Dreamcast Technical Pages
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Tuesday, June 30th, 1998
SEGA Naomi Arcade Hardware
SEGA has indicated that their Naomi arcade hardware, which is based on the Dreamcast, will be able to have extra graphic boards added, so that the graphic boards can render the screen in parallel. That is one of features of the PowerVR second generation chipset, where each board with a PVRSG chip can render a portion of the screen. Naomi hardware can be expanded by 2, 4, 8, 16 or more boards with PVRSG chipsets, thus allowing the rendering power to be as high as 10 to 20 million polygons/sec. The cost of the main board is to be around $500 US. It is interesting to see that the Naomi hardware will not be render limited, but if the CPU power is not increased with the rendering power, then this arcade hardware will be CPU limited. In other words, the CPU will can only feed so many polygons per second to the rendering units.
(Source: Sega World, Edge magazine)
 
Friday, June 26th, 1998
More on NEC's Dreamcast Duo
More information has come to light on the two Dreamcast games from NEC Home Electronics. Here is a desciption of Sengoku Turb at FGN Online:
Sengoku Turb is a 3D polygonal RPG with what is described as a typically Japanese sense of humor. The plot concerns a lost in space schoolgirl who gets caught up in a war between the countries Cat and Sheep on the planet Lion.
Expect this game never to appear for the North American domestic market or the European market. Now here is the description of Seventh Cross from FGN Online:
The other game, Seven Cross, challenges your character to thrive, survive and evolve your way to victory. Only the strongest will survive, and there are set to be over eight hundred thousand varieties of species.
Seventh Cross is due this November and Sengoku Turb will be released at a latter date.
(Source: FGN Online)

Seventh Cross and Turbo RPG
Here are couple previews of two games for the Dreamcast from NEC. One is an adventure game called Seventh Cross that involves evolution and the second game is a RPG called Turbo RPG that looks like it would appeal to kids. Check the games section for a preview of the two games.
(Source: Kaol by email, Japanese game site)
 
Thursday, June 25th, 1998
PowerVR Responds to 3Dfx
Earlier this month in the Wave Report, 3Dfx made a lot of misleading statements about the PowerVR architecture. Well NEC/VideoLogic have responded to 3Dfx's comments. Dreamcast Technical Pages also responded to those comments that 3Dfx made, earlier this month.

Video On The Dreamcast
Howard Shih reporting from Taiwan.
A very interesting article in Sega Saturn Magazine (6/12).  It's about the ability of Dreamcast to play FMV. The software for Dreamcasts FMV player was developed by CRI (A subsidiary company of CSK). Here are some specs revealed by the developers on the FMV:
(1)The FMV is 640*480 with true color, 30 frames/sec.
(2)The FMV use the hardware to do full-screen anti-alias, and it means we will not see the black border anymore!
(3)What quality you can see on TV is the quality you can see on Dreamcast's FMV.
(4)The FMV player only uses 50% of the resources of the CPU, and with the skills of a programmer, can develop a whole new kind of game: FMV as background and a complex 3D polygon game in front of it in real time.
 
Wednesday, June 24th, 1998
Drone For Dreamcast
SEGA X has an interview with Nigma Software's Alex Lemedy. Nigma Software is producing a game called Drone for the Dreamcast. If you did not see it on the weekend, then check this article about the Drone game at VideoGamers.com. This game will first appear in the arcades with some new arcade hardware that uses Digital's Alpha CPU. It is unknown what graphics chip that this new arcade hardware will be using, but ENCOM a new company based in Paris claims that this new hardware is more powerful then SEGA's Model 3 board. The video that is available at VideoGamers.com on the Drone game looks very impressive. Drone is a very unique game and one has to wonder what kind of mass appeal will it have.

Interview With SEGA of Japan's President
Game-Online has a three part interview with Mr. Irimajiri. A couple choice quotes:

Also we have the confidence that even though the PlayStation 2 will come out in 1999 our hardware performance will be superior because I believe the basic elements of Dreamcast are the most advanced in all categories: CPU, graphics engine and sound engine.

I am reluctant to answer this question [laughs]. At the next conference in August or September we will reveal a lot of third parties but at this time I can say that 120 developers have already been given development kits. We have already delivered 1,000 kits world-wide.

This architecture is very powerful. Already arcade developers are using the coin-op version of the Dreamcast architecture, called Noami. Yu Suzuki, the Virtua Fighter 3 producer, told me yesterday that he has already achieved 3.5 million polygons on it - this is much, much higher than the figures for Model 3. We expect that lots of arcade titles will appear on the Naomi boards in arcade centres. Consequently if we decide to do it, lots of arcade titles will be easily ported to Dreamcast. 

Interview: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.
 
