Dreamcast Technical Pages
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Monday, November 30th, 1998
Dreamcast Sold Out!
Great news, but it would have been greater if SEGA had enough Dreamcasts to satisfy all of the demand.
Sega says sells 150,000 Dreamcasts on first day
TOKYO, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Sega Enterprises Ltd said on Monday it had sold all 150,000 units of its new 128-bit home-use Dreamcast game player prepared for the first day of sales on Friday.

Sega spokesman said many buyers of Dreamcast also purchased peripherals, including an average of two games, bringing each purchase to around 40,000 to 50,000 yen.

(Source: Yahoo! news article
 
Saturday, November 28th, 1998
Power Stone Website
Capcom, are working on a fighting/action game called Power Stone, that will be on SEGA's Naomi arcade board, and also the Dreamcast. A website at www.powerstone.com just became available, and Capcom will be updating the website with Power Stone information each week, till the game's release. Power Stone is expected in the arcades sometime in early '99. Power Stone preview.
(Source: NoriPhd)

Inside the Dreamcast
A japanese site has pictures of the inside of the Dreamcast, showing the motherboard, fan, power supply, GD-ROM drive, Rockwell modem chipset, 'Katana' board markings, and green wire on the bottom of the motherboard. The green wire clearly shows a fix to the DC motherboard, that was implemented late in the design, but nothing you should be concerned about. This green wire will be gone with the next board revision.

Overall the DC motherboard is a very clean design with very few chips. The chips on the motherboard are: one SH-4 CPU, one PVR2DC graphics chip, two chips making up the Yamaha AICA (ARM7 CPU and DSP), two 64 Mbit SDRAM for the SH-4 CPU (16 MBytes, 64-bit access), four 16 Mbit dual ported VRAM (8 MBytes, 64-bit access) for the PVR2DC graphics chip, one 16 Mbit DRAM (2 MBytes) for the Yamaha AICA, and a couple other chips of unknown function. The Dreamcast is a very compact and powerful machine. Something SEGA's engineers should be very proud of! Kudo's to SEGA on this incredible new console!
(Source: NoriPhd)

SEGA-Holic Update
Catch22 has put up some new screenshots of these Dreamcast games: Capcom's Power Stone, Altus's Maken X, and SEGA Rally 2. There are also some screenshots of a couple upcoming Model 3 Step 2 games from AM3: L.A. Machineguns "Rage of the Machines", which is the sequel to SEGA's Model 2 game, Gunblade N.Y., and the second game coming from AM3 is Magical Truck Adventure, which will be released in Japanese arcades this December.
(Source: F5 Twister)
 
Friday, November 27th, 1998
Dreamcast Launch Day

Sega's Dreamcast sets stage for new game battle
TOKYO, Nov 27 - Fans queued up before dawn on Friday to buy Sega Enterprise Co's new 128-bit home-use Dreamcast game player, which hit store shelves in Japan tagged the "PlayStation killer."

Armed with Internet-capable Dreamcast, which offers high-resolution graphics and a 64-channel sound system, Sega hoped to win back some lost share of the home game market, setting the stage for a fresh round of battles with game king Sony Corp. We saw very good reaction from users. It's a good start,'' a Sega spokesman said. He forecast initial shipments of 150,000 units would be sold out in a few days.

About 500 people lined up early in the morning to buy the new game player in Tokyo's Akihabara electronics district. Retailers had orders for some 100,000 units in just the first two days after starting to accept orders on October 20, Sega said. Dreamcast is based on Microsoft Corp's Windows CE operating system and is retailing for 29,800 yen ($242). It is the first home video game player with network capability.

Sega plans shipments of 500,000 units of Dreamcast this year, and to sell one million units by the end of March. It had to scale down initial shipment plans of one million units for this year due to a delay in supplies of graphics chips produced by NEC Corp and VideoLogic Group Plc of Britain. Sega President Shoichiro Irimajiri said earlier this month his company was looking to sell 10 million Dreamcast units in Japan within three to four years. It would break even on Dreamcast if it sold about three million units.

The Sega spokesman said: "We have the big advantage of releasing the next-generation of machines well ahead of rivals. By the time Sony launches a new PlayStation model, we will be have retail know-how and become more price competitive through cost-cutting." Our goal is to capture a 50 percent share of the global market,'' he said.

At the end of March, Sony's 32-bit PlayStation enjoyed a 55 percent global share, followed by 30 percent for Nintendo's 64-bit Nintendo64. Sega's 32-bit Sega Saturn console, Dreamcast's predecessor, had only a 15 percent share amid poor sales overseas.

A game industry analyst at a foreign brokerage house said: "It's hard to bet on whether Dreamcast will be a success or failure at the moment. At least for this year and the next, sales would remain robust, led by so-called core users."

