Dreamcast Technical Pages
Back
Friday, October 30th, 1998
USB Port?
Gamecenter.com indicated in their article yesterday, that the Dreamcast has a Universal Serial Port (USB) on the back, but this is incorrect. I sent email yesterday, to a contact at SEGA of America to see if the Dreamcast does have a USB port, and here is the reply I got:
It's not a USB port - it's a serial port, but not a standard one - it's proprietary.  The port itself may look like a USB, and perform like one, but it's not.
There you have it. Not a USB port, but the good news is that it performs like a USB port. USB ports can transfer data at 12 Mbits/s or 1.5 MBytes/s, which is a lot faster then a typical serial port that is on today's PC's.

Game Previews
A preview of Get Bass, and Godzilla Generations has been put up in the games section.
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Thursday, October 29th, 1998
Dreamcast Interviews!
CNET's Gamecenter.com has put up a huge article with the apt title of "Dreamcast Revolution", that involves two interviews, and comparisons with Sony and Nintendo along with their own comments. The first interview is with SEGA of America's Neal Robison, who is Director of Developer Technical Support. Neal's job at SEGA of America, is to make sure that the 3rd party developers are happy. The second interview is with Howard Schwartz, Executive Producer at American Softworks Corporation (ASC Games), which is a 3rd party developer creating games for the Dreamcast. Here are some choice quotes from the article:

Neal Robison: It's important to note that we didn't simply say to Hitachi, "Give us a fast chip." We looked around at Intel, MIPS, Motorola, and a whole bunch of others. It was more than just looking for the fastest chip. The key was finding a fast chip that worked seamlessly with the other hardware we're putting in the system. Hitachi's chip was fast and it worked well with our other stuff. In addition, [Sega AM2 programmer] Yu Suzuki actually worked with Hitachi tweaking the SH4 so that it was as optimized to meet our performance needs. The result is a processor that literally dropped the jaws of the third-party developers to whom we showed it. 
So if anyone you know that has doubts about the Dreamcast, just tell them that "Yu's on the job!".
Neal Robison: From a business perspective, things are much different at Sega now--from the president on down--than they were when Saturn launched. There's a much different point of view toward third-party developers. Everyone here understands just how important the developers are to the success of the system, and I don't think that was necessarily the case with the Saturn. This new point of view is why I was hired. We're dedicated to fostering our relationships with third-party developers through quality, timely tech support.
SEGA is committed from the very beginning to supporting 3rd party developers, and that is showing through by games like Incoming being ready for the Japanese launch.
Gamecenter: Is there any aspect of the Dreamcast that--when you heard about it--made your jaw hit the ground?

Howard Schwartz: Well, we're developing a racing game--Jeff Gordon XS--so we've got some Sega Model 3 racing games at the office. They look amazing. So when Sega said Dreamcast would beat the Model 3 in terms of performance, we were like, "Cool." But even if they don't beat the Model 3, even if they just get close, it's gonna be amazing. Another big deal was the RAM. As someone who's developed primarily for the consoles, this [amount of] RAM is huge. It's going to allow us to do lots of new and cool stuff. Lastly, I'd have to say the modem was another big thing. The only PC games I play are multiplayer, so I was definitely psyched.

There is lots of RAM in the Dreamcast for developers to have lots flexibility in their developments efforts. Clearly the Dreamcast is shaping up to the everything you ever wanted in a home console!
(Source: The Man)
 
Wednesday, October 28th, 1998
Dricas Goes Online!
www.dricas.com is the official Japanese Dreamcast website, that is designed specifically for those who are using their Dreamcast to access the internet. The site is under construction, and will not be ready for prime time till the Dreamcast launch on Nov. 27th, 1998. There is a section on the site called Game Burn!, which will be for game news and reviews. Not sure why, but all the screenshots shown at the site are in gif format, and not jpeg format, which would show much better quality. The Game Burn! section has previews of Sonic Adventure, Blue Stinger, and July.
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Tuesday, October 27th, 1998
Dreamcast Fever Hits Tokyo!
Here is a announcement from SEGA of Europe's website:
Plans are well underway in Japan for the impending launch of Dreamcast, Sega's next generation 128-bit digital entertainment system. Selected retailers across Japan launched a pre-order campaign for Dreamcast on the 20th October, and within 48 hours had taken orders for over 100,000 units!

However, the overwhelming demand for Dreamcast has meant increased pressure on technology partners such as NEC to supply components fast enough for the manufacture of Dreamcast. The stringent quality checks being carried out on NEC's Power VR2 chip have lead to slippage in the manufacturing turnaround, but this will not affect Sega's plan to deliver 1 million units by Spring 1999.

In the meantime, Shoichiro Irimajiri, Sega Enterprises' President, has written to all official Dreamcast retailers in Japan asking them to limit the number of pre-orders following huge customer demand.

Dreamcast will launch in Japan on 27th November 1998 as anticipated.

