In a MAJOR shock the Dreamcast has been delayed in Europe. Originally schduled for release on September 23rd the system has been delayed by 3 weeks until October 14th. It is believed that the delay me be for customisation of the internet browser software, which was the reason for the delay in Australia as well. On a brighter note any problems with the production of large quantities of GD-ROMS should be resolved. Even so this is a major blow so close to the launch of the system.
Some details have leaked about the first game to be announced from Sonic Team. Apparently this game will include online play and will be completely original (which rules out the US version of Sonic Adventure)
Fox Interactive have announced two new games for the Dreamcast and they are not what everyone was expecting. The first game is Deadly Persuit which is based on a Fox TV show. The second game is Visiware's Planet of the Apes. Both games should be released in mid 2000.
UbiSoft have announced that they are adding VGA Box compatability to Evolution which they are releasing in the US late this year. Sting has also announced that the sequel will include this in Japan when it is released.
Ozisoft have put up a web site for the Dreamcast in New Zealand. The address is http://www.hotgamesnz.com/ although the site still lacks a lot of information.
Warp's D2 has suffered a slight delay again. Although a few weeks ago November 18th was set as a definite date comes the news that the game won't be out in Japan until December 23rd.
Infogrames Sheffield, formally known as Gremlin Interactive have announced that EPGA golf will hit the Dreamcast in Q'2 2000. The American release should follow 8 weeks after the PAL release.
According to Sega X, Sonic Adventure will feature both Japanese and English speech outside Japan. There is an option for subtitles in either English, Spanish, French, German, or Japanese.
Sega Europe have announced that their web site will go live on September 1st. Europian commercials for the Dreamcast will be available for download several weeks before they air on television. Information for the hardware and games will also be available. Dreamcast hardware sales have surged since the release of Namco's Soul Calibur. In the 2 weeks since the launch 78,108 unis were sold. This compares to the typical 25-35,000 units that are sold in a fortnight.
Sales of Soul Calibur have also dropped to just under 45,000 units putting it at number 7on the Japanese charts.
Several new release dates are emegring from Japan. Ecole's Death Crimson 2 is scheduled for release on November 25th in Japan. Capcom's Jojo's Adventure, a 2D fighter is due on November 11th while Capcom's Kikaioh is due for release this year as well.
The flood of previews for you all continues. After 8 titles previewed earlier this week there are another 3 for you. Today I have added previews for Rage's racer Midnight GT, Midway's basketball game NBA Showtime and Game Arts' epic RPG Grandia 2.
Fox Interactive are set to announce their full Dreamcast lineup at the ECTS show which begins on September 5th. My sources are pointing to at least 2 games being announced, namely Croc 2 and Alien Resurrection. It's possible there may be even more titles but we'll have to wait and see.
Gaming press in Japan are reporting that Sega are about to unveil a new RPG titled Eternal Arkadia. While nothing else is known at this stage the hot tip is that this is the official name for Project Ares which has been in development for some time now.
Sonic Adventure is going to included many Internet functions when it hits the US in a few days. SOA have finally release details about what this will be. Firstly several Chao's will be downloadable from the Internet for use in the VMU. Sega have also set up a special web site which the game can link directly into. This web site will aloow players to upload their best times and get a world ranking. Another function is downloadable files which will alter the graphics in sections of the game. For instance its possible to download a file that will cover Station Square (a section of the game) with Dreamcast and AT&T posters and stuff.
SOJ are believed to be re-releasing Sonic Adventure with the internet functions and enhancements from the American version. This will probably be one of the 4 projects for Sonic Teams month of announcements.
Capcom's Resident Evil:Code Veronica has been delayed in America from December to January.
There have been several more game announcements in America in recent days. Vivarium's strange Seaman : Forbidden Pet will be released in America in time for Christmas. Sega have announced they will be publishing Warp's D2 in America. Not surprising no release date was given for this title. Capcom have announced that Final Fight Revenge will be heading to the Dreamcast.
Metro3D have announced that their space shooter, Armada has been delayed in America. The title is now expected to ship in October instead of 9/9/99.
Dreamcast IGN have posted information about 2 new titles on show at the press conference in San Francisco. The first title shown was Virtua Striker 2000 which by all reports was identical to the Naomi arcade game. But the second title was the show stopper. Sega Sports are currently developing a tennis title for the Dreamcast. Titled Power Smash: Sega Professional Tennis the game is still some way from complete but still impressed.