The specifications of Dreamcast are the most advanced and I have an impression that Sony may take about one and a half years to unveil a new version of PlayStation. So I think Sega may have the chance to win, but it's all up to software,'' he said. Sega plans to raise the number of Dreamcast game software titles to around 30 by the end of March from the current four titles, including Virtual Fighters and Godzilla Generations.

The company said that by the time of Dreamcast's planned debut in the United States and in Europe in the fall of 1999, it would be able to prepare a solid software line-up. Most analysts agree the fate of Dreamcast hinges on when and how its bigger rival Sony releases a new version of PlayStation. Some analysts speculated it may be based on a digital video disk (DVD) media format and carry communication capability.

Sega's chances of winning rest on the extent to which it can take advantage of being the front-runner by seeking support from powerful software manufacturers and by improving its relatively weak sales network in overseas markets, analysts said.

(Source: Yahoo! news article)
 
Thursday, November 26th, 1998
Dreamcast Launch!
Well it has been a long time in coming:
Dreamcast Launched in Japan!!!
Today is November 27th, 1998 in Japan, and Dreamcasts will be going on sale at 10:00 AM, which is 17 hours ahead of North American Pacific time zone. Some places like Hong Kong started selling the Dreamcast yesterday on Nov. 26th. 1998, as one of our major contributors to this site, Richard Ho (NoriPhd) got his Dreamcast system with all four games on that day. Richard got the Asian version of the Dreamcast, which does not come with a modem. Check the message board for Richard's comments on the DC, and the games.

Dreamcast Screenshots
For a lot of screenshots on the Dreamcast games that where just released for the console, check this site, which is an import shop in england.
(Source: GunneR, Dreamcast HQ)
 
Wednesday, November 25th, 1998
North American DC Pricing
Big Boys Toys has some information which may indicate the Dreamcast pricing for North America to be at most $199 US, and possibly lower, as cost to retailers will be a possible $155 US. If SEGA can introduce the system at this aggressive price, then let us hope that they can also have a huge number of Dreamcasts available for sale come next September 1999. Big Boys Toys requires Java to be enabled in your browser if you want to access their site, or you can go straight to the news article, for those who do not have Java capability.

House of the Dead 2 Released in Japan
Well, even before the Dreamcast has hit the streets, SEGA has already released a game in the arcades running on the Dreamcast compatible Naomi board. The game was released last Friday, and Next Generation Online has the first review available of this game. A quote from the review:

We quickly snagged the first play on the game in front of a crowd of eager Japanese gamers. Initially, we found the graphics to be very similar to the original The House Of The Dead. But once game play is engaged, the power of NAOMI becomes quite evident. The game displays a high number of textures which are simply beautiful. The graphics are gorgeous and more colorful than THOTD. Players battle the first boss in the rain. The rain effects are stunning and add an eerie atmosphere to the setting. 
Next Generation Online has nine avi movies of the game showing mostly the different boss monsters you encounter in the game. Expect this arcade game to be the first Naomi game to be released on the Dreamcast.

PowerVR Problems at 0.25 microns
NEC tells Sharky Extreme of initial problems of producing the PowerVR Series2 chipset at 0.25 microns, as this quote indicates:

Even so NEC/VideoLogic also claimed that they would be able to make the shift to .25 micron by August. However, NEC/VideoLogic has since admitted that their reason for the delay of the PowerVR Series 2 PC chip was down to trouble getting all their features crammed on to .25 micron.
That clearly explains why there is a shortage of PowerVR Series2 chipsets for the Dreamcast. For those of you who are interested in getting PowerVR Series2 graphics cards for your PC, expect some interesting announcements to take place in about 2 weeks.
(Sharky Extreme article)
 
Tuesday, November 24th, 1998
Sharky Extreme on SEGA's Dreamcast
NEC was showing the Dreamcast at it's booth at Comdex last week, and here is a PC site, Sharky Extreme praising the Dreamcast:
Another piece of sweet hardware we ogled while at Comdex was the Sega Dreamcast. Frankly I'm really not a big fan of consoles for other than light-gun games or applications where the PC just can't cut it. Especially when you've been using a Voodoo2 SLI rig since April it becomes hard to look at the low rez images coming from a strange looking "cartridge" based machine like the Nintendo64. Add in the ridiculous $70 price for a N64 cart and it's like the final nail in the coffin as even the incomparable Half-Life only costs $34.99 for God's sake…. 

But the upcoming Sega machine could eliminate almost every gripe we've got against consoles. We saw a few of the Japanese release titles at Comdex that will be sold when the machine debuts in Japan next month. (USA Dreamcasts are expected to be ready in Sept 99). 