The stringent quality checks mentioned is just an extremly liberal term for manufacturing yield problems.
(Source: AM5)

Square for Dreamcast?
No need to start celebrating yet, as this is just a rumour. It seems that Square may port their upcoming Playstation RPG, SaGa Frontier 2 to the Dreamcast. It has been reported in Japan that Square has received five Dreamcast development kits. Five of the latest kits, which is set 5. Who knows, maybe they just want to play around with those development kits. This information comes from a Game Fan article.
(Source: Leon)
 
Monday, October 26th, 1998
Incoming
Incoming will be going gold in the next few days, meaning that it will be ready for manufacturing. SEGA has originally indicated that this title would be coming out on December the 23rd, but that was a mistake on their part, as Incoming will be a launch title! This is the first time that a PC game, would be available at a console's launch in Japan. This speaks volumes on how easy it is for a game company to port their game from the PC to the Dreamcast in a such a limited time with early development tools, and early development hardware. Of course WinCE is a huge factor in the quick port. This is extremely positive news for future developments! Here is a quote from Rage, the developer behind Incoming on SEGA's help in the port:

The spokesperson also stated how pleased Rage has been with the development structure and assistance provided by Sega during Incoming's creation.
(Source: FGN Online)

Previews
Have added previews for Jaleco's Carrier, and SEGA Rally 2 in the games section. All the screenshots shown are from the Japanese gaming magazines: Weekly FamiTsu #516, Sega Saturn Magazine #32 and Saturn Fan #20. Screenshots are provided by NoriPhd.
 
Friday, October 23rd, 1998
VF3tb Details
Howard Shih, has pointed out some details of VF3tb as shown in the latest SEGA Saturn Magazine:

Remember that 80% completed version at the Tokyo Game Show?

Well, the new version is now 85% to 90% complete: 

  • The resolution is no less than 640 by 480. Obvious higher then what was shown at TGS.
  • The size of each character is exact to their Model 3 counterparts.
  • The models are very detailed, as you can clearly see facial details, clothes, fingers, hair, etc.
  • The view change function has been added, so you can see pain on the face of your opponent from your attacks.
  • The opening demo has been added, and it is excellent!
One screenshot shows Jacky wearing his black jacket and blue jeans, which is his VF2 costume, and I think you can choose more then 3 kinds of costumes for each character. Maybe like Dead or Alive?

SSM said that the developing team is working hard on modelling Shun and Aoi, and they did not allow any photos of them, because the VF3tb team want to only reveal them when they are satisfied with how they look.

Sounds like this port is really starting to shape up!
(Source: Howard Shih)

Carrier
The latest issue of the Japanese gaming magazine, Weekly FamiTsu (11/6), shows another game that is coming to the Dreamcast. The game is Carrier, which is an adventure game from Jaleco. Here is what NoriPhd had to say about this game:

It's an 3D action adventure game like Resident Evil, which takes place on board a carrier. From the screenshots I bet it's a RE style survival horror, and Metal Gear Solid mix, with zombie-like creatures hanging around. The graphics are stunning, even though not as good as Blue Stinger, but the character and backgrounds are rendered well. 
The release date is unknown at this time. Because of the huge success of the Resident Evil series, we can expect quite a slew of these type of games coming to the Dreamcast.
(Source: NoriPhd)

Screenshots
Hardcore Gaming's Segaholic has put up a lot of screenshots of Virtua Fighter 3tb, SEGA Rally 2, Buggy Heat, and House of the Dead 2. These screenshots are scanned in from the latest Japanese SEGA Saturn Magazine. Softbank, the publisher behind SSM, is coming out with Dreamcast Magazine (Japanese) on the 6th of November!
(Source: NoriPhd, and sad)
 
Thursday, October 22nd, 1998
Dreamcast Shortage Announcement
SEGA of Japan has made an announcement on their website that they have told retailers to stop taking any more pre-orders for the Dreamcast, as the entire first shipment due November 27th, 1998 has been allotted. Here is a quote from a NGO article:

According to our correspondent, two different retailers, including LAOX indicated that Sega had called them and asked them to stop taking preorders. Another told our correspondent that they had already received six hundred preorders and had received a similar call.
This comes as no surprise, as SEGA could easily sell a million Dreamcasts in Japan, on the strength of VF3tb. Sonic Adventure will the type of game that draws in the rest. The Dreamcast is off to a roaring start!
(Source: NoriPhd)

Buggy Heat and Aero Dancing
Gamespot news has screenshots of Buggy Heat and Aero Dancing. Both games will be coming from Japanese third party developer, CRI. Buggy Heat is a dune buggy game, with on and off-road racing. Based on the screenshots, you can see a very detailed buggy, with some impressive transparency and shadow effects being used. Aero Dancing is an acrobatic flight simulator, where your team, Blue Impulse has to perform stunts in the air using fighter jets. Aero Dancing is due next year, in February of 1999, with Buggy Heat following one month later in March. Both games will make use of the Visual Memory System. The screenshots at Gamespot news are from Softbank's Sega Saturn Magazine. 
(Source: F5 Twister)
 
Wednesday, October 21st, 1998
Dreamcast HQ New URL
Dreamcast HQ has moved to a new URL at a new server, as they had some bandwidth/cost problems with the last server they were on. Their new URL is: www.dreamcast-hq.net, so update your bookmarks.

New Screenshots
Magic Box Gaming News has some new screenshots of Blue Angels, All Japan Pro Wrestling Featuring Virtua 2, and The King of Fighters. The screenshot originated at Game Informer from this page, which has screenshots on a whole load of Dreamcast games. The jet fighters in Blue Angels are very detailed!
 
