Dreamcast Technical Pages
Back
Friday, July 31st, 1998
SEGA's Technology Demo Screenshots
Dreamcast EXTREME has some screenshots from Next Generation magazine (Issue #45, pages 91-97) on the technology demos that SEGA showed people behind closed doors at the last E3 show in Atlanta. Game-Online recently described these demos in this article. Most of the screenshots look grainy when enlarged due to the screenshots being scanned in from a magazine. Most of the screenshots are about a room, that looks like a room that could exist in a Panzer Dragoon game. Here's hoping that SEGA is working on a Panzer Dragoon Saga game for the Dreamcast!!! One screenshot that looks quite amazing is the 'lace' screenshot, which is a scene that contains a floral lace sheet. This sheet has amazing detail, where each thread in the sheet can be seen. The sheet has portions that you can see through, and the whole room behind the sheet continues to be rendered perfectly. This particular screenshot also shows off the super-sampling, as all the edges in the sheet are sharp looking with no annoying pixelly jagged edges. Check out the screenshots for yourself! This is just a small taste of what is to come!
(Source: F5 Twister)
 
Thursday, July 30th, 1998
Game-Online And Yuji Naka
It seems that Yuji Naka of Sonic Team will be going to Europe, and talking to the lads over at Game-Online about Sonic Adventure, as this quote indicates:
Yuji Naka will be coming to Europe to reveal details of Sonic Adventure on Dreamcast. Game-Online has been invited to a special demonstration of the new game, and a opportunity to quiz one of the world's greatest games designers on his creation, the Dreamcast architecture and the future of Sega.
They will be releasing the information on August 22nd, after the Sonic Adventure introduction in Tokyo.
(Source: Game-Online article)
 
Wednesday, July 29th, 1998
Even More Godzilla Screenshots
SEGA is releasing four new Godzilla screenshots at it's website each day. One screenshot today is really starting to show that this title will be quite impressive. The texturing is quite good and it looks like the game will be set in a city that is quite active, with cars and buses on the streets. It is nice to see that SEGA is continually offering us information and screenshots of the games coming to the Dreamcast, especially over the summer months.
(Source: F5 Twister)
 
Tuesday, July 28th, 1998
More Godzilla Screenshots
SEGA has put up a few more screenshots of the Godzilla game that is coming to the Dreamcast. Personally I find these screenshots of questionable quality. They do not look anywhere near as impressive as NEC's upcoming game, Monster Breed.
(Source: F5 Twister)

Dreamcast Modem is Internal
From NGO Q&A section:

Q: What's the bottom line on the Dreamcast modem? Is it external or internal? 
A: OK, for the last time: The Dreamcast modem is internal, but modular, so it could be removed and replaced with another modem.
So the modem is modular, and most likely something you can plug into the Dreamcast unit from the bottom of the machine.
 
Monday, July 27th, 1998
Sonic Adventure Even Impresses SEGA's Employees!
Here is report from FGN Online:
Sega's chief publicist, Tadashi Takezaki, has released further details on the upcoming Japanese launch event for Sonic Adventures. "There are places in the car park for 5,000 cars and inside the hall there will be monitors all over the place to maximize the experience for attendees," claimed Takezaki. Details of the game itself though, are still extremely thin on the ground. The creator of Sonic, Yuji Naka is in raptures about the title: "Usually when you make games, you can always see room for improvement, but with Sonic Adventure, this time I truly thought it was perfect. When I showed it to other staff members, they were really wowed by it and we can show this on the day of the launch event."
SEGA's staff are used to seeing great games because of all the great games produced for the Model 3 hardware and they were wowed by Sonic Adventure! This title sounds as if it is going to be the most impressive graphical game of all time! Just what SEGA needs to make the Dreamcast the best selling console of all time.
 