Full multiplayer support via a plug-in 56K modem was the first thing that got our juices flowing until we saw the NEC powered graphics running. We don't know how the Videologic PowerVR Series 2 cards will perform when thrown into a PC, but we can say that they are easily up to the task of throwing down some gorgeous images when powered by the Dreamcast's 200MHz Hitachi SH-4 CPU. 

I could go on and on about the Sega machine's accolades here, but I'll save that for our resident expert on the topic (Mossad) as the machine's USA launch approaches.

(Source: PVR-NET, Sharky Extreme article)

Internet Access Software for Dreamcast
Access Co., Ltd., which is a Japanese company, will be providing the internet access software for the Dreamcast in Japan. The software will come on a CD called "Dream Passport CD". The program for accessing the internet is called "Access NetFront". Here is part of a press release that describes the functionality of Access NetFront:

Access' NetFront 2.0, widely adopted for information appliances in Japan, is a modularized, comprehensive embedded software suite for consumer Internet appliances and embedded systems. NetFront offers system designers a cost-effective, turnkey solution with software modules and open APIs that consist of a WWW browser, Email, HTML parser, TCP/IP, PPP and other network communication modules. It supports the latest WWW standard specifications. Other complementary modules include Crypt module for encryption, compact Secure Socket Layer (SSL) module for Internet security, and Internet Personal Information Manager (PIM).
Access Co., Ltd. will also assist developers with internet access for their games:
Sega and Access will be offering the Internet access module as a library to game title developers for Dreamcast and Dream Passport. With the support of HTML3.2, frame, main features of HTML4.0, and SSL, secure and efficient communications over the Internet is guaranteed. Game developers can create game titles equipped with network functions such as e-mail, chat, web browsing, and other network communications. With the popularity of Sega's TV-game machines, networked game applications can be created quickly and delivered to millions of home TV-game players. Five software developers have started to use Dream Passport modules for their new applications. One of the popular applications for Dreamcast and Dream Passport is set-top box, which can be used as a low-price, high-quality multi-media terminal for electronic shopping and information kiosk terminal.
(Source: Yahoo! news article, latest SEGA news articles at Yahoo!)
 
Monday, November 23rd, 1998
Frame Gride
Frame Gride is a new game by the Japanese development house, From Software. This game was first shown at the Tokyo Game Show in early October, where most sites referred to this game as "Virtua On: side story". From Software, has released many games on the PSX, like Armored Core, King's Field I, II and III, so to see that they are now supporting SEGA with games development is a very good sign!
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Friday, November 20th, 1998
Production Goals...Production Results
SEGA's original goal was to have 800,000 Dreamcasts available this year, and 1.5 million available by March of 99. As we all know now, SEGA will have 1 million available by March of 99. eeTimes has a very interesting article on the supply problems with the PowerVR chipset, and they also mention quite a bit about Windows CE and the GD-ROM drive, as this quote indicates:
One little-known fact about Dreamcast is that it does not actually run Windows CE in ROM. The operating system comes with a games CD-ROM disk for developers who use that platform, but most developers are initially writing to a low-level environment Sega provides. "We have basically two systems [for Dreamcast]-the Sega library and Microsoft API," said Irimajiri. "From the beginning, we agreed to use our own library for the development of most of the fastest and highest-end games."

All executable modules of Windows CE are loaded when the disk is loaded. To provide a game program with the controlling software, Sega developed a proprietary disk system it calls "GD-ROM," based on a 12X CD-ROM drive. "We wanted to use DVD, but when we were developing Dreamcast, DVD had just emerged in the market and we could not use it mainly because of cost," said Hideki Sato, corporate senior vice president of Sega in charge of R&D.

The inner part of the GD-ROM disk is in CD-ROM format, but the outer part is in double-density CAV format. This structure gives the disk 1-Gbyte capacity.

The article also mentions that the DC's "Internet Explorer" web browser, is not ready yet, and will be bundled with the Dreamcast by next spring.
(Source: dean)
 
Thursday, November 19th, 1998
Game Previews
Buggy Heat - new preview with 16 screenshots
Marionette Handler - new preview with 2 screenshots
Godzilla Generations - 5 new screenshots
House of the Dead 2 - 5 new screenshots
"Project Berkley" - 4 new pictures
Sonic Adventure - 19 Windy Valley level screenshots, and 14 Tail's Factory level screenshots

No Racing Controller at Launch
The steering wheel controller will not be available at launch, due to no racing game being available. This controller will be released with SEGA Rally 2 on January 14th, 1999.
(Source: NoriPhd, Dreamcast Magazine #3)

DC Games Rated
The Japanese magazines have already reviewed all the games that are going to be released with the Dreamcast next week, and here are their ratings, with the average score in the brackets.