Tuesday, June 23rd, 1998
On Again, Off Again
Herdy Gerdy was suppose to be a game by Core, the makers of the Tomb Raider series. He is a quote from FGN Online on the status of Herdy Gerdy for the Dreamcast:
Core has scoffed at reports of its Dreamcast game Herdy Gerdy (see yesterday's news). Insiders say the project was cancelled four months ago, after being deemed impractical.
The previous days news at FGN Online indicated:
Meanwhile, Sega Saturn Magazine says it has an inside line into Core’s plans for Dreamcast. The magazine claims that far from working on a new Tomb Raider clone, the firm is putting its three Dreamcast development kits to work on an animated 3D platform adventure. Former TV cartoon animators are working on a title called Herdy Gerdy.
So looks like there will be no game by the name of Herdy Gerdy for the Dreamcast.
(Source: FGN Online)
 
Friday, June 19th, 1998
'3D Shooter' Screenshots
Game-Online has posted screenshots of the 3D Shooter that was shown at the North America Dreamcast introduction at the E3 show in Atlanta. These are the same screenshots that videogames.com showed about three weeks ago. There are four screenshots and they are the typical quality of almost all shots showing Dreamcast games so far, extremely blurry.
(Source: Game-Online)

Sega Saturn Magazine
SSM is a british publication and their website is Game-Online. They have 12 pages of Dreamcast coverage on SEGA's 64-bit powerhouse and 3 pages of coverage on Warp's D2 game in this month's issue. SSM is a magazine that does not get very wide distribution in North America, but check you magazine shops that carry magazines from europe. Check out the cover of the magazine, which has a very sharp looking picture of Dural from the Virtua Fighter series.

Shoichiro Irimajiri Interview
Here is a quote from Game-Online:

At the Dreamcast New Challenge Conference in May, Rich Leadbetter from Sega Saturn Magazine spoke to Shoichiro Irimajiri, President of Sega Enterprises, about his plans for the console. Game-Online will be reprinting this exclusive interview for those of you who are unable to get hold of Sega Saturn Magazine, starting Monday 22nd June. So form an orderly queue and no pushing, okay?
So check Game-Online next Monday for the Interview.

Rumored Games in Development
Over the past couple days a number of games have been rumored to be coming for the Dreamcast.
Macross Digital Mission VFX2, by Bandai
Unknown title - a historical RPG?, by Koei
Abe of Odyssey fame, by GT Interactive
Vigilante 8, by Activision
Who knows where these rumors come from, as most of the professional sites like FGN Online almost never list their sources.

New News Or Old News?
Here is what NGO had for a news story yesterday:

Sega Releases Dreamcast Images and Movies
News Story: Sega of Japan today released new screen-shots and first ever Quicktimes of the Dreamcast demos shown in Japan last month.
Dreamcast Technical Pages reported on those screen-shots and videos on Friday, May 29th, 1998. Three weeks ago! Yet NGO says "Sega of Japan today released new screen-shots". Hmmm?
 
Tuesday, June 16th, 1998
Dreamcast Excitement
You know that the Dreamcast has caught the imagination of a great number of people, when there is a question being asked almost everyday over at the Q&A section of Next Generation Online. Here is a Dreamcast related Q&A from yesterday:
Q: Will you have to pay a special ISP charge to use Dreamcast's modem feature (like the Web TV model), or is my existing ISP fine, or will it be free or just a local call?
A: It isn't certain yet, but it is thought that any existing dial-up connection will suffice (just as it did for the NetLink). Given DirectPlay as a part of the OS, it would make the most sense.
I agree with NGO that you will be able to use your local ISP to access the internet with the Dreamcast, but most likely there will be a monthly fee to access any game network that SEGA sets up with SEGASoft on the internet. SEGA will most likely give 1 to 3 months of free access before you have to start paying. There are two more Q&A related to Dreamcast yesterday about marketing.
(Source: NG Online)

Massive Online Game
As mentioned in yesterday's news was that SEGA is working on a massive multiplayer online game as indicated in this quote:

To show Sega means business in online gaming, the company is developing the world's first massive multiplayer console game, which is scheduled to ship when Dreamcast launches in North America.
I indicated yesterday, that the game will most likely be an adventure game of some kind. Another possibility is a game from SEGASoft called 10six which can support one million players! Yes, this does meet the definition of a massive multiplayer game! The problem with 10six is that it looks like a game that would appeal more to the PC crowd and not so much the console crowd. An adventure game that uses the technology in the 10six game is something that would be a good ideal. One of the exciting aspects about 10six is the use of transactor technology, to keep track of objects in the game world. This is a very fascinating way to allow the secure tracking of all objects.

Facial Animation
Since the Dreamcast is capable of displaying an insane amount of polygons per second, there will be games that start to use those extra polygons for facial expressions. Warp has already indicated that Laura in their D2 action/adventure game will have 2000 polygons for her face alone, so that facial expressions can be used. When SEGA introduced the Dreamcast on May 21st, 1998, they had a demo of Mr. Irimajiri head that was talking and the face showed all the subtle movements that our faces show when we speak. SEGA used a facial motion capture device to capture the movements of Mr. Irimajiri face as he talked. Check the official Japanese Dreamcast site for a page that has a couple pictures of the device used. It is nice to see that SEGA has this technology, so you can expect future Dreamcast games to make use of it.
(Source: GunneR)
 
Monday, June 15th, 1998
Massive Online Game?
Most likely overlooked by most people, including myself, is this little blurb that Brass Hemmingway pointed out to me:

Dreamcast will take the gaming experience far beyond the living room. Sega is working with sister company SegaSoft Networks, Inc. "to create a customized, massively multiplayer online gaming service for the new console. SegaSoft has made tremendous headway in online gaming with HEAT.NET", giving PC gamers the broadest compatibility with multiplayer online games and the best competitive arena on the Internet. The Sega-branded online gaming service will include the best community and competitive features including e-mail, chat and point-to-point/multiplayer games. SegaSoft engineers will also work directly with game developers to assist in technical support. To show Sega means business in online gaming, the company is developing the world's first massive multiplayer console game, which is scheduled to ship when Dreamcast launches in North America.
Notice that "massive multiplayer console game" quote. The above quote came from this press release at SEGA of America's website. No information has been released yet on what type of game this will be, but the first thing that comes to my mind, is a 3D adventure game, that will allow thousands upon thousands of Dreamcast users to interact with each other in this massive game world. Exciting!

VMS Unit holds 4 MegaBytes!?!
That is what it says on SEGA of Europe's website at this page. Here is the quote from that page that indicates the VMS PDA unit has 4 MegaBytes: 

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.
I have been trying to confirm this information for a little while now, as Game-Online first indicated that the VMS unit had 4 MegaBytes and I could find no where else to confirm this. Even the official Dreamcast site in Japan only mentions 128 KBytes and not 4 MegaBytes. It is a bit hard to believe that this unit which is about the size of a credit card in width and height has 4 MegaBytes of memory! It is not so much the size, but the fact it is going to cost only $20 US roughly. Will SEGA be selling this unit at a loss? Hopefully it is 4 MegaBytes of memory as this is huge amount of RAM for saving data. Most likely Flash RAM will be used for saving data which is referred to as non-volatile memory.

For the Flash memory to be all on one chip, it would have to be a 32-Mbit part. This size does not exists for DRAM or SDRAM memory parts, but it is not unusual for Flash memory to be of this size, as some manufacturers have 32-Mbit parts.
(Source: Grandia)

Hitachi Mentions Dreamcast
Hitachi finally got around to mentioning the Dreamcast at their semiconductor site. They have put up the press release, that they released on May 26th, 1998. Here is a quote from that:

(SH-4) Built to support popular operating systems like Microsoft Windows CE, the SH-4 gives Dreamcast developers more powerful and verified compatible silicon to design state-of-the-art 3D video games. The SH-4 ensures a fast, seamless solution that enables maximum design precision for a realistic 3D experience. The Hitachi 200MHz SH-4 processor enables the Dreamcast system to perform four times faster than the Intel Pentium II and more than ten times faster than alternative game products. The SH-4 achieves a peak performance of 1.4GFLOPS that eliminates jerky or jumpy movements and ensures smooth, real-time 3D animation.
More on Square
I received this by email from Brass Hemmingway and might be of interest to you:
Re: The great Square=Dreamcast debate
From: Ovch
Email: ovch@gameland.ru
Date: Sat Jun 13 06:34 PDT 1998

What is really interesting about Squaresoft is that Square has never talked about "support" of the systems other than PSX. But in my recent interview with Jun Iwasaki, the president of Square EA alliance, he told me that the Dreamcast games are a possibility for Square. The people from Square were also noticed near the room where Sega actually showed Dreamcast, so - it IS a possiblity. As Mr Iwasaki said, Square is not going to rest and make more PSX games even when the platform comes to an end. And it is going to watch carefully where the market goes. Of course, a lot depends on the next PSX, and we cannot underestimate the power of Sony.

Serge Ovchinnikov,
Editor of GameLand Magazine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

This was posted on the Next Generation Online forum in response to one of my threads regarding Sega and Square.

High Resolution's E3 Take
Here is a bit of a quote from High Resolution on what they saw at E3:
First of all, the Dreamcast is going to be legendary. Forget what all the tech-heads say about the specs, forget whatever opinion you may have about the design of the system and the name of the machine. The Dreamcast is going to rock the Nintendo 64 in every conceivable way, and for the price of a Voodoo 2 card, it'll outperform most of these tweaked out home PC gaming rigs. When we went back for our interview with Dan Stevens at Sega (which will be in the E3 edition, incidentally), he was kind enough to show us the video that had previously been displayed at the pre-E3 press conference... an event we were unable to attend as we had arrived late on Wednesday night. My jaw abruptly made jarring contact with the table in the meeting room. What I'm telling you is, prepare for a complete absence of any kind of distance pop-up or polygon clipping. This shooter that was supposedly only using a fraction of the system's power just killed anything else I've seen in a long time, and this is early in the product's development cycle. Unfortunately, beg and plead as we did, Dan refused to let us show this video off in High Resolution - Sega wants to keep this close to their chests, and believe you me, this thing deserves the hype of secrecy. Nintendo should really be quaking in their boots, because the Dreamcast is going to have the N64 for breakfast. No fog. No clipping. No pop-up. The name be damned...this system is going to put Sega back on top, and fast, if the software is there.
Check the whole article here.
(Source: rek)
 