Sega America also showed off Zombie Revenge at the gamers day in San Francisco. The game will included special additions to the arcade game but Sega are remaining tight lipped at the moment. The US release has been penciled in for early 2000.
UEP Systems' Cool Boarders ~ Burrn has been reviewed in Japan. Dreamcast magazine gave the game 24/30 (80%) while Weekly Famitsu gave it 30/40 (75%).
Hasbro Interactive have announced that they will publish two Dreamcast games this year. Centipede is being developed by Atari and will be release in mid November. Team 17's Worms Armageddon is the other title expected sometime this year.
Activision has confirmed that they are developing both Toy Story 2 and Space Invaders for Dreamcast. No word yet on release dates.
I have added a Rage's very impressive Expendable.
A quick reminder to everyone that hasn't voted in the poll on the front page to do so. The question will change in a couple of days.
It looks as if there might be some big announcements very soon. Members of the press are about to be shown the full Dreamcast lineup as well as some new titles at SOA's San Francisco headquarters. Sega are remaining tight lipped about the titles on show. Daytona 2 or Nights 2 anyone?
Capcom have announced their arcade title Giga Wing is being translated to the Dreamcast. The game should hit the shelves late this year in Japan.
General Entertainment's Super Producers has been delayed from early October to November in Japan.
Apparently Red Storm Entertainment are planning on showing off the sequel to Rainbow Six at the ECTS show next month. While Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear hasn't been confirmed as a Dreamcast title if the original sells well it would be almost certain.
Mindscape have announced that they have the publishing rights to Piggyback Interactive's highly anticipated Soul Fighter in America. The game is currently scheduled for a release in October.
In what can only be seen as another boost to the Dreamcast UEP Systems' Cool Boarders ~ Burrn will be released this week. The series has had much success on the Playstation and hopefully this title can convert more people to Sega's system.
According to several reports in recent weeks (including Queensland's Sunday Mail paper) the Dreamcast will use Telstra as the Internet provider. Looking at Australia as a whole country there was little choice really as and Australia-wide Internet provider is required and Telstra is one of only a couple of companies. Ozisoft should be making an announcement to the press in the coming weeks. (I'm planning to interview Steve O'Leary soon after this announcement.)
In the biggest news of recent weeks it appears as if there will be four new titles from Sonic Team. The games will be announced/revealed in Dreamcast Magazine and Famitsu Expert. The first title will be revealed on September 3rd with others to follow on September 10, 17 and 24. We already know that Nights 2 is in the works for Dreamcast but the other games are a mystery. Taking a wild guess I would say the other titles are Sonic Adventure 2, Burning Rangers 2 and either Daytona USA 2 or The Lost World from the arcade.
Many major retailers have stopped taking orders for the Dreamcast in America. It is believed that the pre-order numbers now total over 300,000. With demand likely to outstrip supply there may be quite a few people missing out on September 9th.
Warp's much delayed D2 may be delayed again. But this is not due to development problems. Apparently Kenji Eno has suffered an illness recently which forced him into the hospital for a while. Hopefully he can get well soon.
There have been many rumours about what will change in the English version of Namco's Soul Calibur. Well it's not as much as you think. The Japanese voices will remain with an option for subtitles in English. The internet options in the game have been removed but the art gallery will remain intact.
Many people have asked whether or not the Dreamcast is compatible with America On-Line (AOL). The answer is NO. AOL doesn't use PPP connections for the internet instead customers have to use their own software. Because of this software Sega can't setup connections to their services. The bad news is that AOL have no plans to support the Dreamcast at all.
I have added a preview to Acclaim's NFL Quarterback Club 2000.
Midway's Mortal Kombat Gold will include several VMU options. Apparently the game will have some secret characters which, once unlocked, can be saved in the VMU.
Crave, who are publising Tokyo Extreme Racer, in the USA have announced a tie-in with Import Tuner magazine.
A word of warning to those who buy Hyper magazine in Australia. Hyper is usually an excellent magazine but their current issue is rather disturbing. They have reviewed Climax Graphics' Blue Stinger but canned it for the changing camera angles, which will be fixed prior to release here. The impression that I get from the review, and from talking to Ozisoft, is that the game they have reviewed is a Japanese or English beta version of the game. Apparently, not even Ozisoft have seen the final vesion, and yet Hyper would have written the review 6-8 weeks ago.