VF3tb
DC Mag 10 10 10 (10) 
DC Fan 9 9 8 (8.7) 
FamiTsu 9 9 9 9 (9)
Overall avg. 9.23

Pen Pen Triicelon
DC Mag 8 8 8 (8) 
DC Fan 8 6 7 (7) 
FamiTsu 7 6 6 6 (6.3)
Overall avg. 7.1

Godzilla Generations
DC Mag 8 8 8 (8) 
DC Fan 8 9 8 (8.3) 
FamiTsu 7 4 5 4 (5)
Overall avg. 7.1

July
DC Mag 6 6 5 (5.7) 
DC Fan 6 6 6 (6) 
FamiTsu 7 7 6 5 (6.25) 
Overall avg. 6

(Source: NoriPhd, Dreamcast Mag #3, Dreamcast Fan #1 and Weekly FamiTsu #520)

Sega Earnings Shrink
An article at TechWeb, discusses SEGA's drop in earnings, but it is nice to see that SEGA is still profitable, when so many Japanese companies, are having losses this year! Here is a quote from that article, where SEGA indicates how many Dreamcasts they are going to ship:

"Sega hopes to sell 1 million Dreamcast units by the end of the fiscal year [March 31] and plans to ship 500,000 units by the end of the calendar year," said managing director Shunichi Nakamura.
Expect SEGA's earnings to rise substantially in the final half of their fiscal year, due to Dreamcast sales.

Dreamcast Excitement in Japan
Here is a report from Gaz, who lives in Tokyo, on what the Dreamcast excitement is like a week before it's release:

If you are worried that there will not be enough outlets to sell DCs in Japan, don't be. In addition to the 5,000 DC Partner shops there are 17,000 DigiCube (7-Eleven, Family Mart,etc) and 7,000 Lawson convenience stores signed up to sell our boys.

I also walked into a few more shops ... I saw lots of orange DC posters, banners and leaflets, and more of the DC demonstration units - if you haven't seen how impressive they are, there's a good photo on Game-online.

There's a full page apology in this week's Weekly Famitsu (largest circulation Japanese Game Mag) from the man. It reads: "Apology - To everyone who went to the stores to reserve a DC but couldn't, I am really sorry. Thanks to you the DC is extremely popular (lit. boiling) and the advance orders were quickly filled. We are doing our best to produce a lot more, so please wait a little longer." Senior Managing Director Hidekazu Yukawa.

There's a photo of his face set in a mask of contrition and grim determination, but with a twinkle in his eyes that seems to say 'Trust me'. It has been said that NEC will be in full production mode by February, but 'a little longer' does not sound as long away as February to me. No matter - the Japanese will wait patiently with plenty of 'Shikata ga nai' (It can't be helped) and 'Gaman' (Grin & bear it).

Visitors to 'Joypolis' (Sega Amusement Facilities) in Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yokohama, Kyoto, Okayama and Fukuoka can play with DCs and software such as Virtua Fighter 3tb and Pen Pen Triicelon in 'Touch and Try Corners' from November 20th to January 4th.

The fifth Dreamcast TV ad has been running for the last two days featuring our man Yukawa and a male super idol called Takizawa (16). It maintains the excellent quality and humour of the series with Yukawa pulling a cart loaded with DCs around the streets hawking through a loud-hailer. Yukawa knocks on a door and is promptly turned away by a housewife. Takizawa tries the same door, the housewife recognizes him and buys the DC. Later two schoolgirls buy DCs from Yukawa. Wonder if they can sell it to old people too? The ad series won the excellence prize in the 38th ACC All Japan CM Festival - there were 3,664 TV & Radio entries!

Yukawa San's debut CD, 'Dreamcast' launches on November 25th and Sonic Adventure 'Songs with Attitude' a vocal mini-album hits the stores on December 2nd. The last time I looked in 'Sega Freaks' Akihabara store, the Sonic Team 'PowerPlay' CD had indeed sold out!

Something that the Japanese DC fans on sega.co.jp Dreamcast BB have really been looking forward to - Hickson Gracie is in our corner for Virtua Fighter 3tb. If you haven't heard of Hickson, try flipping through some Martial Arts mags - he is a very hard man and extremely popular in Japan.