Friday, July 24th, 1998
Monster Breed
Another game by NEC, which looks like the most impressive game yet from NEC, that is coming to the Dreamcast. Here is what NGO had to say about this game in this article:
Currently 30 percent complete, this two-player simulation from NEC Interchannel looks to take on Pocket Monsters. Players' first responsibility will be to make a new monster, with the ability to mix characteristics, with the aim to make a hybrid animal. The main task is to look after the monster, but occasionally there will be an adventure to undertake, or a time to travel to the dungeon. Intended to tie in closely with the Dreamcast VMS, Monster Breed. will have graphics to amaze when on the big console (each monster is constructed with tens of thousands of polygons) and allow players to transport data around, swap and compare with their friends, and generally continue with the game on the move via the VMS memory card. No release date has been set yet for Monster Breed.
This game clearly sounds like it will be a showcase game for how powerful the Dreamcast is for manipulating a huge amount of polygons per second. Here are two screenshots that really show how impressive this game looks: shot1, and shot2. Check out the rest of the article for more screenshots and information on other NEC Dreamcast titles like Godzilla, Mercurius Pretty and Seventh Cross. Not mentioned in the article, but mentioned previously is another game that NEC is working on, which is Sengoku Turb. That makes a total of four games now from NEC. It seems that since the Dreamcast has NEC graphics chip the PowerVR and NEC does not have a console in the market anymore, that they are going to be throwing their full weight behind the Dreamcast. An article at GameFan that provides more info on Monster Breed:
The second and better sounding game is Monster Breed, it is a game that sees you raise monsters. As they grow you send it to do battle with other monsters. The game will be compatible wit the VMS memory system and you will be able to trade monsters with your friends. There is said to be well over 200 monsters in the game and according to reports from the director each monster will be made up of over 5,000 polygons.
This game clearly has NEC's best development team, as opposed to the other games that NEC is producing for the Dreamcast.

Pen Pen Triathalon
This title looks better and better each time. NGO had an opportunity to interview Nakamura and Kondou who are two employees of General Entertainment, the company creating Pen Pen Triathalon. Here is a quote from a NGO's interview about this wacky game:

NGO: How do you feel about about making games on the Dreamcast? 
Kondou: I thought its polygon-generating capability was excellent. People try and compare systems, including the PC, to the arcade model 3 boards performance, but Dreamcast far outstrips all of them. This level of performance for the home at such a low price means that all children can afford to buy one. 
Nakamura: Being able to use so many polygons for characters is great. If you see the graphics, the characters are so beautiful that I forget they were constructed with polygons. We weren't able to make such a variety of characters before, with such fluid animation, but now we can. It's totally different, in terms of motion. When you see the characters, you'll never be bored of them, really. We feel this is Pen Pen Triathalon's most captivating quality, its uniqueness. 
Kondou: On the Saturn, the first impressions of the characters were all-important, but this time, were not as conscious of it, because whatever characters appear, you're guaranteed to have fun with them. 
Nakamura: When they're stationary, it's not as noticeable, but when they're in motion, its quite unnerving.
Another game on the Dreamcast that will be a showcase for the powerful geometry engine of the SH-4 processor. Check the screenshots in the interview, and you can clearly see that the animation for the characters looks like it will be quite unique and varied. Each character is very smoothly contoured! This game is clearly designed to appeal to the younger generation, and just what SEGA needs to attract them to the Dreamcast.
 
Thursday, July 23rd, 1998
How Much Memory in the VMS?
Good question and something SEGA of Europe along with Dreamcast Technical Pages is not sure of. SEGA of Europe had two pages at their website that indicated that the VMS PDA unit had 4 MB of Data Storage Capacity, but now one of those two pages has changed. Here is the first page that had indicated before that the VMS unit had 4 MB of Data Storage Capacity, but now it indicates it has 128 KB of Data Storage Capacity. The second page is the European press release on the Dreamcast that still mentions that the VMS unit has 4 MB of Data Storage Capacity as this quote indicates:
Among the revolutionary features of Dreamcast is the "as standard" networking capability. Another is the Visual Memory System (VMS) which is both a memory card and the world's smallest portable game system with built-in LCD Screen. The VMS card can store up to four megabytes of data - more than some other next generation consoles. Plugged into the Dreamcast controller, the LCD screen lets players set up secret moves against their opponents. Pull out the VMS card and it becomes a portable electronic game machine no bigger than a business card.
Since SEGA of Europe has changed the first page, this would seem to indicate that the Data Storage Capacity of the VMS unit is 128 KB and not 4 MB. If you have more information to help clear this up, please let us know!