Tuesday, October 20th, 1998
Dreamcast Expansion Port?
It seems that the Dreamcast has an expansion port. Here is a quote from Magic Box Gaming News

Due to the threads of Playstation 2, few days ago Sega told the Japanese media that the Dreamcast is upgradeable through the expansion port, and stating that 3 - 4 millions polygons are more than sufficient for current games, there is no need to use 10 millions polygons for now. (What about future?)
(Source: Thomas)
 
Monday, October 19th, 1998
Project Berkeley Demo
SEGA has released information that Project Berkeley, the supposed Virtua Fighter RPG, will be released in demo format with Virtual Fighter 3tb. This upcoming December, there will be a conference where Yu Suzuki will unveil the game to the public. Expect a living breathing world, where many different game genres will be on format. The code name Project Berkeley is named after the University of California - Berkeley, as Yu Suzuki indicated. It seems that almost every game site spells it Berkely. What is a Berkely?
(Source: Gaming-Age Online)

MDK2 Coming to Dreamcast
BioWare a company from Edmonton, Canada, that was started by three doctors, is coming out with MDK2 on the Dreamcast. BioWare, will be soon be releasing on the PC, an RPG game called Baldur's Gate, that has been receiving a lot of attention. This game is expected to be a huge success! We can only hope so, so that they will have lots of money for their Dreamcast projects! MDK2 will be published for the Dreamcast by Interplay. Here is the press release on MDK2:

BioWare to Develop MDK2 for Sega Dreamcast and PC (From The Developers of Baldur's Gate Comes the Sci-Fi Sequel toMDK)

EDMONTON, Canada, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- BioWare Corp., announced today the ongoing development of their first Sega Dreamcast title, MDK2. The sequel to last year's sci-fi action thriller MDK, the game hosts an array of dynamic new features and technology. Built with the breakthrough BioWare Omen Engine, MDK2 provides an unsurpassed single-player experience with totally new and unique gameplay elements driven by ingenuity and creativity. Published by Interplay Productions (Nasdaq: IPLY - news) a release date of Q4, 1999 is anticipated for the Sega Dreamcast, with a PC version to shortly follow.

MDK2 will take players back to the unique world of MDK as originally developed by Shiny Entertainment. The MDK2 world will counterbalance shadows and mystery with quirky situations involving a peculiarly engaging alien race. The result will be a surreal adventure that focuses on stealth and guile as well as outright aggression. Players will take a third person perspective of the game's hero, Kurt Hectic, as they control him through eight levels of creative gaming, bizarre 3D environments, and engaging storylines. Rejoining Kurt in his adventures will be his friends, the eccentric Dr. Fluke Hawkins and Max, the robotic dog.

Greg Zeschuk, President and Joint CEO of BioWare, captured the essence of the game when he explained that, "MDK2 represents the pinnacle of single player games. Our aim with MDK2 is to explore new directions and expand beyond the constrictive environments established in other 3D games.'' Regarding the Sega Dreamcast, Lead Programmer on MDK2 Cameron Tofer, says, "The Dreamcast hardware gives us all of the features that we could ever want from a gaming system. Because of the Dreamcast we are able to take MDK2 further than we ever imagined.''

MDK2 exploits the BioWare Omen Engine, a truly multi-platform engine developed internally at BioWare Corp. Perhaps the most important feature of Omen is the support for real-time level-of-detail control that allows for round, smooth surfaces and highly detailed life-like characters and environments, all the while maintaining high frame-rates. Other key features include realistically modeled object physics and complex scripted AI that provides the world with life-like inhabitants that interact with the player in an intelligent manner.

BioWare Corp. is located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. As an electronic entertainment company BioWare both develops games and creates animation for television and film. BioWare's games include Shattered Steel, published by Interplay Productions in 1996 and the upcoming Baldur's Gate, also published by Interplay's Black Isle division. BioWare's animation work has also been seen in segments of the children's television show Be Alert Bert, and the Canadian version of Intuit's Quick Tax.

Now a company started by three doctors, producing a game that is called Murder Death Kill? Makes you wonder! Well it seems that these murder playing doctors, really dig the Dreamcast!
 
Saturday, October 17th, 1998
Akolyte
3dGaming Net has done a feature for Akolyte, which is most likely coming to the Dreamcast. Revenant the company behind Akolyte was asked recently about a Dreamcast port, and they indicated that it is something they are strongly considering. All their current work right now is too get the PC version done. Akolyte will be interesting in that it is a action adventure with a very in-depth and extensive storyline. The feature at 3dGaming Net has a lengthy preview, screenshots, chat log and interview. Here is a quote from Revenant's website on the technology behind Akolyte:
The Akolyte engine is based on a proprietary 3D world engine, which uses the OpenGL API. Using a hybridization of "portal" technology, Akolyte players will be treated with impossible non-Euclidian worlds, interplanar gates, and unbelievable landscapes.

The character engine is uses "bones" technology to deform meshes dynamically while at the same time maintaining low animation sizes and fluid, realistic character motion. And because Akolyte uses character driven motion, all of our characters and creatures move with solid footsteps and strides.

Given procedural textures, dynamic material effects, and physical dynamics the level designers will be able to place incredibly realistic and interactive objects to populate the world, all elements which the player will be able to interact and encounter. And with the broad functionality of 3D Studio Max and Revenant's inhouse suite of custom tools, the designers of Akolyte are able to create worlds and places which will occupy and enthrall even the most hardcore gaming fan.

I guess NEC will provide OpenGL for the Dreamcast, so that games like this can be easily ported over.
 
Friday, October 16th, 1998
SEGA Annouces Get Bass
The arcade fishing game that runs on SEGA's Model 3 board is coming to the Dreamcast. I guess this was expected, since SEGA did indicate at the Tokyo Game Show, that there will be a fishing rod controller for the Dreamcast. SEGA has put up a webpage at their site for this game.