(Source: Gaz, PVR-NET)

Turok 2's 10,000 Polygonal Characters?
This is from the December issue of EGM:

"...they (Iguana) have used the Turok 2 engine as a way of testing the Dreamcast development kits... the game itself won't ever make the move. Interestingly, Dave Dienstbier and his crew have given some indications of the power of Dreamcast by comparing polygon counts between the N64 and potential Dreamcast versions of the engine running at the same frame-rate. Most characters in Turok 2 on N64 use in the region of 500 polygons. The same creatures on Dreamcast could each be 10,000 polygons - 2000 of which could be used to make up the faces of the characters."
(Source: Shinji)
 
Wednesday, November 18th, 1998
Gamers' Republic Website Goes Live
Gamers' Republic, if you have not seen it yet, is a new video game magazine, that in my opinion, is one of the better ones out there. Well the website at www.gamersrepublic.com just went live, in terms of updates everyday during the week. One of the reasons why Gamers' Republic is such a good magazine, is because of the excellent Dreamcast coverage that they have had so far. Their website also looks to be having very good Dreamcast coverage, as they have articles on: This is the first website, that makes effective use of pop-up windows to display screenshots, as the screenshots are displayed in a window small enough to not interfere with reading the article on that page, in my 800 by 600 resolution screen. The screenshots are 320 by 240 in size, which is just perfect, as a balance between download speed, and showing the game's details. Be sure to check out the Power Stone and Evolution articles, as they have some never seen before screenshots of those two games.

The current issue of Gamers' Republic with Zelda on the cover, has Dreamcast articles on:

  • Another in depth report on Sega's Dreamcast including reports on Climax Landers, Virtua Fighter 3tb, Sega Rally 2, and Evolution!
  • On the scene reporting from Japan's AM Arcade show including all of Sega's new Naomi games!
(Source: David Hodgson)

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
Now I am reluctant to post news articles about something that is not Dreamcast related, but this time I have to make an exception. Lucas Arts has released a trailer for Star Wars: The Phantom Menace! Here is a Yahoo! news article showing how excited people are about this movie:

Fans besiege 'Star Wars' trailer
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - For diehard "Star Wars'' fans, a full-priced movie ticket is a small price to pay for an early glimpse at the upcoming prequel -- even if it's only two minutes and 10 seconds long.

After word got out that Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox were "sneaking'' the trailer of "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace'' in 75 North American theatres Tuesday, attendance was up markedly in those sites.

At the Mann Village in Westwood, for instance, about 500 people showed up for the 1 p.m. showing of "The Siege.'' Nearly two-thirds walked out after the trailer played, skipping the feature entirely. A handful came back later to see a second run of the trailer, according to Mann marketing executive Sandy Baker.

The trailer was original suppose to be shown in theatres this Friday. I have never heard of people paying full price for a movie just to watch the trailer for another movie! Amazing! Gamers' Republic has put up some comments about the trailer. You can check out the Stars Wars website, but it is extremely slow right now, and you might have a hard time getting through. Yeeee haaaa, a new Star Wars film!!!
(Source: Joe Musashi)
 
Tuesday, November 17th, 1998
SEGA's Updates Software Release Schedule Again
SEGA updates the software schedule again with two changes: Incoming has been moved up to Dec. 17th from the 23rd, and Monaco Grand Prix Racing Sim. 2 has been given a date of Feb 1999, where before it was just listed as TBA (To Be Announced).
November 27th, 1998
Virtua Fighter 3tb 
Godzilla Generations 
July 
Pen Pen Triicelon

December 17th, 1998
Incoming

December 23rd, 1998
Sonic Adventure 
Evolution 
Seventh Cross 
Tetris 4D

January 14th, 1999
Blue Stinger 
Sega Rally 2 
Sengoku Turb

Febuary 1999
Monaco Grand Prix Racing Sim. 2 

To Be Announced
Geist Force 

Rage indicated that Incoming was ready for launch, but SEGA did not want to release the title at launch. I guess SEGA wanted to space the releases out a bit. I see that they at least compromised by moving Incoming's release up by 5 days from the orginal scheduled date that SEGA wanted to release the game.
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Monday, November 16th, 1998
Playstation 2 in Late 1999?
AsiaBizTech has an article that mentions Sony will most likely be announcing the Playstation 2 this month. This is of course Sony's tactic to try to dampen the excitement that is surrounding the Dreamcast launch. Is Sony worried? Here is a quote from the article at AsiaBizTech:
SCE (Sony Computer Entertainment) will also make public a microprocessor for digital signal processing and a RISC-type microcontroller for video game machines, both of which SCE is jointly developing with Toshiba Corp., next February at a meeting of the International Solid State Circuits Conference in the United States. Nikkei Electronics assumes that these chips will be used in the next-generation PlayStation machine.
Sonic Adventure Vocal mini-Album "Songs With Attitude"
Its too bad, that SEGA of America does not release all these game music CD's in North America, as importing such CD's from Japan is very expensive, and difficult to track down. The Sonic Adventure mini-Album includes the character theme songs for Sonic, Amy, Big, Miles (Tails), and Knuckles. It also includes the theme song to the Sonic Adventure game, which is called, "Open Your Heart".
(Source: Seganet)