Friday, June 12th, 1998
Sonic Confirmed
No real surprise here, since Sonic has been known now to be in development for the Dreamcast for a long time now, ever since Bernie Stolar mentioned it last year.
During an interview conducted today, Sega of America's Vice President of Communications, Lee McEnany, confirmed that Sonic 3D (working title) will be on hand when the machine rolls out in late 1999. It's still unclear whether the game, which is being developed by Yuji Naka and his crew at Sonic Team, will be ready in time for Dreamcast's Japanese launch on November 23 of this year.
In the same interview, Lee McEnany said that their will be 32 titles for the Dreamcast by the end of 1999 in North America. Half of those titles will be SEGA titles. If SEGA wants to have a successful North American launch, it will be important to have the four major sports represented in top quality games along with a Sonic title.
(Source: UGP Online article)

Model 2 Ports?
Here is a rumor by Magic Box Gaming News:

Rumor: Sega is planning to re-release a series of classic Model 2 arcade games on Dreamcast, including Virtua Cop 1 & 2, Virtua Fighter 2, Daytona USA, Sega Rally, Last Bronx, Virtual On and more, the reason behind this is that the Dreamcast can handle a perfect arcade port of Model 2 games, this should satisfy a lot of people who are disappointed to the inferior Sega Saturn conversions.
Here is a Q&A by UGP Online:
Q: Since Dreamcast is more powerful than most arcade boards, what does this mean for ports like "low" powered Model 2 games like Daytona, Virtua Fighter 2, House of the Dead. What about Tekken?
A: Given that the Model 2-based games you've mentioned have already been ported to Saturn, it doesn't seem likely that they'll show for Dreamcast. If - and it's a big if - they did, the system would be able to deliver pixel-perfect conversions. As for Tekken - the System 12 hardware used by Tekken 3 isn't even in the same league performance-wise as Dreamcast. It'd be a piece-o-cake.
So what is Dreamcast Technical Pages opinion on all this, well I can see that a compilation disc with Model 2 games would be something that can possible sell well, but such games will not be the type of games that sell a system, unless they are the newer Model 2 games like House of the Dead. A good ideal is to sell the games as "SEGA Classics" and charge less then a full price title.

More Unreal Screenshots
VideoLogic has sent five more screenshots of Unreal running on a PVRSG card. This will give us some ideal of how such a game would look on the Dreamcast. Most likely better, as I notice that full scene anti-aliasing is not being used in the screenshots, and this is a feature that will be heavily used in Dreamcast games.
 
Thursday, June 11th, 1998
Unreal Shots on PVRSG!
We have something that will give you an ideal of how Unreal will look on the Dreamcast. VideoLogic sent me some screenshots of Unreal running on a PC system with a PVRSG card and the screenshots look very nice. Finally we can offer you some sharp looking pictures as oppose to the blurry pics that have been on offer lately. Check our Unreal preview and screenshots here.
 
Wednesday, June 10th, 1998
'Tower' Demo and '3D Shooter' Demo Movies
Those demo movies available yesterday can also be seen here at Game Central.

SEGA's Dreamcast Sonic and Soccer Screenshots!
Dreamcast Technical Pages has something special today, and that is five never before seen screenshots of two games running on the Dreamcast. Here are the screenshots for Sonic and the Soccer game.
(Source: Kaol by email)
 
Tuesday, June 9th, 1998
PVRSG Overview
Avault has provide a view into all the current 3D graphic chips and the upcoming graphics chips on this page at their site. Here is what is said about the PVRSG:

With the release of DirectX 6.0 support for most of the new PVRSG features like infinite planes, bump-mapping and anti-aliasing will be supported in a wide range of upcoming titles. Further along the road, support for Microsoft's API, Talisman, will also be available (Talisman is tile based so..) and through some kind of miracle the PVRSG can handle direct calls from OpenGL without any conversion which should yield for superb performance in games like GL Quake. 

The PVRSG will support multi-pass rendering for multi-texturing and advanced blending modes as well as all common palletized and non-palletized texture modes and unlike the PCX 2 it will support ALL alpha-blending modes available in Direct3D and OpenGL. Another really neat feature of the PVRSG is that it will be able to use whatever is stored in the framebuffer for texturing. Thanks to this it can make VERY realistic environment maps that reflect exactly what's in the scene. 

Furthermore the PVRSG comes with a full triangle setup engine with support for strips and fans just like 3Dfx's Voodoo2 and it will be capable of translucency sorting on chip to offload the CPU for even greater performance. 

The 8Mb PC 2D / 3D combo is expected to retail in August 98 for just $99.

Features
-32bit Z-buffer (no memory req.)
-Geometry / Triangle setup engine
-Hidden surface removal
-Specular Highlights
-Bi-linear filtering
-Tri-linear filtering
-Anisotropic filtering
-Hardware bump-mapping
-Volumetric effects (Light etc)
-Full-image Anti-aliasing (super-sampling)
-Hardware assisted enviroment-mapping
-8 : 1 texture compression
-Strips and Fans

Check out the rest of what they had to say and see the screenshots of games running on PVRSG at Avaults site.