Virtual Fighter RPG?
SEGA is running an advertisement in magazines for their Project Berkeley game that Yu Suzuki is working on. This is the game that is suppose to have 500 characters, that you can interact with. The advertisement looks very classy, with it saying on one page "RPG?", and on the other page it says "Coming Spring 1999" and "Produced by Yu Suzuki". It has been mentioned on some sites that this game will be some kind of multi-genre game, breaking the past mold of games that are a single genre. Since the game has been in development for 3 years, with SEGA best programmers working on it (AM2), using the power of the Dreamcast, indicates that this game will be amazing! A demo of the game is going to be released this December in Japan!
(Source: sad, Hardcore Gaming message board)

More VF3tb Screenshots
SEGA has released some uninspiring screenshots of VF3tb that looked like they where taken off of a monitor with a camera. Why they do not do a direct screen grab is beyond me. The screenshots are here, at their Japanese VF3tb page.

New Grandia 2 Screenshots
A game that is sure to be a huge hit everywhere, and something I am very much looking forward too! Gaming-Age has some new screenshots of this game. The spell attacks look incredible!

Herdy Gerdy
Core indicated to Game-Online that Tomb Raider will most likely not be coming to the Dreamcast. They did indicate that a new unknown game called Herdy Gerdy will be coming. Here is a quote from a Game-Online article:

But it's not all bad news as far as Dreamcast fans are concerned. Jeremy finally came clean about Herdy Gerdy - a game we broke the story on back at E3 (check the archive!).

"It's looking unbelievable," he said, about Core's first Sega game in two years. "Imagine playing an interactive Disney cartoon. That's what it's like. It's going to be the best-looking game ever when it comes out. That game is so secret".

If you visit Game-Online's site, and notice that it is very slow, how about sending them some email letting them know that they should do something about this ongoing problem.
(Source: GunneR)
 
Thursday, October 15th, 1998
VideoLogic Confirms Namco?
Check this page at VideoLogic's website. VideoLogic actual makes mention of the article from NGO a few days ago where it was rumored that Namco will be using the PowerVR technology in their upcoming arcade hardware. VideoLogic never comments on rumors, but for them to put a link to the NGO article on their website, all but confirms that Namco will be using the PowerVR architecture. It just makes perfect sense for Namco to use this graphics technology, as ports to the Dreamcast, and the PC market will be very cost effective.
 
Wednesday, October 14th, 1998
1 Million Dreamcast's
That is the number of Dreamcast's rumored to be available for the launch on November 27th, 1998 in Japan. This information was printed in a Japanese newspaper a little while back, which you can see at this Japanese website. The newspaper article also mentions that SEGA only had 100,000 Saturn's available for its debut in Japan, four years ago. If the article is accurate, and SEGA has 1 million Dreamcast's available for launch, one has to wonder if SEGA will have enough to meet demand, as it looks like SEGA will easily sell a million Dreamcast's in the first week of the launch. Looks like some factories are going to have to work overtime!
(Source: NoriPhd)

Namco's New Arcade Hardware
From a NGO news article:

Next Generation Online has learned from Japanese sources that the Namco's next arcade system (possibly called "System 13") may be very familiar indeed. According to our sources, the new arcade system will likely use the same Hitachi Processor and Power VR2 technology that Sega will use for Naomi and Dreamcast. System 12, Namco's current system, uses a modified version of the PlayStation architecture (more RAM and a faster processor). If Namco is indeed using the same guts as the Naomi, this would be a one-two punch for Sony from a company that has been considered, until now, one of its most valuable third parties. 
Now this is very interesting news, as recently someone who goes by the name of "The Man" sent me email that he saw a version of Soul Calibur, that clearly was not running on System 12. He indicated that the graphics looked much better then VF3 on the Model 3 board. Well I had my doubts over this one, but he did indicate that the arcade where the game was, is a testing ground for new games. Funny thing is that he asked the arcade operator, what the hardware was, and he was told the Namco does not want that information revealed. So it is possible that we will see Soul Calibur running on this "System 13" hardware, and it is also likely that we will see it on the Dreamcast at a later date. If so, this would be a very excellent response from Namco towards the Dreamcast hardware.
 
Tuesday, October 13th, 1998
PowerVR To Use Rambus
This does not apply to the Dreamcast PowerVR chip, as it uses VRAM, but this memory maybe used in the next Dreamcast system. Dreamcast 2? Here is a press release on PowerVR using Rambus Memory Systems:
New PowerVR Graphics Products Take Advantage of Direct Rambus Memory Systems
London - Oct. 7th, 1998 - VideoLogic and NEC Electronics Inc. have confirmed their plans to incorporate Direct Rambus memory interfaces in future PowerVR graphics controller products currently under development.

PowerVR products demand quality performance at commodity pricing to meet performance, features and price targets. Direct Rambus memory system components will allow PowerVR to have faster system integration, reduced device pin count requirements and a simpler, compact board layout.

"Memory bandwidth is essential for high-performance graphics systems, whether in PCs, game consoles or arcade machines, said Hossein Yassaie, president and chief executive officer, VideoLogic. Direct Rambus DRAMs provide the highest bandwidth per I/O by far - more than eight times the bandwidth of 100-MHz SDRAMs at a comparable memory cost. "The broad industry support behind Direct Rambus, led by Intel's adoption of Direct RDRAM as their next-generation PC main memory standard, means that Direct RDRAMs will be a widely sourced commodity," said Charles Bellfield, product marketing manager, multimedia strategic business unit, NEC Electronics Inc.

As you can see VideoLogic and NEC are hard at work on succeeding generations of PowerVR technology and Hitachi is working on the SH-5 processor. Can we all say Dreamcast 2! Expect SEGA next machine to be backwards compatible.
 