Dreamcast 2D Capabilities
From NGO's Q&A section yesterday:

Q: There has been a lot of talk about the DreamCast's 3D capabilities but none about its 2D capabilities. So, what are the DreamCast's 2D capabilities? Can it perform ports of Street Fighter III at an arcade-perfect, near-arcade perfect, or nowhere near arcade perfect level? Or is it a 3D only system.
A: Its 2D capabilities haven't been discussed much, but given the speed it can move pixels around on the screen, Street Fighter III should not be a problem for Dreamcast.
Here is what Yu Suzuki had to say at Game-Online about the Dreamcast 2D capabilities: 
The Dreamcast is indeed a machine that does specialize in 3D but this doesn't mean that it's not capable of 2D either. If we change the Z variable to 0, then we can make 2D. So as the Dreamcast doesn't have to calculate the Z value, in theory this mean that the Dreamcast is capable of even greater 2D. One thing that I do want to say is that instead of me saying how amazing this machine is, I'd rather everybody see for themselves how great Dreamcast is.
Remember that the Dreamcast can render 200 million pixels per second, so it would have no problems with any 2D game from Capcom! Any 3D chip can do 2D as you just have to then render all textures flat to the screen instead of placing them on objects in a 3D scene. 3Dfx Interactive used to have a 2D game API for their Voodoo chipsets that never became popular, so they abandoned it, thus also showing that a 3D chipset can do 2D with out dedicated 2D hardware. Since the Dreamcast PVRSG chip has a very powerful texture compression with real-time decompression, a lot of 2D information can be compressed to fit in the Dreamcast memory space! What this all boils down to, is that Capcom's 2D games will be awesome on the Dreamcast!
 
Wednesday, July 22nd, 1998
Dreamcast Demos
Game-Online has a write-up on some demos that SEGA showed people to highlight the rendering power of the Dreamcast. These demos where shown at E3 behind closed doors and are being talked about now because the NDA time has elapsed. Here is a quote about the first demo:
E3 DEMO #1: POLYGONS
Sega of America's first E3 Dreamcast demo depicted a 3D world, of a lush green landscape next to a lake, with a boat house on stilts on the shore. A thin layer of cloud covers the area. Part of the focus on this demo was to see the focus on the waterline, which hugged the shore pixel-perfectly. The water itself was composed of thousands of undulating polygons, with stunning translucency effects. Beneath the water, pillars were rendered, distorting according to the movement of the water. A major point of this demo was to illustrate Dreamcast's rendering power - most 3D accelerators draw the scene in several passes, or layers, before displaying the image. The new Sega hardware does it all in one pass. Another aspect of the demo concerned distance. At one point, the demo is taken far up into the air, looking through the cloud layer. You can see EVERYTHING here, there is no clipping, or fogging whatsoever. Conversely, you could also go under water, looking up to see the world viewed as it would be with the appropriate distortion effects, alpha-blending being used for the spectacular visuals.
Sounds like a beautiful environment for an adventure game! Hard to believe that SEGA is showing such sophisticated 3D demos at such an early date. This just goes to prove that the Dreamcast is very easy to program! We all going to see some incredible 3D games on the Dreamcast, starting with Sonic Adventure!
(Source: PiranYA)
 
Friday, July 17th, 1998
The Latest on Windows CE
Here is an article explaining where Microsoft is headed with the Windows CE Operating System. Version 3.0 is due next year, but this version most likely will not be appearing on the Dreamcast as Microsoft has already indicated that the version of Windows CE for the Dreamcast is a special version that is optimized for the Dreamcast hardware. Expect compatibility to be maintained between Windows CE 3.0 and the Dreamcast Windows CE. It is version 2.1 of Windows CE that has support for Hitachi's SH-4 processor. You might also want to check out Microsoft's Dreamcast Windows CE webpage which has moved to new location here.
(Source: Ernesto by email)