Dreamcast Movies
Seems someone had a video camera in Atlanta when SEGA introduced the Dreamcast at the E3 show. SEGA did not allow cameras into that introduction, but it seems that there was at least one and maybe two sneaky lads who managed to get cameras in. There are two movies in mpg format. One shows the 'Tower' demo that was done by Yu Suzuki and a couple SEGA programmer in 10 days. The demo looks very smooth, as it flies around the town that is situated around this enormous tower. This Tower demo was original shown at the Tokyo Dreamcast introduction on May 21st. The demo could be of better quality in the sense the screen is blocked sometimes by people standing in front, and the camera is pointed a bit high near the last half of this video. 

The second movie shows the '3D Shooter' game, that SEGA of America is working on. This movie recorded the people's comments as they watched the demo, and they sure sound excited by what they were seeing. You get the impression that it is the most fantastic game demo they have ever seen. Unfortunately the movie quality on this video is quite bad as the screen tends to look very white, as if it is over exposed, but you do see a little bit to give you an ideal of the game. GunneR has provided on his fast site the two movies! A big thanks to GunneR for that!
 
Monday, June 8th, 1998
Dreamcast Screenshots?
Magic Box Gaming News has four screenshots of games running on Dreamcast hardware. The games shown are a Soccer game, a Racing game, a 3rd Person Adventure game and Sonic 3D. The screenshots where taken from a short Dreamcast promotional video. Two games that where shown on the video but no screenshots are available yet is a 4 Player Shooter and Jurassic Park Lost World. The four screenshots shown at Magic Box are of terrible quality, but do hint at the great things to come.
(Source: Thanks to TOZTWO)

How is the Dreamcast Competition Coming Along?

Richard Miller, chairman and CEO of VM Labs, sat down with Gamecenter to talk about the until-recently-secret "console system" code-named Project X. Project X is a one-chip solution designed to be placed in consumer DVD devices, providing MPEG-2 decoding as well as 3D acceleration. Project X technology is expected to hit the streets in 1999. [more]
(Source: Thanks to C Stegall)

3Dfx's VP of R&D Tries to Spread False Facts About PVRSG?
Scott Sellars, VP of R&D at 3Dfx had the some comments to make about the features of the PVRSG architecture. I wrote a response against his false claims concerning the PVRSG, in the editorial section.
 
Saturday, June 6th, 1998
D2 Show Now Available Online!
Finally, Warp has made available the D2 Show that took place in Tokyo on May 23rd, 1998. The show is in Real Video format and it looks very pixellated at times, there is also bright washouts sometimes and there is also a lot of talking, which is all done in Japanese of course. It is worth seeing, as it gives you an impression about the game that cannot be achieved with screenshots. Kenji Eno does a flyby over the game world, which is a large area covered in snow and very mountainous. This is very impressive, as it looks smooth, with the whole environment being updated in real-time. Also shown is Laura, who is the main character in the game, walking around the snowy environment. Her movements look smooth and life like. There are a number of other things shown, so check it out here! I got very good bandwidth while watching the video as no breakups occurred.
 
Friday, June 5th, 1998
Daytona 2 and VMS
Save car configuration information on the PDA unit:

Sega said the Dreamcast Visual Memory System card will be compatible to future Sega arcade machines, the first arcade game to support the VMS is Daytona USA 2, in this game you can customize your own cars, and save it into the VMS, then the next time you can race with the same car.
(Source: The Magic Box news)
AM2's Daytona 2: Battle on the Edge, will have a socket to plug in your VMS. You can then customize your car in the game and save the settings to your VMS's internal memory and use them next time you play the game, wherever you are! And if that data is compatible with the Dreamcast version of the game as well, then the possibilities are endless...
(Source: Game-Online)

VMS Unit Cartridge Slot?
Someone asked Next Generation Online if the VMS unit (PDA) has a slot for memory cartridges:

Q:Does the VMS for Dreamcast have a cartridge slot? How are games played on it as a stand alone unit?
A:As near as can be seen from the pictures, no there isn't a slot. Games are presumably downloaded to the VMS from the base unit. The controller has slots for two VMSs interestingly enough. We'll see what they have in mind for this later this year.
NGO answers that there is no slot, but the connector at the top of the unit, which is used to plug the VMS unit into the Dreamcast controllers can double as a cartridge slot. This seems to make sense if SEGA wants to sell games for this unit or does SEGA not want to sell games for this unit?
(Source: NGO Q&A)
 
Thursday, June 4th, 1998
GamesMansion Reports on Dreamcast Development
Here is a quote from their news section today at GamesMansion:
23:45 GMT - POWER VR SG GAMES DEVELOPMENT UNDER WAY Our spies in the games industry tell us that several Power VR Second Generation games are under way. Designed to work on both the new Sega Dreamcast console and on a PC equipped with a PVRSG graphics card, the games will feature extremely advanced graphics, only possible with the new Videologic card. The games include a console style beat-'em-up and a futuristic space game - we'd love to tell you more, but it would compromise our sources. Coders working on these games inform us that PVRSG offers uncompromising graphics possibilities, in fact one of our moles tells us that he's had to rethink his entire attitude to games development because, "you can create what you feel, rather than what you know the hardware can handle."
GamesMansion is a british based website, so the information most likely relates to british game developers.
(Source: GamesMansion news)

Trisignal Communications Is Providing Modem Technology for Dreamcast
A company based in Montreal, Canada that licenses turnkey communications technology to other companies will be providing SEGA of Japan the technology for the Dreamcast to have a 33.6 KBaud modem. Here is some information on the company from their website:

TRISIGNAL Communications provides high quality, leading edge Telecom Designs and Concepts, under license to innovative industry manufacturers. A complete suite of these are available for ISDN, Modem and Fax products, targeted at companies looking to acquireavant-garde technology and reduce product time to market.

