Details have finally been reveiled about the Dreamcast version of Mortal Kombat. The game, which now goes by the name Mortal Kombat Gold, will be a launch title in the United States. The characters will now be made up of around 3,000 polygons per character and the game will run at a constant 60 frames per second. This will be a vast improvement over the PC version, and even better then the arcade. The Dreamcast version will include new backgrounds and high resolution endings. Rumours are also pointing to returns for old characters incluginf Jung Lao.
Sega X are reporting that Power Stone 2 is in early development and should be released in Japan this winter (end of 1999/early 2000).
Iomega, not a name usually associated with consoles has announced that they will be designing a Zip drive (100MB capacity) for use with the Sega Dreamcast. No release dates or prices have been confirmed due to the device still in planning stages.
Genki's Highway Battle has been delayed from May 27 to June 24th 1999. No reason has been given for the delay.
Dreamcast games are fairly thin in the Japanese gaming charts however HOTD2 managed 14th position with 24,284 sales (150,479 in total) and Get Bass managed 20th spot with 11,297 units sold bringing that total to 49,097 units.
Prayers must go out to the families of the victims of the school in America where two boys killed over 20 student and teachers and injured just as many again at a high school. Hopefully, rather like after Port Atrthur in Australia, Americans will look at their gun laws and tighten them up.
Sorry there havn't been many updates lately. I have been flooded with work and I am heading off to Melbourne for 10 days, so no updates next week. Hopefully I'll update the site late this week as well.
The big news of the last couple of days has been the official announcement of prices and release dates. Below are the summaries for the two key territories, America and Europe.
The Unites States will see the Dreamcast launched on the 9th September 1999 at a RRP of $US199. This equates to roughly $AU330. The Dreamcast will be the first console in history to launch at under $US200. Launch titles include Sonic Adventure, Virtua Fighter 3 TB, Super Speed Racing, NFL 2000, NBA 2000, Sega Rally 2, and House of the Dead 2 as the first party titles, and Power Stone (Capcom), Ready To Rumble (Midway), Castlevania (Konami), and Soul Calibur (Namco) as the third party games. 30 titles are promised by the end of 1999. Many network capabilities were left out of Bernie Stolar's conference but he did say that many games are being redesigned for the American market. For instance, 12 members from Sonic Team are fixing up and enhancing Sonic Adventure for the US launch.
Not to be outdone Sega Europe also held a press conference today to announce the launch details for the Dreamcast in Europe. The launch will occur 2 weeks after the American launch, on September 23rd. The RRP will be a surprisingly high £199 ($AU520). Although most reveiled was similar to that of the American launch there were a few differnces. The biggest surprise is that Sega Rally 2 and House Of The Dead 2 won't be launch titles in Europe.
Where does this leave Australia? Unfortunately, Sega-Ozisoft were unavailable late Friday afternoon for a comment. We can expect the Australia launch to be very similar to the Europe, with both being PAL territories. The release date will probably be the 23rd of September, with a launch price of $499. Expect this to be confirmed soon.
Bernie Stolar has confirmed that 1 million Dreamcast's have been sold in Japan up until the end of March 1999. Does this ensure Enix will develop games on the system. I hope so.
Europian trade publication CTW has reported that EA will be constructing a major multi-million dollar development studio in Australia. Apparently it will have the capacity to develop up to thirty titles at a time. What does this have to do with the Dreamcast? Well not too much other then if EA decide to develop for the system there is a greater chance of a Cricket of AFL game then ever before. Also if they base it on the Gold Coast, where their operations are based now, I might be able to get a job there. Woo Hoo!
Could Sega have let the most anticipated announcement out early. Sega recently put a web page on the internet with links to companies who are linked to Sega or developing on their systems. This list included none othere then Square of Japan. This would be excellent news if it turns out to be true.
Magic Box have obtained a picture of Sega's newest fighter Waffupu. Although the picture is of average quality it gives a rough idea of how the game will look. Apparently the game will use a new method of determining the winner. Points are obtained by knocking your opponent to the ground an the first to five wins. It's likely that the game uses the Naomi arcade system and will be ported to the Dreamcast at some stage.
A lot has been said of late about the pricepoint for the Dreamcast in Australia. Sega Ozisoft had this to say about the Hyperactive article which announced the $499 pricepoint.
Just a small note on Dreamcast launch details in Australia. I was at my local Electronics Boutique at Pacific Fair (Gold Coast, QLD) today and the salesperson there said that the system will launch in October for $499. Even more concerning was the news that there will only be 20,000 Dreamcast's available in Australia during 1999. I would treat this with some scepticism. Nevertheless it's news.
Sega have announced some more release dates in Japan. Dynamite Deka 2 - May 27th, KOF 99: Dream Match - June 10th, Giant Gram - June 17th, Boy Kainpan - June 24th, Seaman - June 24th, Frame Gride - July. As well as these, the highly anticipated Soul Calibur has been given a release date of July.
