According to Sega Europe Dreamcast pre-orders reached 100,000 after only 48 hours. This is just more evidence as to the anticipation towards the system. These pre-orders would be much higher by now and could see the system sell out within a few days of release. It will now come down to the quality of software, and most importantly Sega Rally 2.
Acclaim are set to pounce with their sports range of titles on the Dreamcast. A NFL Quarterback Club game will be ready within two months of the system's launch in the US. An All Star Baseball series will be out in the year 2000, an Ice Hockey game will be ready in 1999 and they plan on having a brand name wrestling title in 1999 as well. Hopefully Acclaim will set new standards for sporting games on Dreamcast, while we patiently wait for EA Sports to announce development on the system.
Railroad Tycoon 2 may be headed for the Dreamcast. Poptop, the developers of the game, have stated that it's likely the game will appear on at least one console at some stage. The following is what the CEO of PopTop, Phil Steinmeyer, had to say to Next Generation Online :
"I think there's a good chance the title will appear on one or more of the console platforms," Steinmeyer told NG. "PlayStation is nice because of its broad market base, and Dreamcast looks very nice because of it's outstanding hardware capabilities. Any console version would be released in six to twelve months."
Sega Rally 2 must have Sega a little worried. According to Next-Generation Online Sega have teams of programmers working in shifts on the game 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Apparently all of the music and tracks are already in place. For the next month the programmers will be working on the opponants AI, changing weather conditions, and improving the graphics, which were very disappointing at the recent Tokyo Game Show.Sega Rally 2 will include 10 tracks in total. 4 from the original game, 4 from Sega Rally 2 Arcade, and 2 Dreamcast only tracks.
Sega may not be able to have 1 million Dreamcast's ready for the launch in November. Apparently NEC are having trouble producing enough working PowerVR2 chips for the system. Sega should release more details on the quantity of units towards the end of the week.
Galleon the game from Confounding Factor hasn't even begun to be developed on the Dreamcast. Apparently Confounding Factor, who is made up of key Tomb Raider developers from Core, are still waiting for Step 5 development kits to arrive at their offices.
According to Next-Genertion Online there will be a video preview of Virtua Fighter RPG, also known as Project Berkley, on the Virtua Fighter 3 : TB CD. The video will apparently cover how the game is progressing and development shots.
A little more news on MDK2. The game will be appearing on Dreamcast before even the PC version is released.
MDK2 has been confirmed for the Dreamcast. The original game was one of the most impressive 3D games from Shiny. Expect the game towards the end of 1999.
A couple of days ago pre-orders were taken in Japan for the Dreamcast. After only 3 days many stores had already reached tehir quota of 600 units and were told by Sega to stop taking orders. At this stage it looks as if Sega will be having a very merry Christmas indeed.
Game prices have pretty much been set. The first releases this year and into next year will retail for 5,800 yen ($AU 72)
There is 2 reasons for my lack of updates over the last two weeks. Firstly, and the main reason is that there has been very little news of late. No major announcements have been made. The other reason is that I have been doing 50 hours a week work between my two jobs. Expect more news shortly.
Perhaps there is a reason why Sega Rally 2 wasn't as impressive as it should have been. According to many reports on the internet Sega are using Direct X for the game instead of writing directly to the CPU's. Sega may be having more trouble then they thought they would with the operating system. The question has to be asked why? The answer is probably Bill Gates' wallet.
According to reports from the Tokyo Game Show, which is being held this weekend, there was a version of Super GT running on Windows CE. This is an excellent racing game and adds more weight to rumours of a Dreamcast release.
Another piece of interesting news from the TGS is that Sega Rally 2 was only shown in non-playable form. Why is this? No one knows. Possibly the game isn't good enough yet, it's strange that with the launch a little over a month away the public still can't play the game.
Puyo Puyo has been confirmed for Dreamcast. Yes, it may very well be a puzzle game but the previous versions have been some of the most playable games ever. Very similar to Tetris in style it is just as addictive.
SNK announced at the Tokyo Game show that the Dreamcast will get a version of King Of The Fighters 98.
Exciting news for RPG fans is that Game Arts has confirmed that Grandia 2 is in the works for Dreamcast release, possibly in 1999.
Something interesting from the game release lists is that Sega have still not announced a conversion of Daytona USA 2. Why is this? Perhaps the conversion is going a little slower then expected, or perhaps they are witholding it until a little closer to the worldwide Dreamcast launch. Never fear, it will appear at some time.