Several new games have been confirmed for release on Dreamcast. Yu Suzuki has confirmed that AM2's Ferrari F355 Challenge will be ported from the arcades to the home. IGNDC are reporting that World Baseball 2000 is advertised in early versions of Visual Concepts' NFL 2000. Light gun enthusiasts will be enthralled with the news from SegaWeb that AM3's brilliant shooter Jurassic Park : The Lost World is also headed to the Dreamcast, with a release date of January set for Japan. And finally Sonic Team have confirmed that the Dreamcast will be seeing Nights 2. The game will premiere at the Tokyo Game Show in little over a month.
Rumours are growing that Midway have more then Ready 2 Rumble planned for the Dreamcast. It is now believed that a range of sports games will be released using the license. What's next? Ready 2 Rumble Wresting apparently.
Sales figures for the period August 2nd to 8th are in and it's great news for Sega. Although Namco's Soul Calibur had only been released for 4 days it took over the Number 1 position with 152,075 sales. This is already more then half of the units Namco wanted to sell during this year. Sega followed up with strong sales of Let's Make a Pro Baseball Team with 94,703 sales to give it the Number 3 position. Seaman: Forbidden Pet continued on it's merry way with another 31,386 sales (109,389 total) to hold the number 9 position. This is a great result for Sega and the Dreamcast.
It looks as if Capcom's Marvel Vs Capcom will miss the American launch. But only by a couple of days. Due to localization of the game it has been pushed back from 9/9/99 to 16/9/99.
For those that haven't yet discovered I have added a Top 10 list of classic Sega games that should be updated on the Dreamcast. This list can be viewed by clicking here. As always feel free to leave me comments at the usual address.
Capcom have announced that they are delaying the Dreamcast port of Star Gladiators 2 from this September until the end of the year to "tweak" the game more. Hopefully they will add in more features to match the greatness that is Soul Calibur.
Due to the success of Seaman: Forbidden Pet it looks as if the game may even make it to America, and possibly Europe. This would be a great boost to the Dreamcast's more obscure line up of games. And apparently a sequel may be in the works for release in 2001. During the original game a message pop's up saying "See You In 2001".
Bungie have hinted that they may port several games to the Dreamcast. Peter Tamte, in a recent interview with Next Generation stated that "The nature of the technology in Halo and Oni means that current systems (Playstation, N64) aren't really suitable. It would make more sense to port those games to next generation systems (Dreamcast, PSX2,Dolphin)"
Could it be that Bernie Stolar was ousted after the bit of fun at Sony's golf day? Rumours have begun that this incident could have been the last straw for SOJ.
If there is a bright note with Bernie leaving it is that Working Designs may begin working on the Dreamcast. Who are they you ask? Well, Working Designs port a lot of smaller Japanese titles, mainly RPG's, to the American market. Working Designs president, Victor Ireland, recently said the following in a Gamespot interview in regards to Bernie leaving: "Before we were passing on every Dreamcast product that was offered to us - and we had a lot offered. We simply had to tell people that since it was on Dreamcast we would not do it. Now, if we find something worth releasing here and it's on Dreamcast, we'll definitely consider it."
It is believed that Electronic Arts are also reviewing their Dreamcast stance. It was believed that EA were holding off from the Dreamcast for a better deal (more money). This may change now that Bernie has left.
Piggyback's 3D arcade beat 'em up has been delayed in America. Originally set to be a launch title on September 9th, the game is now scheduled for a release in mid October.
Sega recently had some fun at a golf tournament held by Sony for Sony execs, Sony's 3rd party developers and the press. Last Monday Sega decided to pull a few surprises at the tournament. While on the course the Sony execs found several Dreamcast branded golf balls which were placed there by Sega. Sonic was also seen running around the course and to top it all off Sega had a plane circle overhead with a banner saying "Sega Dreamcast 9.9.99". All in fun of course.
Sega have licensed technology from Digital Intelligence. Picture IQ will allow the Dreamcast to manipulate photographic images. How the technology will be used in the Dreamcast is unclear at this stage but I would love to see the Dreamcast map a photo of my own face onto characters in games. Perhaps.