Sonic Adventure Character Movie Download
SEGA's Sonic Team released 7 new mpeg video's onto the net, which are commercials airing in Japan, showing the main characters of Sonic Adventure. There is video's of Sonic, Amy, Big, Miles (Tails), Knuckles, E-102, and Dr. Eggman or Dr. Robotnik, as he is known in the west. The characters in this game show some amazing facial animation when they are speaking! Each video plays the theme song for that character.
(Source: GunneR, Dreamcast HQ)

Pen Pen Triicelon Website
General Entertainment, the developer behind Pen Pen Triicelon, has put up a number of web pages on this game, and show off some graphics in the game using Shockwave Flash 3.0. You can see some very small screenshots of the game, that shows some of the courses. The screenshots are so small, you wonder if they want you to see the game or not. This game sure looks colourful, as all the courses are very cartoon like.
(Source: Luya)
 
Friday, November 13th, 1998
Dreamcast "Exceptionally Good"
Gamasutra has an interview with Toby Gard, of Confounding Factor, who are creating a game called Galleon, that will be a third-person action adventure. Toby Gard, along with Paul Douglas are responsible for the original Tomb Raider. Both of these british chaps started Confounding Factor, in April 1997. Here is a quote from the interview:

Gamesutra: What do you make of Sega's Dreamcast? Core were famous as being very loyal to Sega - was that just a corporate thing or did you developers feel the same way about the company?
Toby Gard:The Dreamcast is exceptionally good, and if Sony doesn't do something about it fairly swiftly then they deserve to be utterly trounced by Sega.
Galleon is due Winter of 1999. Interplay is the publisher for Confounding Factor. Here is a press release that describes Galleon.
(Source: Joe Musashi, Sonikka, and Dreamcaster)

Game Preview
Panther Software's Space Griffon, which is a first person Mecha game, that will allow internet play. There are three screenshots of the game, showing what looks to be full motion video from the game.
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Thursday, November 12th, 1998
Game Previews
Added two new previews of Virtua Fighter 3 team battle, with 25 screenshots, and Tetris 4D, with 4 screenshots. Updated the previews of Sonic Adventure, with 13 new screenshots of "Twinkle Park" level, and "Project Berkley", with 3 new pictures of the game. Special thanks to Richard Ho (NoriPhd) who provided the screenshots.
(Source: NoriPhd, Dreamcast Magazine Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, Weekly FamiTsu #518 & #519)

Sega Unveils Prepaid Internet Access Service for Dreamcast
It seems that SEGA will be selling prepaid cards for Dreamcast internet access. Here is a quote from an AsiaBizTech article:

The rates, based on access time, are five yen (4 cents) per minute, without any membership fee charged. Sega will offer nationwide Internet services, and has set up nearly 200 access points. 

Members pay the fees in advance using "Web Money," Sega's Internet-only value-stored card for settlement. Sega is implementing an advance payment system to avoid problems arising from overuse by minors. The company plans to alter its pricing and payment system as requested by members. 

Sega targets shipments of 1 million units of Dreamcast in the period through March 1999. 

"Around 30 percent to 40 percent of the users of Dreamcast devices will access the Internet," said Takayuki Shimada, general manager of Sega's network business development unit.

Wednesday, November 11th, 1998

Remembrance Day (Canada, UK) Veterans Day (USA)
We Remember

Tuesday, November 10th, 1998
New Blue Stinger, Pen Pen Triicelon, Sonic Adventure, and VF3tb Screenshots
Dimension S has quite a few new screenshots of Blue Stinger, which looks incredible; Pen Pen Triicelon, which looks better each time; Sonic Adventure, which looks fantastic, and VF3tb screenshots! Poor Sonic, as a Killer Whale wants to make a snack of him! The screenshots are from the Japanese gaming magazine, SEGA Saturn Magazine.
(Source: Luya)

USA Today Dreamcast Article
In an article titled, "Is Dreamcast Sega's savior?", the American national newspaper helps gives the Dreamcast some early exposure to the American populace. Not a very accurate article as they indicate, "Its processor runs at 200 million cycles per second (megahertz), about four times faster than the PlayStation", which is wrong as the SH-4 is 6 times faster then the processor in the Playstation (33 MHz) on clock rate alone. Another mistake is "Dreamcast processes 3 million polygons a second, several times more than Nintendo and Sony.", as the Dreamcast is easily 10 to 30 times more powerful at polygon drawing then the N64 or the Playstation. So do not doubt the power of the Dreamcast, as compared to the current generation. Be afraid!
(Source: F5 Twister)