Biohazard : Code Veronica is the name of the Dreamcast only version of Capcom's new Resident Evil game.
Sega have released a list of the periperals for Dreamcast with the release dates and the prices for them. They are as follows :
Sega have announced 3 more titles. They are Get Bass, fishing rod will be released at the same time, Japanese Pro Wrestling and Virtual On : Ontario Tangram . All three will be release after April 1999.
Incoming has been confirmed for release in Japan on the 23rd of December 1998. This is the game that Sega want to show off to prove how easy conversions are from PC to Dreamcast.
Contrary to earlier reports, the Sega Dreamcast will sell for 29,800 yen ($AU 365), not the previously reported 30,000 yen. This is still slightly higher then expected, but still extremely good value. I mean you can't even buy a decent PC graphics card for that.
Sega has confirmed that a modem WILL be included in the Japanese Dreamcast, although it will only be a 33.6kbps modem.
NAMCO will be developing for Dreamcast. Although no titles have been announced yet you would now have to assume that Tekken 4 is a very real possability. Hopefully they will also consider their shooting games which would complement Sega's House Of The Dead 2 and Lost World very well.
Sonic Adventure will be delayed. But it isn't too drastic. It's only until the 17th December 1998, three weeks after the systems launch.
News which came of light during the JAMMA 98 show recently is that not only is House of the Dead 2 being developed for the arcades on the Naomi arcade board but so is a spin off title, Blood Bullet. This game is cross between Resident Evil, House Of The Dead and Final Fight. Look for a Dreamcast conversion sometime in the future. Players are able to either shoot the zombies or punch and kick them.
Sega recently released a list of 38 more Dreamcast developers. They are :
ASCII, Atlus, Bandai (Gundam game), Bottom Up (Oozumou, Entertainment Golf), Compile, C Lab, Climax (Climax Landers), Climax Graphics (Blue Stinger), CRI (Aero Dancing, Great Buggy), Culture Brain (Hiryunoken), Daikoku Denki, Data East, ESP (Evolution), Fortyfive (July), General Entertainment (Pen Pen Tri-Icelon), Genki, Hudson (Elemental Gimmick Gear, Kitahe: White Illumination), Human, Imagineer, Japan Corporation (Nijiiro Tenshi), Kagatech / Naxat (Mahjong), Kadokawa Shoten, Koei, Konami, Media Ring, Media Works, NEC HE (Seventh Cross, Sengoku Turb), NEC Interchannel (Mercurius Pretty, Monster Breed), Nihon Bussan, Nihon Computer System / Masaya, Pulse Interactive, Quest, Riverhill Soft, Sieg, Shouei System, SNK, Starlight Mary, Sting, Taito, Takara, UBI Soft (Monaco GP, Speed Busters, Rayman 2, D-Jump), Victor Interactive Software, Video System (F1 World Grand Prix), Ving, Warashi, Warp (D2), Winky Soft, and finally Xing.
Warp's D2 has been delayed until next year, most likely the 2nd quarter.
A price for the Dreamcast has been set. The system will retail for 30,000 yen. Isn't this a little more then expected? Well yes. Part of this price increase has come about because the system will now have a CPU fan to keep it cooler.
Apparently there will be two slightly different versions of the Dreamcast launched on November 27th. A Japanese version of the Dreamcast will feature Japanese manuals, and a 100V power supply. The second machine for other Asian markets will have english manuals, and a 110V power supply.
Sega have chosen a video compression technology for the Dreamcast. The system will use TrueMotion from the Duck Corporation. Mr Hideki Sata, corporate senior vice president, Consumer Products Business Group, Sega, has gone on record as saying :
"Dreamcast's optimized architecture combines the very best features of console, PC and Internet gaming into one system that outperforms all other in-home gaming technologies. In designing Dreamcast's fundamental tool set, Sega turned to The Duck Corporation with its leadership in digital video to ensure that Dreamcast is equipped with the ultimate in high-performance video,".
According to reports out of Japan the Dreamcast will use a modified version of Internet Explorer 4.0 for the internet browser. It will be HTML and Java enabled and will allow users to attach JPG, GIF and BMP files to e-mails. Just how this will be achieved without any storage space is still unknown.
I must appologise about the lack of updates over the last week and a bit. I have been doing a lot of work at BIG W where we are getting ready for Christmas. Fortunately there hasn't been a lot of major news lately.