Hardware manufacturer Nyko has announced they will be releasing a 6 button controller in the United States called the DC Commander and will retail for $US29.99. Now word yet on if the controller will make it to Australia.
In a major shock Bernie Stolar has left Sega of America. Below is the official press release from Sega of America about the matter:
Sega of America, Inc. announced this afternoon that Toshiro Kezuka has been named vice-chairman and chief operating officer of the company, effective immediately. Kezuka succeeds Bernard Stolar. Effective August 11, 1999, Bernard Stolar is no longer with Sega of America, Inc. It is Sega's policy not to comment on personnel decisions.
While no official reason has been given for Bernie leaving SOA it is believed that he was having several differences of opinion with SOJ, and that he was essentially "fired". This is very unsettling news with the launch of the Dreamcast less then a month away.
The man taking over the top job at SOA is Toshiro Kezuka. He has only been in America since April 1999 but has worked at management level in Japan since 1995. Prior to that he was president of Honda France.
Unsurprisingly, my attempts to e-mail Bernie Stolar have been unsuccessful.
Magic Box gaming are reporting that Legacy Of Kain : Soul Reaver is under consideration for the Dreamcast. This rumour is still unconfirmed, however it would be great to see this excellent title make it to Sega's system.
UbiSoft have announced that they will be porting 3DO's Might and Magic III to the Dreamcast. The game will include some online gameplay and is scheduled for release in early 2000 when the online games are fully setup.
Two Dreamcast games were in the top 10 for the period July 26th - August 1st. Seaman : Forbidden Pet was at number 5 with 77,492 sales while Konami's Air Force Delta snuck into the number 10 position with 26,984 sales.
Keep an eye on the site over the next couple of days for a special editorial for the Top 10 classic Sega games I would love to see upgraded for release on the Dreamcast.
In a strange move Sega Europe will not be showing off the Dreamcast at the ECTS show. It is believed that Sega will hold their own show several week earlier.
Acclaim have announced their full lineup of Dreamcast titles. Two titles due at, or very near, launch are NFL Quarterback Club 2000 and Trickstyle. Due in the months following the launch are Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000, Shadow Man and WWF Attitude.
Infogrames have been a big supporter of the Dreamcast so far and it looks set to continue. Development of Looney Tunes Space Race has shifted from Nintendo 64 to Dreamcast after the N64 version was canceled.
Housemarque's Supreme Snowboarding, to be published by Infogrames, has been renamed Boarder Zone. The game should be released in early 2000.
SOA have announced that anyone who uses the Sega ISP in America will receive the keyboard for free. This is a great incentive for people to use the AT&T connection. No word if this deal will extend to Europe and Australia but it would be great if it does.
Rumours are growing that Midway will port San Francisco Rush 2049 to the Dreamcast. Midway's web site has the game listed with systems TBA. Only the Dreamcast could faithfully reproduce the arcade game.
According to FGN a publishing deal for Bizarre Creations' Furballs has almost been reached. My guess is that the title will be published by Sega themselves.
In another strange development Metropolis : Street Racer is missing from release lists in Europe. It's possible the game may be delayed a while but there has been no confirmation of this yet. The games was going to be a launch title in Europe with an American release soon after.
For those that are interested I went up to the Brisbane show on Saturday. If you head up there, have a look at the Harvey Norman stand in the showbag pavillion. There are 2 Dreamcast's set up, one with VF3:TB and the other with Sega Rally 2.
Sega have released a Shen Mue demo disc in Japan. The disc is now included when people purchase a Dreamcast, but can also be obtained from many stores for free. The disc includes about 30 minutes of gameplay where your task is to find one person by taking to people. (There are about 50 in total to talk to). The disc also includes demonstrations of the different play modes and much more.
Sega have announced that their classic puzzle game, Columns is being updated for the Dreamcast. Super Columns will include 4 player mode as well as an internet mode.
Yet another delay for Atlus's Maken X. The game, which was originally scheduled for early this year, now has been pushed back from September to November 25th.
Dreamcast IGN are reporting that Slave Zero has been pushed back from the America launch schedule to a November release. Could this be to allow more time for setting up the internet? According to Infogrames the reason is to "fine tune the game".
