We may now have confirmation of a price in North America for the Dreamcast. Big Boys Toys has some information which may indicate the Dreamcast pricing for North America to be at most $US 199, and possibly lower, as cost to retailers may be as low as $US 155.
Sega of Japan have officially announced that there will be 500,000 Dreamcast systems in stores by the end of 1998 and a further 500,000 by March 1999. According to Sega Otaku there was 150,000 units released on the Dreamcast's launch day.
Sega have launched the Dricas web site for the Dreamcast. It can be found at www.dricas.com.
House Of The Dead 2 was launched in Japan last week. I have been fortunate to have been playing the game for the last month here on the Gold Coast. Apparently the machine was a test unit that Sega sent out over a month ago. I have to say that this game far exceeded my expectations. For those that don't know HOTD2 runs on the Dreamcast based Naomi arcade system. Unfortunately the test machine was removed when I went back a few days ago.
On a slightly sadder note there was not surprise 5th launch title for the Dreamcast. Previous speculation was that there was going to be a previously unseen 5th launch title however this was not to be. Perhaps they are delaying it for a week or two to fill in a large four week gap with no games.
On launch day Sega released details about their Dream Point Card Service. This card is similar to a debit card so the user can purchase Dreamcast products through the internet. The card can be purchased through Sega of Japan's web site, or by mail or phone.
Sega are running a promotion for the Dreamcast from the 27th November through to the 31st December. Anyone who purchases 3 games during this period will receive a free alarm clock with the Dreamcast logo on it. Not much, but still better then nothing.
Yu Suzuki's Project Berkeley has been officially renamed to Sheng Mu. The only other details are that the takes place in China, and the name of the "mysterious girl" is "Rei Sheng Fa". The official unveiling conference for Yu Suzuki's masterpiece will be held on December 20th in Japan.
Work on Virtua Fighter 4 should be resuming soon as the Sheng Mu development team gets more time as Shen Mu's development cycle comes to an end. Apparently VF4 will not use Model 3 : Step 2 nor Naomi architecture, but something more powerful. Model 4 anyone?
From Software, the creator of King's Field and Armored Core, is working on a new Dreamcast mech. battle game called Frame Gride. Frame Gride is scheduled to be released in Japan in March 1999.
According to the excellent Magic Box web site Warp will release Real Sound ~ Regret of Wind for Dreamcast on February 12 in Japan. Better still a playable demo of D2 will be included with the game.
Last Bronx 2 may be headed to Dreamcast, well eventually. At the moment the game is being programmed on the Naomi arcade system by AM3.
Oh yes people it's here. The day has finally arrived for our beloved Dreamcast to hit the shelves. As you read this thousands of Japanese gamers are rushing home to play the greatest gaming console ever. Most of them would have bought the phenomenal Virtua Fighter 3 : Team Battle.
It is now believed that Konami have 2 titles in development for Dreamcast, one of them being a port of one of their arcade games. In the past rumours have surfaced of a Metal Gear Solid game.
Atlus are developing a 3D real time action game called Evil Sword X. The game should be released in 1999. No other details are known at this early stage.
Micronet have announced that they are developing for the Dreamcast. Their first title is a fighting game called Motionette Handler.
Rumours doing the rounds at the moment are that Warp will include a demo of D2 on their Real Sound 2 CD. This would give RS2 a release date of Q'1 1999, unless D2 is to be delayed yet again.
Gremlin are currently developing Whiplash 2 for the Dreamcast. There are no details release about the game yet other then Interplay will publish the game in the US.
I have removed the SegaCon banner from the bottom of the main page. There is 2 reasons for this. Firstly, and primarily SegaCon has once again been delayed. It was meant to happen in August 1998, then 5 & 6th December, now it's 1999, making many people think that it was one big con. The second reason is that downloading the banner slowed down the site for those with slower speed connections.
Only 3 days to go now. Hopefully Sega can find enough units to fill all the advanced orders for the system and still have some remaining for the general public.
According to Gamecenter there will be no fan inside the Dreamcast to help keep it cool. Now however, according to NEC Product Manager Charles Bellfield, the Dreamcast production units will use a liquid cooling system. To me this seems a little strange. The Dreamcast would be a bit quieter but liquid cooling would surely push up the manufacturing costs. Only time will tell.
Sega seems to be very serious about the network abilities of the Dreamcast. Some web sites are reporting that they will be releasing a ethernet card for the system to be linked up to LAN's as found in mist schools and universities.
I have done a few more game previews for you all to drool over. The three previews are of Aero Dancing, Buggy Heat and Tetris 4D. All of these previews include screenshots and information about the games.
The Incoming preview now has pictures from the Japanese game instead of the PC version.
Incoming has been moved up in it's release. The game will now be released on the 17th December, almost one week earlier then previously expected. Even so there is still a 4 week gap between the 4, or 5, launch titles and the next release in late December, Incoming.
Monaco Grand Prix now has a release date from Sega of February 1999. At this stage the game is looking very impressive.