The Neo Geo Pocket to Dreamcast connection cable will be release on June 10th and will retail for 2,800 yen ($AU35). This is to co-incide with the release of KOF 99:Dream Match.
It looks as if a limited edition black dreamcast will be on sale in Japan very soon. But there are only going to be 500 of them and will retail for 39,800 yen. This is 10,000 yen more then the standard system. 300 units have already been booked with the other 200 units to go on sale at the 'Suzuki Eight Hours' motorcycle event later this month.
Genki, who developed Virtua Fighter 3: TB are working on Highway Battle and will be using rock group Ziggy for the opening song.
Virtual On 2 seems to have been very quiet lately after it was "almost" announced several onths ago but there might be a reason. Apparently Sega are toying with the possablities of expanding the game to include a 4 player mode over the internet. A release is expected in late 1999.
Well as expected Dreamcast game sales for the last week of March are very Dreamcast orientated. The week of March 21-28 saw House Of THe Dead 2 at number 2 with with three day sales of 111,544. Blue Stinger was at number 10 with sales of 53,098 units while Marvel Vs Capcom was at number 11 with 48,729 sales. Only Super Speed Racing failed to make any real impressions in the chart.
Rumours from Japan are that Sega are working on a dancing game on the Naomi arcade system. A Dreamcast conversion would seem likely.
Capcom have announced that they will be porting their Playstaion card battle game Gaia Master to Dreamcast. Apparently the graphics will be enhanced for the Dreamcast version.
Sega have stated that each chapter in Shen Mue will be loaded with content, Shen Mue Chapter 1: Yokosuka will have at least 20 hours of gameplay, and it will take about 50 hours if you go though everything in the chapter completely.
Psikyo is working on a new Naomi arcade shooting game called Pocket Shooting.
Yu Suzuki, who is working on Ferari F355 for the arcades, has announced that the game will have an additional (fourth) Naomi board to handle the game's sound.
As well as Ferarri F355 and Shen Mue Sega's AM2 team are working on a new action game Charge N' Blast for the Naomi arcade system. Apparently the gae is nearing early testing stages with a release late this year likely.
Toyota has begun their Dreamcast promotions in Japan. Dreamcast's units are being used to promote a new mini-van in dealerships across the country.
Rumours from Japan are hinting that ASCII are planning to release a new controller on the 22nd April. The Mission Stick (presumaly that's the controller) will cost 7,800 yen ($AU100) and will be compatable with the upcoming Geist Force and Konami's Flight Shooter. Is an early release for one of these titles also planned?
Sega have once again increased the time for the free internet trials on the Dreamcast. The trial will now finish on April 10th, 1999.
NEC-HE will be unveiling their new game Espion - Age - Nts on April 9th in Japan.
Bizarre Creations have held a press conference in Liverpool, England, to show off Metropolis Street Racer. So far the game is looking very impressive with the best visuals yet seen in a racing game,
Only 2 Dreamcast games in the Top 30 for the week March 15-21. To the North: White Illumination sold 23,833 units to land at number 12 and Yukawa's Treasure game sold 14,034 to hit number 24.
Interplay have confirmed that MDK 2 will be a launch title in the United States. The game will be shown at this year's E3 show from May 13-15th 1999 in Los Angeles. BioWare Corp have been developing the game for over a year already and use the "Omen" engine, a true multi-platform game engine developed internally by the team at BioWare.
A couple of delays for Dreamcast software Shotokou Battle and KOF 99: Dream Match have both been delayed by a week until June 3rd.
CRI are apparently considering a sequel to their moderately successful Aero Dancing. More info as it comes to hand.
More to follow up on the $499 pricepoint for the Dreamcast. Many people have asked where this price has come from well it's not totally unsubstantiated. The hyper@ctive web site have reported the price and being one of Australia's leading games media outlets they are usually correct. Go to the Linkz page to goto their site.
It looks as if the Australian Dreamcast price is now set and unfortunately is is very high. Sega-Ozisoft are aiming for a release price of $499. This equates to approx $US300 which is 50% higher then their release price of $US199. Sega-Ozisoft have stated that at this stage they can neither confirm nor deny the pricepoint.
Another month has arrived and the launch of the Dreamcast is getting nearer all the time. There is a new poll on the main page asking how much you would pay for the Dreamcast upon release in Australia.
Last week's Tokyo Game Show came and more shots of the highly anticipated Resident Evil : Code Veronica were released. However I somehow forgot about them for a while. Anyway here are 2 new shots of Capcom's potential masterpiece.
At last Bizarre Creations in the UK have released some pictures of their top secret game Metropolis. More information and screens can be found here.