Yu Suzuki Speaks and the World Listens
If Yu says "Jump". We say, "How high?". This the respect that this man and the AM2 programming team gets in this industry. Mr. Suzuki has given us some juicy tidbits on the Dreamcast power over at Game-Online in this article. Yu clearly indicates in this article that the Dreamcast is easily more powerful then the Model 3 and yes that includes the latest incarnation of that hardware: Model 3 Step 2 which can do 2 million polygons per second. Another important item mentioned about the Dreamcast in this article is the ease that the Dreamcast can be programmed! Powerful 3D with easy 3D programming equals pure gaming heaven! We could not have asked SEGA to give us a better console then the Dreamcast! I do not know about you, but I am pumped to see this console in action. Also, that SONIC Adventure announcement from yesterday is icing on a very big delicious cake! Here is some quotes from that Game-Online article:

But how much is the Dreamcast pushed in the Tower of Babel demo? Does the machine really reach anywhere near its 3D limits? "If this demo was running, say, a 1,000,000 polygons per second, then the machine is capable of producing three times this amount with ease. To make the machine run at its fullest capacity, it would take a lot of time and effort but if we were to push it, Dreamcast would be able to handle 3,000,000 to 3,500,000 polygons per second. But we're still yet to see the Model 3 board do this." 

But can Dreamcast REALLY better Model 3? Sega Research and Development Managing Director Hideki Sato explained in pretty simple terms that it could in last month's issue, and for the doubters that remain, here's Yu Suzuki's assessment. "Of course the machine is better than Model 3. When we were thinking about the Dreamcast, one thing that we wanted to make sure of was that when we converted games from Model 3 to the Dreamcast it would be stress free. So I feel that we've created a machine that has managed to achieve our aim. The Dreamcast is indeed a machine that does specialize in 3D but this doesn't mean that it's not capable of 2D either. If we change the Z variable to 0, then we can make 2D. So as the Dreamcast doesn't have to calculate the Z value, in theory this mean that the Dreamcast is capable of even greater 2D. One thing that I do want to say is that instead of me saying how amazing this machine is, I'd rather everybody see for themselves how great Dreamcast is."

Check out the whole article here.
(Source: F5 Twister)
 
Thursday, July 16th, 1998
Sonic Adventure!
News does not get bigger then this! Yes! Yes! Yes! This is something millions have been waiting for! To see Sonic on the Dreamcast by Yuji Naka and the rest of Sonic Team! August 22nd, 1998 in Tokyo is a day that we will see Sonic running on the Dreamcast hardware! This day is almost as big as the Dreamcast introduction of May 21st, 1998. Sonic Adventure will be the game seen by most people that will tell us what the Dreamcast is capable of. There is no question that this game will be one of SEGA's biggest titles ever to be released. I do not know about you, but I am frothing at the mouth in anticipation of this title! If there is any game I would buy for the Dreamcast it will be this one!
 Coming to a Dreamcast near you!

SONIC Adventure

8.22(sat)

Q&A from SonicTeams's webpage and provided by Next Generation Online article :
So you've announced your first title for the Dreamcast.
Yes, we've heard many gamers say they wanted Sonic for the Dreamcast, but we couldn't give an answer until now. 

At what point did development start?
After we finished Nights for the Saturn, we began to plan the idea for Sonic Adventures on the Saturn; we were trying to incorporate many ideas into the game, but it became so big, that we decided we had to develop it on the Dreamcast. 

What kind of Sonic game will it be? 
This will be a game that will set a new futuristic standard for gaming. We will reveal more at the press conference, because if we leak too much information now, the press conference will be meaningless. 

Tell us about the press conference.
I would like as many Sonic fans as possible to attend, it's not just for press and industry folks. The first showing will be for the public, the second will be for the industry people. 

What will be shown at the press conference?
It will be a forum not only to see the game in development, but also to talk with members of the Sonic team. We'll also be giving away Sonic otaku (trinkets and other goodies). 

Any parting words?
Anyone, from children to people who know Sonic, will enjoy the press conference. It's been a while, so please be patient, more information will be available in the coming weeks.