Armored Core2 for the DC
Here is that interview with Kawamori Shouji, at EX:MAGAZINE, which is an Anime and Manga website, where he mentions that Armored Core 2 is coming to the Dreamcast. Here is a part of that interview:

EX: Do you plan to participate in ARMORED CORE 2?
KS: I'm planning for ARMORED CORE 2—not for the Playstation, but for a planned new machine, the [Sega] Dreamcast. I was very impressed by the digital imagery and computer graphics effects that can be created.
Great graphics and design at this site!
(Source: GunneR, Dreamcast HQ article)
 
Monday, November 9th, 1998
New Buggy Heat and Aero Dancing Screenshots
CSK Research Institute Corp.(CRI) has released new screenshots of Buggy Heat and Aero Dancing at their website in Japan. Some more information on Aero Dancing is listed, where the game will have three modes: Blue Impulse mode, where you are flying as the Blue Impluse Team doing stunts in the air, Sky Mission Attack, and Free Flight. The jets in this game look very detailed! Buggy Heat will have these modes: Championship, Time Attack, Training, 2 Player, and vs Game.
(Source: CSK Research Institute Corp.(CRI) website)

Littledream Preview
A small preview of Littledream from Panther Software has been put up, that includes eight screenshots of the game's pre-rendered video sequence. No screenshots of the actual game is available yet. It is a 3D Action/Adventure game with a Pinocchio-like doll named, Marionet Charlie as the main character. Check the games section.
(Source: NoriPhd, 1st issue Dreamcast Magazine, and 1st issue Dreamcast Fan)

Dreamcast Motherboard
Dare we say it: EXCLUSIVE picture, of the Dreamcast motherboard. This is the first picture available on the internet that shows the Dreamcast motherboard. Check it out here in the overview section.
(Source: NoriPhd, Game Weekly(HK) Vol. 2 #43)
 
Friday, November 6th, 1998
NEC Fabs Out 0.25 Micron Work
There has already been mention that NEC was not supplying enough PowerVR Series2 (PVR2DC) chipsets to SEGA, so that SEGA would have lots of machines for it's launch on the 27th. Also PowerVR Series2 chipsets are needed for the PC market sometime next month. Here is an article at TechWeb explaining the situation.

Citing a looming shortage of 0.25-micron capacity, NEC is in discussions with a number of dedicated foundries about the manufacture of NEC's most sophisticated logic devices.

Among the companies in discussions are Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and United Microelectronics in Taiwan, and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing in Singapore, said Hajime Sasaki, senior executive vice president of Tokyo-based NEC, on Thursday.

(Source: Infinite Planes)

Sonic Adventure at 60 FPS!
For those of you who doubt the incredible power of the Dreamcast:

Sonic Adventures wasn't playable and Sega reported that it had just received a more recent build of the title but would not have it available for showing. Sega did say that all levels in Adventures would run at 60 FPS - contrary to rumour that 60 FPS would only be available on the action levels and adventure levels would run only at 30 FPS.
This comes from a GameSpot article where they also mention:
Editors were allowed to play one title, Virtua Fighter 3tb. The game on hand was a more recent build than what was shown at Tokyo Game Show. Sega said that there would be no Internet play with the fighter. And VF3tb will come with an additional disc containing a sneak peek of Yu Suzuki's highly secretive RPG Project Berkeley.
So no internet play for VF3tb. Too bad!
(Source: Luya)

Dreamcast "Too Powerful"?
Last month, the British publication, SEGA Saturn Magazine had an interview with Noritaka Funamizu, who is the head producer of Capcom's Development Division. Here is an interesting quote from that interview:

SSM: What aspirations does a company that has achieved so much, have for the future?
NF: Switching to Dreamcast development will be our biggest challenge. Up to now, we've never been able to do what we really wanted to do because there's always been some kind of hardware limitation whether it was the CPU or the graphics chips. Both for the SFC & PlayStation we pushed the hardware to it's limit but the Dreamcast is too powerful we'll never be able to do that. Even if Sony releases the PlayStation 2 and it's more powerful than the Dreamcast it won't make any difference. The average player won't notice. The Sega Saturn was a failure outside of Japan because the PlayStation was too good but that will now become a problem for Sony's PlayStation 2.
Sad, posted the whole interview in the message forum, and is worth checking out.
(Source: sad)

New VF3tb Screenshots!
Check Hardcore Gaming's "SegaHolic" for new screenshots of VF3tb! WOW! The Dreamcast version of this game is starting to look better then the arcade version! The lighting, and the texturing looks superb!
(Source: F5 Twister)

Project Berkley Announcement
SEGA of Japan has announced that "Project Berkley" (code name) will be officially presented for the first time on December 20th, 1998 at a press conference. The two hour presentation will take place at the Yokohama International Meeting Assembly Hall, and entrance will be free to the public. The conference will be broadcast to several major cities in Japan, and will most likely be broadcast onto the internet, as the Sonic Adventure introduction was.