Monday, October 12th, 1998
What SEGA paid 3Dfx Interactive
SEGA settled not too long with 3Dfx Interactive out of court concerning the contract SEGA had with them, where 3Dfx Interactive designed a graphics chipset for the Dreamcast. What was not known was how much SEGA had to pay 3Dfx. This article from the BBC says that SEGA had to pay ¥1.3bn, which is about 10 to 11 million US dollars. Peanuts for a company the size of SEGA. This was not punitive damages, as SEGA paid 3Dfx Interactive what they owed them.

Sonic Adventure
Sonic Team has an incredible winner on their hands with Sonic Adventure, as most people who were extremely fortunate to try out this game at the Tokyo Games Show, had nothing but raving good things to say about this game. Here is a sample of this from a Gaming-Age Online article:

Sonic Adventure (90% complete)
Absolutely the most graphically beautiful videogame this attendee has ever laid eyes on. The creative design, fabulous use of colour, inventive gameplay and sheer blistering speed marked out Sonic Adventure as undisputed game of the show. I advise readers to try and avoid judging this game, until the day they play it themselves. Screenshots, and indeed not even movies do this game justice. From the brilliantly inventive Knuckles level -- searching for crystals in a 3 dimensional game of 'hot & cold' (see earlier Sonic unveiling report) to Tails' white-knuckle snowboarding ride down a mountain (chased by an avalanche and fighter jets, no less) to the crowning glory, Sonic's futuristic speedway stage -- this is a game that just screams quality and imagination. There are so many brilliantly different gameplay styles (a different one for each character) with so much to do in each level, it's quite simply bewildering. Special mention must also go to the pleasantly short load times, and the music, which is classic Sonic Team composition and lends a wonderful sense of style to the gameplay experience. Incidentally, what was shown at the show, was less than 5% of the full game.
Check out the rest of the article, where they also mention many of the other Dreamcast games.

Added Naomi Section
Due to popular demand (1 person asked for this by email) I have put up a Naomi section. Check it out by clicking on the button on the left hand side of the screen that says 'Naomi'. In the process, I have removed the editorial section, as I have neglected to add any editorials to that section in quite awhile. Check the message board, if you want to read editorial style posts, as some posts in the message board are quite lengthy.

Dreamcast Technical Article
If you cannot get enough technical information on the Dreamcast at this site, you may want to check out FrontLine who just put up a technical article on the Dreamcast. Check under the news section for Saturday, October 10th, 1998 for a link to the article at that site. 

Price of Dreamcast in Your Currency
Since the Japanese Yen, it going through the roof recently (went up 18% against the US dollar last week), you may want to check to see how the Japanese Yen is in respect to your country's currency. You can do that by going to this page at Yahoo, where it will give you the price of the Dreamcast is US dollars, but you can also select your own country's currency. 
(Source: Sonikka)

Naomi Means What?
It seems that Naomi is an acronym that stands for "NEW ARCADE OPERATION MACHINE IDEA". Personally, I think that some people at SEGA came up with that name, after having too much too drink. As I mentioned previously Naomi is also a Japanese female name that means "above all beauty" and that sure beats the ideal it is an acronym for "NEW ARCADE OPERATION MACHINE IDEA". We shall soon see that Naomi games are above all beauty.
(Source: NoriPhd)

SEGA of America Official Dreamcast Site
SEGA of America have put up some pages that provide information on the Dreamcast. You might want to check it out here. They have provided a 14 MB Sonic Adventure video, in AVI format that is very sharp looking and worth the download.

Naomi Video
Here is a site called www.big-boys-toys.com that broke up the 29 MB Naomi video from last week into game specific chunks, and the video is in QuickTime format. You may want to check it out if the original 29 MB video was too much for you to download.

Sakura War 3
Sakura War 1 and 2 did very well on the Saturn, and now Hiroi-san has announced Sakura War 3 for the Dreamcast. The game will make use of the network/communications abilities of the Dreamcast. Here is a Gamespot Japan article on that (japanese only).
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Friday, October 9th, 1998
Climax Landers!
Game-Online had the chance to see these games in action: Cool Boarders, Climax Landers, Virtual On clone, and D2, in this article. Here is a quote about Climax Landers:

One of the best looking new games we saw in a playable format was Climax’s Climax Landers. This RPG, from the creators of Landstalker, looks absolutely sensational. The backgrounds are simply mind-boggling. Some of the best of what Final Fantasy VII offers with static backgrounds is equalled in real-time 3D with this game. And no, we aren’t exaggerating. This is going to be hot. 
This game looks impressive, based on the screenshots so far, and sounds impressive!

Psychic Force 2012
Taito annouces game at Tokyo Game Show, at a press conference, where they unveiled their plans on releasing Psychic Force 2012 on the Dreamcast. The game was in playable form on the show floor at TGS. Here is what Thomas had to say about this game:

At the Tokyo Game Show (Friday 12:05pm), Taito Announced they will be bring Psychic Force 2012 in Spring '99.  The original one was on the Playstation and arcade.  This one is the sequel to that game.  It's basically a fighting game in which the player has 360 degrees of movement and psychic projectile attacks.
Gamespot's Japan page on this announcement.
(Source: Yusaku and Thomas)

Tokyo Game Show Screenshots!
Here is a japanese website that has lots of screenshots of games from the Tokyo Game Show floor. All the screenshots are located in directory format at that website, and there is no webpages setup for the screenshots. All the screenshots are taken from a camera, and usually over someone's shoulder, so they are not the best quality, but they do give you an ideal of the games on the Dreamcast. Located in one the directories is an AVI video of SEGA Rally 2, but it is only about 5 seconds long with average quality, and not worth downloading this 6 MB file.
(Source: NoriPhd)
 
