Rally 2!
SEGA Rally 2 for the Dreamcast has 17
tracks and 19 cars:
A couple previews and movies:
Desert - SS1, SS2, SS3
Mountain - SS1, SS2, SS3
Snowy - SS1, SS2, SS3
Muddy - SS1, SS2, SS3
Isle - SS1, SS2, SS3
Super S Stage
Road Surface Percentages
Toyota Corolla WRC
Toyota Celica GT-Four ST-205
Toyota Celica GT-Four ST-185
Ford Escort WRC
Subaru Impreza WRC
Subaru Impreza 555
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 5
Mitsubishi Lancer EVO 4
Mistubishi Lancer EVo 3
Lancia Delta HF Integrale (from SEGA
Lancia Delta Integrale 16v
Fiat 037 Rally
Fiat 131 Abarth Rally
Renault Maxi Megane
Renault Alpine A110
Peugeot 306 Maxi
Peugeot 106 Maxi
Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 (legendary car
As you can see, SEGA Rally 2 has lots
of depth, and lots of options to keep you busy for a long time! This shows
you that SEGA is not just doing a straight arcade port, but are adding
lots of extras for the home market like they said they would. Thanks to
all those who provided this information!
Co-Driver - Male or Female (voice directions,
for example "Hard right", "Easy left", etc.)
Final Gear Ratio
(Source: Hawkmoon, MetalGear, Eug,
Luya and James Gavin by email)
SEGA Rally 2 Rated!
It seems that SEGA has another winner
on their hands with the Japanese publication Weekly Famitsu, who are known
for being very critical of games, giving SEGA Rally 2:
SEGA Rally 2 - 9 9 9 9 (36/40)
Other recent high scoring Dreamcast
games by Weekly Famitsu:
Sonic Adventure - 9 10 9
10 (38/40) - highest rated DC game!
So SEGA Rally 2 is tied with VF3tb.
SEGA Rally 2 is due to be released this Thurs., Jan. 28th, '99.
VF3tb - 9 9 9 9 (36/40)
Evolution - 8 8 8 8 (32/40)
(Source: Richard Ho aka NoriPhd,
Here are a few pictures
showing the VGA box connector that allows the Dreamcast to be hooked up
to VGA monitors, and your TV at the same time. Includes a picture showing
the insides of the VGA box.
(Source: Richard Ho, aka NoriPhd
by email, HK gamer named "valis")
HQ has an interesting interview with Yoshinori Hirano of Trisignal
Communications. Very interesting interview, as it explains that a lot of
the modem functionality is actually being executed on the SH-4 processor
as this quote indicates:
For Dreamcast, however,
we have implemented our embedded controllerless modem design (which is
soft/hard hybrid modem) where all the controller function such as AT command
processing, call progress monitoring, error correction, and data compression
protocols are implemented as software device driver using fewer hardware
chips compared to traditional modems.
Climax Landers Screenshots
Climax has released 49 new screenshots
of Climax Landers at their Japanese website. Go to this page
and click on each section of the world map to see screenshots from that
section, and click on the three links at the bottom of that page for other
screenshots. This is one great looking game! This game is due sometime
Virtua Fighter 3 Team Battle
February 1999 Gamers' Republic issue
rates Virtua Fighter 3 team battle on the Dreamcast as the #1 ranked fighting
game for 1998. Dreamcast is already starting to get the recognition it
deserves. Tekken 3 for the Playstation was number 2 on that list.
(Source: Suneet Shah by email)
Dreamcast Block Diagram
Hitachi has put up a block diagram
of the Dreamcast showing all the data buses on the DC motherboard. First
thing that is quite clear about this diagram, is that the DC does not have
any external buses that can support memory or processor upgrades! Personally
I do not feel that the DC needs such upgrades, and such upgrades have had
limited success in the past, with the Saturn's 4 MEG cart being an exception.
Upgrades also fragment the market, which is undesirable for many reasons.
You can check out the block diagram here
in the technical section. A big thanks to Andrew Spencer (a.k.a. Joe Musashi
on message board) for pointing out this block diagram!
(Source: Andrew Spencer by email,
Hitachi's SuperH Japanese website,
The Japanese publication Weekly
Famitsu, four reviewers have given Evolution:
FamiTsu 8 8 8 8 (32/40)
Evolution will go on sale January 21st,
1999 for 5800 Yen.
(Source: NGO article)
Here is some excerpts from EDGE's
interview of SEGA's President Irimajiri:
Following a successful
career heading up one of Honda's car divisions, Shoichiro Irimajiri was
hired by Sega Enterprises to lead the firm's renaissance. A passionate
believer in the potential of Dreamcast, and a personality strong enough
to regain the support of Sony stalwart Namco, Inmajiri-san is the man behind
Sega's new sense of vigour. Edge talked to the company's president about
renewed strategies in in the wake of the Saturn.
Again thanks to BoosterNL for his efforts
in making parts of this interview available from the latest EDGE magazine.
Edge: What do you think
is the main difference between the Sega of today and the Sega as it was
when it was preparing to release the Saturn?
Shoichiro Irimajiri: Clearly
the technology is completely different in this industry four or five years
makes a big difference. The Dreamcast is more than 20 or 30 times more
powerful than the Saturn, so it's very clear that the machine is completely
different. But the biggest difference is not the technology but our mindset.