PRODUCTS
All TRISIGNAL Communications products are designed to work as independent software modules in multi-tasking environments or as integrated monolithic units that can easily be combined to form a multitude of different variants and can be introduced with minimal effort and cost. This "Building Block" approach to design inevitably leads to a more competitiveedge for the manufacturer.

TRISIGNAL Communications' portfolio of products starts at the module level with source codes for items such as high performance compression algorithms, fax protocols and error correction codes and progresses to high level complete product designs. These completehardware and software designs can be licensed for a variety of platforms such asPCMCIA, ISA or Desktop.

All Trisignal technology is linked by a series of constants, assuring fluid product evolutionover time.

  • Advanced top down architecture with unified libraries and drivers 
  • System oriented, processor independent ANSI C source code Strict ITU standards conformance 
  • Complete documentation 
  • Full regression testing and product characterization 
  • Technology designs addressing both the Analog and Digital domains 
DESIGN MODULES

Turnkey Designs

  • V.34bis Modem 
  • ISDN TA1 
  • ISDN TA2 
  • Communicator 
  • Terminator 
Software Modules
  • V.42 
  • V.42bis 
  • MNP10 
  • Fax Class 1, 2, 2.0 
  • Fax T.30 
  • Fax ECM 
  • V.25bis 
  • Encryption 
  • Voice 
  • PPP 
  • MLPPP 
  • V110 
Check Trisignal Communications home page, as they indicate that they are helping out with the Dreamcast console.
(Source: Trisignal Communications)

The Cost of Memory
Some people have mentioned that SEGA will be selling the Dreamcast console at a loss. Well here is an article that shows memory being dirt cheap in price.

Observers said the move is necessary to put the brakes on a prolonged DRAM price skid. On the Taiwan spot market, for example, 16-Mbit chipsare selling for as little as $1.30, down from more than $4 just four monthsago, according to Sherry Garber, an analyst with Semico Research Corp., inPhoenix. "I would believe a cutback makes sense," Garber said. "They'vegot to stop the slide somehow."
With current memory pricing, SEGA will not have to sell the console at a loss. The pricing mentioned above is for 16-Mbit chips and not the 64-Mbit chips that SEGA will be using. Well if 16-Mbit chips are dropping in price, so are 64-Mbit chips but not as fast at the lower density devices.
(Source:Techweb Article)

Release Date
Someone asked NGO if the release date will be moved up:

Q: Is there any chance in hell that if Sega's Dreamcast does really well in Japan that it might be released earlier than the suspected than the release dates already set for North America and Europe?
A: The odds are against it. Sega learned a painful lesson with the Saturn never to launch any time other than going into the fourth quarter.
I think that SEGA will keep the fall release date to make sure that the sports games are ready, which is an area that SEGA of America has already indicated that they are going to focus on.
(Source: NG Online Q&A)

Next Generation Online Clears Up Some Confusion
NGO describes what was meant by the "20 percent of the Dreamcast abilities" being used for the 3D shooter demo:

Q: I'm confused. The specs on the Dreamcast say that it can do 3 million polygons per second, but according to one of your E3 articles, they had a game running at 20% of the Dreamcast's abilities that ran at over 2 million polygons per second. Can the Dreamcast really do 10 million? Or did I just miss something.
A: The 20 percent figure refers more to the power required to add special features such as bump-mapping and anisotropic texture filtering. Such features (and others) have not yet been enabled within the game that was being shown. The 20 percent figure does not apply directly to geometry the way you have it confused.
(Source: NG Online Q&A)
 
Wednesday, June 3rd, 1998
Editorial Section
An editorial section has been added to the site due to popular request. Editorial reader submissions will be accepted based on the quality of the content and the language. Also any messages in the message forum that stand out as been worthy of the editorial section will also be added to that section. We have a first entry to that section by Brass Hemmingway who writes about the potential of the PowerVR Second Generation graphics chip used in the Dreamcast. So check it out by clicking on the Editorial button in the left hand margin.

SEGA's 3D Shooter
The other day, I was wondering why the 3D shooter game that was shown last week was moving at 50 fps and not 60 fps. Here is some email I got on that:

The reason the NGO editor reported the DC demo moving at 50 fps is because he's British - he's used to 50 hZ refresh rates, instead of 60 hZ, thanks to the PAL television broadcast standard. For him, 50 fps is as high as frame rates will get on a PAL TV. :) Chances are, it was actually 60.
That makes a lot of sense!
(Source: Thanks to Douglas Erickson)

A Couple Articles from Gamespot News
Dreamcast FAQ 0.2
Here is a FAQ file with just some basic questions and answers on the Dreamcast. Nothing new that has not already been said about the console.