Another quote from the same article:
"It's been four years since Sonic and Knuckles," Naka said on Sega's site. "People are ready for the Dreamcast, and this will be the number one game they're waiting for. We apologize for keeping silent for so long. I've seen what they (the Sonic Team) have done, and in a word, it's awesome. Come, be a part of this historic event."
You can check out Sonic Team's webpage at SEGA of Japan's website here. So Sonic Team have been working on this game for at least a year and a half since that is how long it has been since NiGHTS into Dreams has been released. GO SEGA GO!!!
(Source: Yusaku by email)
 
Tuesday, July 14th, 1998
Akolyte News
Revenant mentions today at their site some positive aspects about Dreamcast, but do not provide any details on Dreamcast development. Here is a quote from their news section:
Hi all! It has been a hectic few past weeks. There have been many rumors floating around about Akolyte and what we're doing for the Sega Dreamcast. Whereas we're not able to say anything more about that yet, it is very encouraging that there is fan interest for Akolyte to go there. In house, we think that the system is a potential blockbuster opening up with the capabilities of a set-top unit as well as a high power console system. With multiplayer capability over the net, the Dreamcast may prove to the be system that bridges the gap between the PC world and the traditional "island" console system.
Revenant has put up some new screenshots of Akolyte at their site.

Pen Pen Tri-ice-lon
Strange name for a strange game. Pen Pen Tri-ice-lon is a game about animals that will be competing against each other in different ice-sports including running, swimming, and sliding. The type of animals in the game include a walrus, sea-lion, shark, hippopotamus, a penguin and other animals. Based on the screenshots of this game so far, we can see characters that are very well modeled, but are very wacky looking! None of the characters have legs! Makes you wonder how competitive such characters can be. This title is being created by a new in house development team at SEGA called General Entertainment. This team is comprised of members who have worked on these games: Panzer Dragoon series, Daytona CCE, Sega Rally, Nights and Sonic. Check out the screenshots of this game at SEGA-holic (july 9th news). Pen Pen will be a game that is available at the Dreamcast launch on Nov. 20th, 1997 in Japan.

VM Labs Project X and Sony's Playstation 2 Are Doing 3D Differently
It would seem from what Sony and VM Labs have to say in this Techweb article that their architectures are better due to the fact they are getting away from polygons. Makes you wonder how hard it will be for game companies to port software to systems that are not following the industry standard. A billion dollar industry has been built up around manipulating the polygon and the industry is not going to change over night. Sony and VM Labs are blowing hot air for now and the pudding is in the visuals. Sony has shown no visuals as of yet and from what VM Labs has shown Next Generation about a month back, looks laughable.

Food for Thought
It would seem that in order to buy the Dreamcast PDA unit, you would first have to buy a ticket to Sony's movie Godzilla, as the PDA units are only available in the theaters. I am sure that Sony's executives in Japan are getting a good chuckle over this one.
 
Monday, July 13th, 1998
Godzilla To A Dreamcast Near You?
SEGA of Japan has put a new page at their site on the Godzilla game for the PDA unit. It seems that there will also be a Godzilla game for the Dreamcast, as there are couple screenshots shown of the game! So has Godzilla been given the bump mapping treatment? Well, he sure looks bumpy!
(Source: Yusaku by email)

More Developers for Dreamcast
Infogames, Core, Gremlin and Rage are all developing games for SEGA Dreamcast! Here are the titles:

Infogames - Outcast, Alone in the Dark 4, an unnamed racing game, and a exclusive game
Core Design - four titles with one of them being an exclusive game
Gremlin - Actua Soccer and Actual Golf
Rage - Incoming which will be a port from the PC
(Source: Game-Online article)
 
Friday, July 10th, 1998
Dreamcast Has Another Logo
Either Microsoft gave SEGA a great deal on the WinCE OS or Microsoft is paying SEGA a lot of money to put a logo on the Dreamcast that says: "Powered by Windows CE". Hmmm, and I thought the SH-4 was powering the Dreamcast. One begins to wonder if chisels will become a hot selling item around the time of the Dreamcast release?
(source: Gamespot article)

PDA Available Tomorrow!
The game Atsumete Godzilla will be available on the SEGA Dreamcast PDA when the PDA makes it's introduction tomorrow. SEGA is even showing TV commercials in Japan to promote the PDA device. Well, hopefully SEGA will sell millions of the little devices where then each person has to buy a Dreamast to get full potential out of their PDA unit. A good ideal for a game on the PDA for the North American launch would be a Tetris type of game! (source: Gamespot article)
 
Thursday, July 9th, 1998
Nigma Interview
SEGA Otaku has an interview with Alex Lemedy of Nigma, which is the company working on the game Drones. Here is part of that interview:

Sega-Otaku: Previously, Nigma has confirmed that other Dreamcast projects are currently in the works, although specific's couldn't be released at that time. We were wondering if you could possibly tell us what genre's of development Nigma hopes to explore with future Dreamcast development? 