Thursday, October 8th, 1998
Grandia 2 for Dreamcast!!!
Well, I have died and gone to heaven! Grandia 2 is coming to the Dreamcast and it looks stunning! Head over to Dreamfusion and check out the two screenshots of this game released so far. Hopefully this game will be ready for the North American Dreamcast launch.
(Source: F5 Twister)

SEGA of America's Press Release
"Geist Force" is the name of that 3D shooter that SEGA of America showed at the last E3 show in Atlanta that wowed the crowd. Here is the press release on this impressive game:

SEGA OF AMERICA'S FIRST DREAMCAST TITLE Debuts At TOKYO GAME SHOW
--
Sega signs Babylon 5 special effects studio to create cinematics for game

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- (October 8, 1998) -  At the Tokyo Game Show in Japan today, Segaa Enterprises, Ltd. unveiled the first game developed by Sega of America's internal studio for Dreamcast, the ultimate gaming machine. The game, called "Geist Force" in Japan, will be available December 1998. Sega selected Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc. (NDEI), one of Hollywood's premiere digital visual effects companies, best known for their award-winning work on Babylon 5, to create cinematics for the game.

"Geist Force" is an enormous 3D flying shooter set on an alien planet in the distant future. The game features hundreds of miles of 3D mountains, deep canyons, erupting volcanoes and rushing rivers in which to fly and fight. Players soar through detailed, hi-resolution 3D graphics that look more like a sci-fi television show than a videogame.

The game also offers the first-ever full-3D special effects with true-to-life physics. When an explosion occurs, a player's ship and the objects in the immediate area will be jolted by the blast, as would occur in the real world. In "Geist Force," there is no rest for the weary. The expansive memory found in Dreamcast means no load times, creating non-stop action. And "how" you save the planet determines your reward. The game's skill-based reward system determines a player's fate even after he or she wins the game. 

Sega enlisted NDEI to create detailed 3D cinemagraphics and visual effects for the game. The visual effects featured in the title rival those found in Hollywood's most elaborate television productions. Each cinematic sequence seamlessly blends with gameplay to create a non-stop gaming experience. "Dreamcast can handle a more complex level of graphics than any other video game system we have seen in the past," explained Jason Netter, vice president, new business development, NDEI. "Knowing this, our team of animators was particularly enthusiastic about working with Sega because it allows them to move their work beyond the world of television and motion pictures to a whole new outlet all of them enjoy."

"The advanced 3D graphic and audio capabilities of Dreamcast allow our game developers to create games that psychologically, emotionally and physically involve the player, rather than just passively entertaining them," said Eric Hammond, vice president, product development, Sega of America.  "Working with Dreamcast, we can now create games like 'Geist Force' where people actually play and experience the stunning science fiction worlds they typically only see on television shows such as Babylon 5."

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $3.0 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at (http://www.sega.com).

Netter Digital Entertainment, Inc. is engaged in the acquisition, development and production of television series, made for television movies, documentaries, theatrical motion pictures and multimedia products.  Netter is internationally recognized for its award-winning visual effects for the critically acclaimed television series Babylon 5, produced in association with J. Michael Straczynski's Synthetic World, Ltd. under Babylonian Productions. The company recently announced the new series Crusade, with J. Michael Straczynski, which will air on Turner Network Television (TNT) in the fall.

Another SEGA of America Press Release
Sega Pioneers Multiplayer Online Gaming for Dreamcast Console
--
Sega Continues Securing Key Content and Technology Partners for North America Dreamcast Line-Up

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 8, 1998--Sega of America today announced it has teamed with Massachusetts-based Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. to create the world's first massive multiplayer Internet console game for Sega's Dreamcast(tm), the ultimate gaming machine. 

The companies are currently working on a revolutionary science fiction exploration game that will accommodate thousands of players at one time. In this title, a gamer will explore hundreds of square miles of terrain alongside other Dreamcast players. 

Under the agreement, Turbine is developing the game, using its proprietary tools and unparalleled server and networking technologies. Sega will publish and distribute the title and contribute to its creative design and content. 

Online gaming is booming. Industry experts from the Yankee Group, a prominent analyst firm focusing on Internet technology, anticipate online gaming will encompass more than nine million households by the year 2000. Sega will deliver online gaming experiences in a plug-and-play environment with Dreamcast. 

The customized gaming architecture in Dreamcast makes it the only console capable of handling massive multiplayer online gaming in high-resolution, 3D graphic environments. 

"Our goal is to exceed consumer expectations in console-based online gaming,'' said Eric Hammond, vice president of product development, Sega of America. "Sega is committed to providing Dreamcast gamers with the best in video game entertainment, and we are locking in key partners such as Turbine early in the process to make it happen.'' 

Sega and Turbine are designing the game to take full advantage of the console's 128-bit 3D graphics engine and its hyper-fast central processing unit. 

Unlike online PC games, this multiplayer console game will be the first of its kind to exploit the possibilities of plug-and-play ease-of-use, giving gamers the opportunity to turn on their Dreamcast and jump right into a massive world of non-stop adventure with gamers around the country. 

"Dreamcast's Internet access lets us bring the massive multiplayer experience to console games, changing the way they are played,'' said Dan Scherlis, CEO, Turbine Entertainment. 

"Turbine's rapid-development game engine and client/server technology are complemented by Dreamcast's advanced graphics. Sega brings remarkable vision and creativity to our relationship and together, we are making revolutionary advances in the arena of multiplayer online gaming.'' 