Take-Two Interactive Software have announced that they are planning to develop games for the Sega Dreamcast. Who are they? Well Take-Two Interactive are the developers of Grand Theft Auto, one of the most controversial games of recent times. GTA2 is in the works for PSX and PC but is unlikely to be ported to Dreamcast at this stage.
Want the first ever Dreamcast game reviews. Dimension S has put up reviews for the Dreamcast launch titles from the pages of three Japanese magazines. The magazines are Dreamcast Magazine, Dreamcast Fan and Weekly FamiTsu. Unfortunately for potential Dreamcast owners the only game that got respectable scores was Virtua Fighter 3 : Team Battle.
|Virtua Fighter 3 : Team Battle
DC Mag : 10 10 10 (10)
DC Fan : 9 9 8        (8.7)
FamiTsu : 9 9 9 9    (9)
DC Mag : 6 6 5     (5.7)
DC Fan : 6 6 6      (6)
FamiTsu : 7 7 6 5  (6.25)
DC Mag : 8 8 8     (8)
DC Fan : 8 9 8      (8.3)
FamiTsu : 7 4 5 4  (5)
|Pen Pen Triicelon|
DC Mag : 8 8 8     (8)
DC Fan : 8 6 7      (7)
FamiTsu : 7 6 6 6  (6.3)
NEC Interchannel have announced that they are developing Sentimental Graffiti 2 for the Dreamcast. This is the sequel to a dating simulation game which sold fairly well in Japan on the Saturn. Don't expect a release outside Japan though.
Anyone hoping to see Super GT as the surprise launch title have been dealt a blow. Sega have delayed the release of the Steering Wheel to co-incide with the release of Sega Rally 2 in 1999. This move almost certainly rules out the chance of a racing game as the surprise launch title.
Sega's profits have slumped. With the demise of the Saturn outside Japan and slowing sales there in anticipation of the Dreamcast Sega's profits fell to a mere $US10.1 million a drop of around 75.9%.
Sega have released pricing schedules for the Internet in Japan. The Internet will cost about 6 cents Australian per minute after the initial 1 months free use in Japan. Expect the prices to be cheeper outside Japan and also for the Dreamcast to be able to dial in to your own Internet Service Provider.
Search around the web if you can for a 10 meg movie which shows a lot of the Dreamcast launch titles. Although semi-low resolution this 8 minute video is absolutely brilliant.
Sorry about the lack of updates over the last week. I went on a small vacation to New South Wales and had no access to a computer.
According to a Japanese Magazine there may be a 5th launch title for the Dreamcast. Apparently the game hasn't even been announced or sighted yet. Rest assured that we will soon know what the game is, and you'll hear about it right here.
Armored Core 2 is headed for Dreamcast sometime in the future. At the moment the game is in it's planning stages.
Dreamcast demo units should in stores as you read this. These are sure to create more hype for the system as the general public in Japan begins to see what the machine can really do.
The Dreamcast is now on sale. Well in Hong Kong anyway. Some retailers are selling the demo units that Sega have given them. The price? Around $US 1200. Seems a bit pointless buying one though. There won't be any games available until the official launch on November 27th.
According to a report from Sega they will only need to sell 3 million Dreamcast units to break even. The reason for this is that most of the components for the system are designed by other companies which reduces the system design costs for Sega.
Unfortunately, one of the most promising PC racing games in recent years, Dethkarz from Beam, will not be making it to the Dreamcast. A Dreamcast conversion was under very serious consideration just a few months ago. Below is what Beam had to say about the conversion.
At this stage I think we've shelved plans for porting Dethkarz to Dreamcast. Thanks I'll let you know otherwise.
The VMS (Visual Memory System) will be renamed to the VMU (Visual Memeory Unit) outside Japan. The reason for the name change is unclear at this stage.
I've had a few people ask me why Climax Landers has been replaced by Get Bass on the quick links on the main page. The reason is simple. The 3 games on the main page are the most exciting games for the Dreamcast at the moment. For me the potential of Get Bass with a fishing rod for the Dreamcast is too much to ignore. Climax Landers may return at a later date, when it's launch is closer.
With the delay of Sega Rally 2, Sega will be pinning their launch hopes on a perfect conversion of Virtua Fighter 3 : Team Battle. Below are two of several new screenshots of the game which show that it is extremely close to the arcade version. Go to the Virtua Fighter 3 : Team Battle page for more shots.
Speaking of Sega Rally 2 a couple of screenshots have been released and can be found on the Sega Rally 2 page.
More Sonic Adventure pictures have been released by Sega of Japan and they are the best indication yet of how much effort is going into the game. The two new screenshots below are from the office levels in the game. More can be found on the Sonic Adventure page.
Project Berkeley will be officially unveiled on December 20th in Japan. It's possible that the event will be similar to the launch of Sonic Adventure a few months ago. Project Berkeley is a game that Yu Suzuki has had in development for about 3 years not and according to him is more advanced then any RPG. In fact it is now being described as a FREE game, that is "Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment". What does this mean? I'm also waiting for December 20th.