Godzilla Goes Dreamcast
A quote from the article:

You may already know that Sega is planning on releasing Atsumete Godzilla for its Visual Memory System July 11, simultaneous with the release of Godzilla, the movie, in Japan. (In fact, when one adds up product launches on July 11, one realizes that's a pretty big day for Sega and Japanese gamers: The Dreamcast PDA, the game, and the movie all jump on to the gaming landscape the very same day.)
The article has 5 screenshots of the game running on the PDA unit.
(Source: Gamespot news)

VF3 For the Dreamcast?
Well this is a no brainer. VF3 is HUGE in Japan and has a sizable following here in North America. VF3 will almost guaranteed to be a launch title. Game-Online mentions that VF3 is now running on the Dreamcast: 

Astounding intelligence has reached us from Japan. In the latest edition of the much respected Japanese version of Sega Saturn Magazine, Sega admit to having a Dreamcast version of Virtua Fighter 3 running right now. Great eh?
Most people want to see VF3 on the Dreamcast, so that it can be used as a measuring stick to see on how well the Dreamcast can do Model 3 quality games. Expect a playable version of VF3 this September or early November when SEGA starts to show the games for the system. The article also mentions VF3 for the Saturn also!
(Source: Game-Online article)

Techweb Reports on SEGA's Launch Plans
Here is quote from a Techweb article that mentions the huge North American launch that SEGA is aiming for:

Sega took the wraps off Dreamcast, demonstrating its stunning graphics,  which revealed clean edge definition and well-blended colors. Bernie Stolar, president and chief operating officer at Sega of America, said the company will dedicate $100 million to market the Dreamcast launch in 1999, and will ship product into 15,000 to 20,000 stores. Acclaim entertainment, GT Interactive Software, Midway Entertainment, Interplay and MicroProse have committed to shipping titles at launch.
(Source: Techweb article)

Squaresoft As Developer for Dreamcast?
That is what SEGA's hobby site Dimension-S is reporting based on an article from the Entertainment Computer Trade Weekly (CTW):

(2 June, 1998) Entertainment Computer Trade Weekly (CTW), a respected UK based industry magazine, has reported that Squaresoft is on board for Dreamcast development. Sega's unveiling of Dreamcast was it's headline story, and here is an excerpt from within:

"The support of Japanese kingpin console developers has already been secured, with Konami, Capcom, and Squaresoft all on board although not, obviously, on an exclusive basis." (excerpt from May 25th issue: 689, page 1)

Squaresoft executives have been spotted in Sega Dreamcast press functions, and this fact adds more credibility to the excerpt. During a press interview recently, Sega stated that they would attempt to get both Squaresoft and Enix on board. Did they succeed? It's certainly possible. Do NOT think of this story as confirmation, but the possibility does exist. The only time we will know for certain is in mid-September when Sega allows the games and developers from Japan to reveal themselves.

Having Squaresoft on board will be important for increased sales of the Dreamcast and will also be very important when SEGA has to up against the Playstation 2.

How Much Memory in the PDA?
There have been a couple people on the message board, who claim that the PDA unit has 512 KBytes of memory for saving Dreamcast games information, and 128 KBytes general work ram. I cannot find any place on the net saying that it has 512 KBytes of memory for save ram, only the 128 KBytes is listed. I received this by email:

From the SEGA's official Dreamcast site, we can see that PDA has 128KBytes memory (Flash Memory). Same as PSX's memory card.

To add to the above official information, there is a kind of rumor information:
WORK RAM: 1KByte
Flash Memory: 128KBytes 
and memory usage of PDA game is 64KBytes.
I don't know the amount of total memory, 128KBytes or 128KBytes + 64KBytes.

In Japan, we can buy PDA (VMS) at a movie theater showing "GODZILLA". It is 11th Jul. The title of the game is "Atsumete Godzilla", POKEMON type game.

If anyone has more information on this, then I would like to hear it.
(Source: Thanks to Noriyuki Ouchi)

PDA Unit to be Used in Arcades?
Here is a fascinating concept. The PDA unit will be able to hookup with SEGA's Naomi arcade hardware. This will be great for keeping you own high scores, racing times, rankings, etc. You can then compare your scores with your friends around town or on the internet. Here is some email I received on that:

Some news very interesting. From UGP, they said that the Naomi also have the same VMS system as Dreamcast, and player can exchange many information from arcade to console.  I think it's a very good idea of game play, and we can imagine the infinite possibility.
Yes, it will be interesting to see what uses SEGA comes up with, for the PDA unit.
(Source: Thanks to Howard Shih)
 
Tuesday, June 2nd, 1998
D2 Preview
There is now a preview page for D2 with eight screenshots. Check it out here.