Turbine is focused on massive multiplayer game development, with designers and artists specializing in that unique medium. The Turbine game engine offers proprietary tool sets and technology, showcased by Dreamcast's ground-breaking abilities. 

The Turbine system provides a 3D graphics/physics engine that enables fast, real-time rendering; scalable, fault-tolerant server technology that lets thousands of players explore and interact simultaneously in a shared world; content delivery technologies that allow new game world content to be delivered as-needed; and proprietary technologies that help compensate for the communication latencies of today's Internet. 

Sega will release more details regarding this multiplayer game in the near future. 

Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. 

Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $3.0 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at (http://www.sega.com). 

Turbine Entertainment Software Corp. (www.turbinegames.com) is a privately-held game developer, based in Westwood, Mass. on Boston's Route 128. Turbine's first title, Asheron's Call, will be published in early 1999. 

Turbine's creative and technical staff are focused on creating massive multiplayer games. The Turbine Engine includes the client, server and network technologies for those games and the tool sets to rapidly implement them.

Wednesday, October 7th, 1998
Capcom Press Release
Capcom sets Dreamcast game version sales target
TOKYO, Oct 7 - Japanese software house Capcom Co Ltd said on Wednesday it aimed to sell one million units of a new version of its Biohazard computer game that will be compatible with Sega Enterprises Ltd's new console, Dreamcast. The company declined to give details of when it hoped to achieve the one million unit sales target but said most sales were likely to be made in the period shortly after the new version's launch.
Tuesday, October 6th, 1998
Dreamcast Press Releases
Here are a number of press releases that were released today:
Sega moves forward to produce Dreamcast machine
Japanese game maker Sega Enterprises Ltd said Tuesday that Namco Ltd would develop game software for its new home-use game machine Dreamcast, which is scheduled to hit the Japanese market on Nov. 27.

Seven Additional Video Game Publishers Pledge Support for Sega's Dreamcast
The list of third party video game publishers supporting SEGA's Dreamcast, the ultimate gaming machine, continues to grow.

Namco to develop software for Sega's Dreamcast
TOKYO, Oct 6 - Japanese computer game maker Sega Enterprises Ltd said on Tuesday software company Namco Ltd would develop games for its new home-use console Dreamcast. Sega President Shoichiro Irimajiri said his company, which has seen its current Sega Saturn games console eclipsed by rival Sony Corp's PlayStation, was hoping Namco would help attract a wider audience for the Dreamcast.

Code Name: Project Berkeley
That is the code name of the game that Yu Suzuki and AM2 is working on for the Dreamcast. This is the game that is rumored to be a Virtua Fighter RPG, but that is still unconfirmed.  Now here is some bad news: it will not be available till after April 1999. Be sure to check out this article at NGO, as this game sounds like the most amazing game of all time! Here is a quote from that article:
Secondly come game details, few as they may be. Berkely is obviously some form of hybrid adventure/role-playing experience, and Suzuki has confirmed that it will feature no less than five hundred characters which may be interacted with. His goal all along has been to create a massive game world (the largest ever conceived, by his account), and a realistic one to boot. There was talk of people-packed streets, frolicking animals, and even airplanes. In essence, a living, breathing game world. Not much to go on yet, but intriguing nonetheless.
This game has been in development for the past 3 years!
(Source: Yusaku)

Sega Enterprises Ties Up With WebTV To Sell Dreamcast Game

TOKYO (Nikkei)-Sega Enterprises Ltd. has formed a tie-up with WebTV Networks Inc. to promote sales of its 128-bit Dreamcast home video game as a set with an Internet TV browser, company sources said. The Japanese arcade equipment maker hopes to expand the scope of its operations to take in the Internet, while the California-based company sees the arrangement as a way to win over game players to its Internet TV services. 

The Dreamcast game, without the browser, will be released in November. Sega will begin next spring packaging a special WebTV CD-ROM along with the game set. Game players who subscribe to WebTV will be able to go online on their TV screen and compete with opponents over the Internet. 

WebTV's subscriber list has remained stuck below the 100,000 level. The company hopes the linkage with the Dreamcast game, with sales projected at 1 million copies by the end of the year alone, will help broaden its marketing base of potential users. 
(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Tuesday morning edition)

The above article comes from NIKKEI NET.

Resident Evil Exclusive To Dreamcast!
This is very big news! Incredible that Capcom has indicated at the second New Challenge Conference for the Dreamcast, that Biohazard (Japan) / Resident Evil (North American/Europe) Three will be exclusive to the Dreamcast! The name for the game in Japan will be Biohazard Code Veronica. Here is a quote from a Game-Online article about this:

Mr. Okamoto, creator of Resident Evil, said "Dreamcast is the machine which makes all creators dreams come true. We have chosen Dreamcast as the console for our soon to be launched Bio Hazard".
This game is one out of 45 games that was announced at this conference.
(Source: Yusaku)

Blue Stinger Movie!
Climax Graphics has released there QuickTime movie of Blue Stinger on the internet. It is 10 MB in size, and it shows a lot of the game. Quality of the video could be better, as it is grainy and low in color. You can download the video here from Climax Graphics Japanese website. The connection is very slow, so it will take a long time to download. The video shows that this game is going to be very impressive, with dynamic lighting effects; huge areas to explore, including jungle areas, where the main character has to walk, run, and even swim to explore his environment; awesome explosions from powerful weapons, like rocket launchers, machine gun, lasers, etc.; huge complex modeled enemies that animate with lots of life like movements; great sound effects from the explosions, and weapon firing, etc.; dynamic camera angles and movements! It must be cold in the game world, as you can see the main character's breath. I strongly recommend you download this video, as this game looks incredible! You can download the movie here also at Gaming-Age Online.
(Source: TOZTWO)