Australian developers Perception is considering developing their arcade power boat racing title Thunderboats to the Dreamcast. The game uses Intel's Open Arcade Architecture with the arcade unit consisting of a 350Mhz CPU and 96Mbytes of RAM. Thunderboats contains 3 tracks in the arcade version Jungle Fever (Easy), Daydream Park (Medium), and Flooded City (Hardest). It's possible, but not confirmed that a Dreamcast version could include more tracks.
Panther Software has announced two titles for Dreamcast. Space Griffon is an update of Space Griffon VF-9 for Saturn, and Little Dream is a 3D action-adventure. No other details have been announced.
Recently Capcom's General Manager, Noritaka Funamitzu, spoke to CVG about their plans for Dreamcast, and how arcade games won't be reduced in quality to be seen on old systems. This is what he said :
"We won't let the quality of games suffer. For example, Star Gladiator 2 won't be ported to the Playstation... it'll only be available on the Dreamcast."
Seventh Cross seems to be transforming for the better. Recently new screenshots have been appearing on the internet and they look much better then the earlier ones that were released a few months ago. Clearly NEC are spending a lot more money on the title to ensure that it looks like a next-generation game, not just another 32-bit game. Hopefully I can get the new screenshots up soon.
A little more is being revealed about Sonic Adventure on a regular basis now. Apparently the little blue guy will be able to walk into shops and talk to people (characters) in there.
Apparently Sega are preparing the Game Gear 2 for release sometime in the future. It's quite possible that, like the Neo Geo Pocket, the system will be linkable with the Dreamcast. The system will almost certainly have a colour screen in it. No details have been officially announced yet.
Ahhh people, we have a problem. Well, so it would seem anyway. Sega have officially announced delays to 5 key games for the Dreamcast. Most importantly Sega Rally 2 has been delayed until 14th January 1999. Apparently this is to let the programmers have a bit more time to test the online aspects of the game. Blue Stinger has also been delayed until this same date. Monaco Grand Prix and Geist Force have also been delayed until a rather unspecific January/February 1999. Finally, Sonic Adventure has been delayed again, but only by a few days. This delay is from December 17th 1998 to December 23rd 1998.
Ahhh people, we have another problem. According to some web sites the demo Dreamcast units that Sega sent out to electronic stores in Japan this week were defective. Apparently nothing happened when the console was switched on. Sega soon recalled all the units which apparently have a (unspecified) defective chip inside. With only 3 weeks until the systems launch this could see even fewer units then the already revised 200,000 to 400,000 launch units.
Sega of Japan recently set up a page on the internet to test the Dreamcast's web browser. The page indicates that the browser will be capable of Dynamic HTML, Java Scripts, viewing GIF and JPG files as well as AVI movies. Unfortunately due to the limitation of TV it's only in 640 x 480 resolution. The page can be found at :
It looks as if April 1999 could be a busy month for Dreamcast gamers. Some of the titles due for release are Biohazard: Code Veronica, D2, Elemental Gimmick Gear, F1, Pata Pies and Psychic Force 2012.
The Sega Otaku web site is reporting 2 new Dreamcast games in development and due for release in 1999. This is an excerpt from their site about the games :
The first title, Cavalryman (Tentative Name), is described as a realtime action shooting game. The second title, Little Dream of Blue Steel, is described as a 3D action/adventure game.
Rumours on the web at the moment are that because of the delays to many games Incoming may be pushed forward to become a launch title in Japan.
According to Sega Otaku Tetris 4D is due for release on December 23rd 1998. I was unaware that this title was due so soon after the Dreamcast's launch.
Sega are getting smart with their Naomi arcade boards. Apparently they will not charge any liscencing fee for third party development on Naomi. However, instead of the fees Sega are insisting that any third party game that appears on Naomi will also appear on the Dreamcast, before any other console.
More Sega Rally 2 news here. According to Sega X there will be 13 cars in the game. All the cars from the 2 arcade games will be there as well as a few special ones.
On a site related note I would just like to thank all my regualr readers. Over the last month my main page had just over 1,000 hits. The number of visitors is doubling almost monthly and hopefully by the Dreamcast's launch the counter will be over 3,000. I also urge everyone to fill out the Survey To help me improve this site.
Jaleco has a new game in development for Dreamcast, Carrier. This game is said to be similar to Capcom's Resident Evil but is set on board a futuristic aircraft carrier. Expect more details and screenshots soon.
According to IGN Square have recieved 5 Dreamcast development kits. However according to other sites Square have recieved the final Step 5 development kits. Either way this news points to the possability that Square are now eith developing or seriously considering development on Dreamcast. Final Fantasy 9 perhaps?
Sorry about the lack of updates lately. I had to upgrade my computer a little bit. Firstly, my keyboard died and required replacing which meant that there was no work done on the site over the weekend and I also bought a Creative Labs 16MB Banshee video card. No complaints from me about that one.