When we started the Saturn project we were not a completely consumer-oriented
company - even though we had great success with 16-bit in the US and Europe,
the culture of Sega was formed mainly by the arcade business. At the start
of the Saturn business we were not ready to go to the consumer market,
and that resulted in a terrible experience. So, by reviewing the whole
experience with the Saturn, we have already learned lots of things about
the consumer markets, and knowing all those facts, and also some mistakes
from the past, I can say that we are l00 per cent ready to to the consumer
market with Dreamcast.
Edge: How important are
third party developers to Sega now? And what has it been lice talking to
them after the Saturn's failure in the west?
Shoichiro Irimajiri: In
Japan and the rest of the world, third parties have been developing Playstation
and N64 titles, but they know that they have already reached some of the
limits of the capability of those machines. Therefore, in so many cases,
when creators have wanted to develop a new game, they have been very frustrated
because they cannot express their feelings and the images they want. That's
the reason why games consoles have changed over several years. And this
is the right time for everyone - us, and the creators - for the Dreamcast
to appear, because it can open the door for them, they can create completely
new concepts by using the Dreamcasts performance. From the start, the developers
were so excited to develop on the Dreamcast, but the problem lay with the
management people [laughs], because they are always calculating in money
terms. So at first they hesitated, but by receiving lots of pressure from
the developers inside these companies they soon became very co-operative.
Right now, third parties are very excited.
(Source: BoosterNL, EDGE magazine
Dreamcast Development System - Set
The latest issue of the British
magazine has some information, and a few pictures of SEGA's Dreamcast development
system version Set 5. A big thanks to BoosterNL for emailing some scans
and information from this article.
(Source: BoosterNL, EDGE magazine
Here is some excerpts from an interview
with Hideki Sato, Sega's corporate senior vice presedent of consumer products,
at its Japanese HQ, by EDGE magazine:
Edge: What were
the first elements of the Dreamcast design to fall into place?
(Source: BoosterNL, EDGE magazine
Hideki Sato: When we decided
to make Dreamcast, the most important factor was to display as many polygons
as possible especially after the criticism of the Saturn compared to the
PlayStation in this area. There were different candidates for the main
processor, but for an entertainment machine we needed some particular specifications.
For the Saturn we had used Hitachi's SH2, so it already understood Sega's
requirements. With other parties things were not so easy with the SH2,
Hitachi had become the worldwide number one maker of RISC CPUs, and wanted
to do it again. It understand the cost versus performance problems related
to the games industry very well and tried to help in that area. The next
step was the storage system. To be honest we wanted to use DVD but gave
up because it was still too expensive and the development environment was
a major problem. We needed to create the authoring tools from scratch!
So we searched for a new cost-effective solution, and we came up with the
GD-ROM. Then, around the same time, we chose the sound and graphics components.
Edge: Dreamcast's RAM allocation
is high, considering you were trying to save money.
Hideki Sato: At first
the project only had 8Mb. But we found that if we wanted to display more
than three million polygons, or five million without texture, we had to
increase the memory size. So we raised the amount to 16 Mb.
Edge: What are the graphic
effects available on Dreamcast that the Model 3 doesn't offer?
Hideki Sato: Fog that
can be modulated, 256 levels of transparency, trilinear filtering, bump
mapping, it's not real bump mapping, but it looks the same. Among the hardware
effects, you have lightning and shadows with modifiable volume. Model 3
is three years old-technology has moved on.
From the rumor page
The saddest news of all
today comes from that traitor Namco. Damn YOU, Namco! Where is your loyalty!?
The kick-@ss fighter, Soul Caliber, sequel to Soul Edge (Soul Blade on
the PlayStation) is rumored to arrive on a different system than yours
truly. And to add insult to injury, Time Crisis II is also slated for a
"different" system, as well. That system, by the way, isn't PlayStation
II, either (hint: think Cinnabon).
Both Time Crises II and Soul Calibur
are top rated games, so this would be excellent news! Hopefully this rumor
Sega's President, Shoichiro Irimajiri
AsiaBizTech interviews SEGA's president:
BizTech interviewed Sega's
President, Shoichiro Irimajiri, on the company's outlook for 1999 onward,
with Dreamcast as the mainstay product for sales.
(Source: AsiaBizTech article)
BizTech: I assume that
you expect Dreamcast to shoulder the future of Sega Enterprises. How far
do you think Dreamcast is going to penetrate into the market?
Irimajiri: I can't come
up with any specific figures at this time, but within five years from 1999,
we plan to get more than 50 percent share of the world's market for home-use
video game machines. With that in mind, we plan to push Dreamcast into
the U.S. and European markets during business year 1999. [more]
The hobby site SEGALine
has put up 63 images of Shenmue as taken from the brochure that was handled
out at the Shenmue introduction last Dec. 20th, 1998.
SEGA Rally 2 - Jan. 14th, '99 to Jan.
Climax Landers - Feb. 25th to June 10th,
Get Bass - Feb. to Apr. 1st, '99
Hudson's White Illumination - Feb. to
mid Mar., '99
Konami's Pop n' Music - Feb. 25th to
Apr. 1st, '99
Konami's Flight Shooting - Spring '99
to undetermined date
Box Gaming news)
The House of The Dead 2 - Mar. 18th.,