Game Release Schedule
Twelve games will be released for the Dreamcast in 1998, and all within a month of it's introduction into the Japanese market:
November 27th, 1998
Godzilla Generations, by Sega, type:action
Sega Rally 2, by Sega, type: racing
Virtua Fighter 3tb, by Sega, type: fighting
Pen Pen Triathalon, by General Entertainment, type: racing action
July, by Fortyfive, type: cinematic suspense

December 3rd, 1998
Blue Stinger, by Sega, type: action adventure

December 10th, 1998
Geist Force, by Sega, type: shooting

December 17th, 1998
Sonic Adventure, by Sega, type: action

December 23rd, 1998
Incoming, by Imagineer, type: shooting
Evolution, by Sega/ESP/Sting, type: RPG
Seventh Cross, by Nihon Denki, type: simulation RPG
Monaco Grand Prix, by UbiSoft, type: racing

You can check out what is coming in 1999 at this Gamespot News article, and also this Game-Online article. That Gamespot News article also has the first screenshots of Virtua Fighter 3 team battle, and SEGA Rally 2 running on the Dreamcast!
 
Monday, October 5th, 1998
More Climax Landers Screenshots!
SEGA's Japanese Dreamcast site has nine new screenshots of Climax's impressive Climax Landers. At the upcoming Tokyo Game Show '98 (Oct. 9th - Oct. 16th), Ken Naito of Climax will talk about his company's development efforts on the Dreamcast. He will be of course be showing Climax Landers at this event. He is what Thomas had to say (by email) about Climax's development team:

I looked at the staff at Climax. (at their website) The team consists of 18 guys and no women. The team's located in Tokyo. They basically have 7 SGI workstations, 9 Macs and 12 PCs. Hmmm.... So that's what it takes to put a game together...
(Source: Joe Musashi and Thomas)

Blue Stinger Video
On the front page of Climax Graphics website is the release date of the Quicktime video of Blue Stinger. The date is October 10th (Wednesday) at Midnight (Tokyo time). The location of the page is here (page is in Japanese). The location will be the 4th link on that page, and we will have to wait for the direct link to the video, as it is not listed yet.
(Source: Thomas)
 
Friday, October 2nd, 1998
Screenshots for Four New Titles
SEGA of Japan has released screenshots of four upcoming Dreamcast games at their Japanese Dreamcast site:

  • Evolution - turn-based RPG with auto-generated dungeons based in a mechanized society. Being developed by Sting, which is the development company that gave us Baroque on the Saturn. Our preview of this game in the game section.
  • Let's Make a Pro Baseball Team - wacky style Baseball where all the players are two feet tall with big heads. This game offers very serious simulation play, even though the graphics are strange.
  • Dreamcast Golf - wacky style golf game. A game that is sure to have very limited appeal among console gamers.
  • Let's Make a Pro Soccer Club - Very serious simulation play, with so-so graphics. 
Check this directory at SEGA of Japan's Dreamcast website that list all the games. On the SEGA Rally 2 page they show three screenshots, but I am sure they are from the arcade version.
(Source: Joe Musashi)

id is Not a Dreamcast Developer
SEGA X printed this the other day:

Today, we received word from an extremely reliable source close to Sega of America that ID Software have gone ahead in secrecy, and signed on as a Dreamcast developer. As well as that, a deal between Sega and the highly successful developers have supposedly taken place.  This deal includes 3 games for Dreamcast, which will all have online multiplayer features. 1 of which may indeed be Quake Arena! The last two games are being kept in complete secrecy. 
Here is id's response from Todd Hollenshead:
Not a single ounce of truth in it. We've has some discussion with Sega about what DreamCast will be, but I personally don't expect to see it in the U.S. until Christmas 1999. Also, it would be very unusual for us to take on console development completely internally. As you know, that's not what we do best. Making the most action-packed, fastest, most-playable, Internet-friendly games for the PC (with a touch of violence ;) is our bread-and-butter and we have no plans on moving away from that for the foreseeable future.
The above quote comes from Blues News.
 
Thursday, October 1st, 1998
New Climax Landers Screenshots
Climax has released twenty new screenshots of their RPG: Climax Landers! This game looks amazing! A full 3D world, with beautiful texturing. The lighting and transparency effects looks awesome! Check it out here at Climax's Japanese website. Seeing this game move at 60 fps will be quite a sight! Character information screens are located here. Story and world overview screens is located here. You can check out our preview of the game here in the game section.
(Source: Ni Dopal)

Sega To Market Game System With Internet Functions
More details on SEGA's Internet access with the Dreamcast from this article:

TOKYO (Nikkei)-Sega Enterprises Ltd. (7964) will feature a host of Internet functions in the Dreamcast 128-bit home video game system to be released in November in Japan, company sources said Wednesday. The system will likely be priced at around 30,000 yen. 

The machine has both an Internet browser and software to support e-mail. Users will be able to buy games by downloading them from Sega's Web site, with prepaid cards to be made available for customers who do not have credit cards. 

Competition against other players through the Internet will also be supported. 

Sega currently ranks third in the world market for home video game systems, but hopes Dreamcast will enable it to catch market leader Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., which sells the popular PlayStation machine. 
(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Thursday morning edition) 

Buy games from SEGA's website by downloading them? That must be an error. That has to be referring to additional levels, characters, etc., and not referring to a whole game.