Dreamfusion Uncovers A Dreamcast Developer
Dreamfusion has uncovered another Dreamcast developer:

A couple of months ago DGO reported that UK based Silicon Dreams was developing for Dreamcast. Silicon Dreams is the developer of World League Soccer '98 for the Nintendo 64, IBM PC, Sony Playstation, and specializes in Sports titles. We contacted Operations Manager Rob Palfreman to find out the current status on Dreamcast development. He informed us that they are in fact developing for Dreamcast and have development systems on-site. They currently are not releasing any information on games in development, but an announcement is expected shortly. DGO will bring full coverage of any new game announcements. New Game announcements will most likely take place at ECTS 98.
Well I am getting dizzy trying to keep track of all the developers for Dreamcast. Good news indeed!
(Source: Dreamfusion news section)

SEGA of America's 3D Shooter Game Demo
Here more on the 3D shooter demo that SEGA showed at the pre-E3 press conference:

In all of about 30 seconds of footage at a press conference, Sega managed to excite me with the technology demonstration and first game on the Dreamcast. Pushing over 42,000 polygons per frame at over 50 fields per second (doing the math that's a little over 2 million polygons/second) and using some of the best looking lighting and alpha-blending work I've ever seen, the Dreamcast is certainly the real deal. And this on software that's said to be using only 20 percent of the hardware's features/potential. To be honest, its one of the first times since the release of Mario 64 and the Nintendo 64 that I've been this excited about a piece of hardware and I've seen just about every graphics demo from every 3D hardware manufacturer around. In terms of demos, it was extraordinarily impressive and judging from the buzz the hardware has amongst the development community at the show, Sega could well be on their way back to the top (though the system name seemed to annoy just about everyone).
NGO mentions that this is the first game, but it is actually the second, with D2 being the first game shown running on the Dreamcast. I wonder why the game was moving at 50 fps as oppose to 60 fps? Maybe it was because of the high polygon count. Well the Dreamcast name used to annoy me too, but it does not annoy me anymore. 
(Source: Next Generation Online article, thanks to C Stegall for telling me about it)

SPIKE is Not a Dreamcast Game
From Noriyuki by email:

SEGA AM2's new arcade game "SPIKE" is running on a MODEL 3 step 2 system. (We hope it could be converted to Dream Cast :) It's a multi-player (MAX 4 players) battle action game. Each player fight with enemies in cooperation with other players.
From Howard by email:
I saw something about the Spike, but I think the game will not be the PVRSG arcade game because the latest SEGA Saturn Magazine(Japanese version) said that it will be a Model 3 Step2 game. It's a pity that we don't see any Naomi game now, but I do think it will be revealed soon.
Yes, like Noriyuki said, I hope that it does get transferred to the Dreamcast. Sounds like an interesting game. Thanks to Noriyuki and Howard for writing in!
 
Monday, June 1st, 1998
UK Resistance Saturn Site Exclusive Dreamcast Games Screenshots
Those bright lads over at UK Resistance managed to sneak in a camera to last weeks North American Dreamcast introduction that took place in Atlanta. The two shots they have clearly show that the Dreamcast can provide better visuals then SEGA's arcade Model 3 board. Check out UK Resistance's news page. Way to go lads!

Dreamcast Tidbits
Next Generation Online - article that shows the details behind the version of Windows CE to be used with the Dreamcast. NGO's source for this article was the Dreamcast site at Microsoft.
UGP Online- article that shows the underside the the Dreamcast controller.

Bizarre Creations Focuses on Dreamcast
As reported earlier, Bizarre Creations is working on a racing game which has the code name of Metropolis. Bizarre Creations is responsible for the very successful Formula 1 '97 racing game on the Playstation. Here is a quote from Gamespot:

Its first game is a city-based racing title codenamed Metropolis. The company's previous experience with the F1 series has secured its place as a highly-respected developer of racing games. Also, the company has reportedly ceased PlayStation development in favor of devoting resources exclusively to Dreamcast.
(Source: Gamespot news article)

More on Capcom's Monthy RPG
Here is a quote from Game-Online where they mention the monthly RPG's that Capcom is releasing for the Dreamcast: 

In addition, the Capcom affiliate company Flagship are creating a series of mini-RPG titles which will be connected either through storyline or characters. This was originally planned for the Saturn, but with attention now switching to Dreamcast, we reckon Capcom have made the right move here. It isn't known whether or not the games will be linked using a system similar to Shining Force III's 'syncronicity', or even how many 'episodes' there'll be, but expect one installment a month from November 20th onwards.
(Source: Game-Online article)

Ubisoft to Produce Three Games for Dreamcast?
On May 28th we reported that Ubisoft of France was producing a new game for the Dreamcast called D-Jump, which is an action adventure game that will be released in March 99 in Japan. Word has come in now of Ubisoft providing Tonic Trouble and Rayman 2 also for the Dreamcast. These titles have not been confirmed and are only rumors right now.

Spike: First Dreamcast Arcade Game?
Here is a game that was shown by SEGA recently called Spike. Even though it unknown at this time what system this game is running on, there is some suspicion that it is running on SEGA's Dreamcast arcade board, which has been referred to as Naomi. Naomi was first mentioned in the news section on April 1st. Check out our preview and the first pictures of the game here.