Howard Shih has told me by email that Yu Suzuki has indicated that "Project Berkley" is not a RPG, but a "FREE", which stands for "Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment". That is about as bad as what Naomi stands for, "New Arcade Operation Machine Idea". One word, on the acronyms that SEGA of Japan's chooses: Corny! SEGA has been running ads in magazines, with one page having the word RPG, with it crossed out, and on the other page, the word FREE.

"Project Berkley"'s first showing will be when VF3tb is released on Nov. 27th, as the VF3tb game will come with an extra disk, that will have a demo of "Project Berkley". A preview of "Project Berkley" has been put up, in the games section.
(Source: Dreamcast HQ, Howard Shih, and NoriPhd)
 
Thursday, November 5th, 1998
More Sonic Adventure Screenshots!
Thanks to NoriPhd, there are 27 new screenshots of Sonic Adventure added to the preview of this game in the games section. Like usual the game looks incredible!
(Source: 1st issue Dreamcast Magazine (Japanese), 1st issue Dreamcast Fan (Japanese), Dengeki Sega Saturn)

Five New Games Announced
1. Space Griffon by Panther Software 
Type: Real-time Action Shooting 
Date: Spring '99 

2. Littledream by Panther Software 
Type: 3D Adventure 
Date: Spring '99 

3. Brave Knights (subject to be changed) by Panther Software 
Type and date: unknown 

4. Mobile Suit Gundam (subject to be changed) by Bandai 
Type and date: unknown 

5. F-1 game (subject to be changed) by Video System 
Type: Racing
date: Unknown

Video System is one of the Naomi developers, so the F-1 game may appear in the arcades first. 
(Source: NoriPhd, 1st issue Dreamcast Magazine (formerly SEGA Saturn Magazine, Japan))
 
Wednesday, November 4th, 1998
SEGA's Cho Hamaru Golf
Not much is known about this game, except "Cho Hamaru" means "super addicting". This game, is expected sometime in 1999. I have put up a preview of this game, that includes 7 screenshots in the games section. SEGA of Japan has a page up on their website for this game also. Expect this game to never be released in North America or Europe, except at you local import shop.
(Source: SEGA of Japan's website, and Dreamcast Info Page)
 
Tuesday, November 3rd, 1998
SEGA Confirms Game Delays
No surprises here as this type of thing happens all the time in this industry, and also developers have had a very short time with the Set 5 (final) hardware. Comfirmation of the delays comes from SEGA of Japan's website, with the release of this new schedule:

November 27th, 1998
Virtua Fighter 3tb 
Godzilla Generations 
July 
Pen Pen Tricelon

December 23rd, 1998
Sonic Adventure 
Evolution 
Seventh Cross 
Tetris 4D (formerly known as Tetris K) 
Incoming 

January 14th, 1999
Blue Stinger 
Sega Rally 2 
Sengoku Turb 

To Be Announced
Geist Force 
Monaco Grand Prix Racing Sim. 2 

Strange that Incoming is still scheduled to be released on December 23rd, as SEGA originally indicated at the New Challenge Conference part 2. Rage has insisted that Incoming will be a launch title. A big thanks to NoriPhd for the schedule translation!
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Monday, November 2nd, 1998
New Sonic Adventure Screenshots!
Well it has been since September since SEGA released Sonic Adventure screenshots. Today they released a whole slew of new screenshots! The game world is starting to show a lot more detail! You can check out the screenshots in the games section. The screenshots come from SEGA of Japan's website on this page and this page.
(Source: Luya, Dreamcast HQ)

Incoming Screenshots
These screenshots are not new, as other SEGA hobby sites have shown them, but these are the first Dreamcast Incoming screenshots without someone's logo on them. Screenshots at Dreamcast Technical Pages like usual are logo free! The screenshots come from this page at Incoming's Japanese publisher website, Imagineer. A preview of Incoming, with the screenshots, has been put up in the games section.

Dreamcast Numbers
NGO helps clear the confusion surrounding the number of Dreamcasts that will available. Last week it was reported that 1 million Dreamcasts would be available from the launch date to Spring '99, but the latest news puts it at a million before the end of the year, which is what SEGA originally claimed. SEGA also indicted that originally there would be 200,000 to 400,000 Dreamcasts available for the launch, but that number will be revised and SEGA will soon indicate how many will be available on Nov. 27th, 1998. The problem is that a limited number of PowerVR graphics chips is available either due to yield problems, or a bug was found recently that forced SEGA to have new units manufactured to replace the buggy ones!
(Source: NGO, and John Wang)