Alex: Sorry, but again it's too early to discuss these matters. Though we have many projects , we concentrate to finish Drones first. [smiles..] The only thing I can tell you now, is that the Drones engines ( 3D engine and AI engine ) have been developed in order to be used in a custom way for future games, and RPG is a genre we love. [smiles..]

Graphically Drones and any other game using this engine will be absolute stunners on the Dreamcast!
 
Wednesday, July 8th, 1998
SEGA Focuses on Dreamcast
Here is some more news on SEGA doing everything right to make the Dreamcast a huge success. It seems that SEGA is moving people in the company to concentrate on the Dreamcast launch as oppose to their arcade division. Here is quote from Next Generation Online:
The first sign of things to come was the ousting of arcade-centric Hayao Nakayama for Shoichiro Irimajiri (president of SEGA of Japan). But even more significant was the transfer of Sadahiko Hirose from Ascii Entertainment, which is partly owned by Sega, to Sega of Japan's consumer development team. Hirose should provide important product development partnership during the coming months of first-party Dreamcast title production. [more]
The same article mentions that Yu Suzuki will be working on a Dreamcast-exclusive title.

More Drones Screenshots
Check out Videogamers.com for some impressive screenshots of Drones. The lighting and transparency effects in this game look incredable. Here is a direct link to the screenshots. As reported earlier, this game is coming to the Dreamcast.

Sengoku Turb and Seventh Cross Coming to North America?
That is what NEC Home Electronics says in this quote from FGN Online:

NEC Home Electronics has confirmed that Dreamcast RPGs Sengoku Turb and Seventh Cross are to be released in North America and Europe. Speaking to Sega-Otaku a spokesperson also confirmed that other Dreamcast titles are under development by NEC-HE, and though no details have been released the titles are not RPGs.
From what I have seen from the screenshots so far, is not too promising! Sengoku Turb looks childish and Seventh Cross is lacking in objects in the enviroment that the game takes place in. Hopefully gameplay makes up for the questionable graphic styles of these two games.
 
Monday, July 6th, 1998
New Dreamcast Developers
Everyday it seems there is a new developer for the Dreamcast. The amount of support that SEGA is getting for this insanely powerful new console is remarkable. Everyone and their dog wants a piece of the action. Here is a quote about some new developers:
Both Human Entertainment and Banpresto have told gaming press that they are waiting to sign up for Dreamcast development. Confirmed developer Koei looks on course to announce Romance of Three Kingdoms 6 and New Horizons 2 for Dreamcast.
(Source: FGN Online)
 
Thursday, July  2nd, 1998
Silent Trigger and Nightmare Saga?
A lot of Dreamcast sites have been receiving email from a mysterious source who claims that two games, which are called Silent Trigger and Nightmare Saga are being developed for the Dreamcast by a company called Edge Creations. There is no company called Edge Creations in the video game business. Both Silent Trigger and Nightmare Saga are not games in development for the Dreamcast. This is a hoax! It was Fernando Mosquera at SegaNet who put me on the right track, when he suggested the game was a hoax in an article at his site today. Dreamcast Technical Pages reported on the Japanese game Enigma for the PowerVR cards on November 18th, 1997. Well the suppose screenshot for Silent Trigger that most sites have been showing, reminded me of that game. A quick check has shown that it is the same game! If you need convincing, then check out this page at NEC Home Electronics site in Japan. Enigma is a game from KOEI CO., Ltd. and will most likely be a game we will see on the Dreamcast, since it already runs on PowerVR cards! An easy port for KOEI!