Apparently in a joint venture between Sega and Namco the Dricas web site will have special downloads for the VMS. It's believed that the downloads will add extra features to Namco's Soul Calibur although this is still to be confirmed.
Sega have finally unveiled their internet partner in the United States. The Dreamcast will run through AT&T's Worldnet. The internet component will use Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the browser. The cost is believed to be around $US22 per month ($AU35) for unlimited hours, although specific details haven't been released yet. It will be possible for people to use their own ISP if they already have one.
I haven't been able to find confirmation of this yet but if several e-mails are to be believed then the Japanese Light Gun won't work with the US Dreamcast system. Even some of the peripherals are getting locked out now, whats next?
Confirmation today that Sega are fixing the shadows in Virtua Fighter 3:TB for it's release outside Japan. A VS mode was announced several months ago.
Apparently there will be some changes to the US version of Soul Calibur. Although the game has received perfect scores in Japan, there will be modifications for the United States, and which will almost certainly appear in PAL territories. This is what producer Yas Noguchi had to say about the changes:
"I will say that Soul Calibur DC for the US will be basically missing TWO things, and those changes will NOT affect the overall quality of the product. There will be some additional features, and I think you'll enjoy them. For example, the VS team managed to squeeze in a nice little US SC DC exclusive feature that didn't make it in the Japanese version (and this feature has nothing to do with translation). This feature won't set the world on fire, but it's a nice little touch that adds something extra to one of the modes in the game."
In the latest Next Generation magazine they had an interview with Sonic Team Producer Yuji Naka and asked what games he was creating and about rumours of team splitting into 3 groups. This is what he had to say:
"There are lots of rumors. Sometimes I go on the internet, and find so many rumors, I really have to laugh. Players want a sequel to Sonic Adventure, Burning Rangers, and Nights, so the rumor spreads on the net that the Sonic Team split into three groups. I don't want to break people's dreams, but I am making none of these games! Rumors are very interesting..."
Here's some great news for all us Queenslanders (I live in the sunny state too, although on the Gold Coast). Apparently the Harvey Norman bag at the Brisbane show (which runs from the 5th to the 14 August) will include several Dreamcast based goodies, including a cap. If you want to look very cool this summer make sure you pick up one of the show bags.
August 5th. This is the day that many people have been waiting for. Soul Calibur officially hits the streets in Japan and should sell in massive quantities. Many people believe that this game will boost the sales of the Dreamcast significantly in coming weeks. If it doesn't, Sega may be in trouble. Remember this is only the second game in magazine's Weekly Famitsu's history that a game has achieved a perfect score (Zelda 64 being the other).
Apparently a sequel to Rent A Hero has been announced for the Dreamcast. The original title appeared on the 16-bit MegaDrive several years ago and was fairly well received. No word on release dates yet.
New sales figures have been released for the period July 19-25th. Frame Gride was the highest in 24th position with 10,736 sales (55,802 total) while Shutokou Battle sold 8,950 units for a total of 125,758. Expect the Dreamcast to ride high in the charts next week with Air Force Delta, Seaman :Forbidden Pet (which is selling out everywhere) and Pata Pies. These will soon be followed by Soul Calibur where sales of 100,000+ in the first week would be expected. This number would be higher except for production limitations.
Apparently Acclaim have hinted at the possibility of South Park Rally hitting the Dreamcast at some stage. They have had so many e-mails asking them for a conversion that one is now on the cards although it wouldn't appear until some time after the N64/PSX/PC versions of the game. Great news for South Park fans.
Sega Of America have announced that they Dreamcast controller will be and enhanced version of the Japanese model. It's believed the new model is stronger then the Japanese one which can break easily. No word yet if the PAL version will also be enhance, but it better be for Sega's sake.
I have updated the Polls page with last months results.
If anyone was doubting the potential sales of the Dreamcast, doubt no more. According to Sega of America pre-orders for the system have surpassed 200,000 units. SOA were hoping for these numbers by September 9th (launch day), but it has been achieved 6 weeks early. Hopefully, Sega's sales estimates for the Dreamcast will also be achieved. They are hoping to sell 400,000 units in the first 30 days, 1 million by Christmas and 1.5 million by March 31st 2000.
Eidos has announced they will be publishing Capcom's titles in Europe ad Australia. The first titles expected under the deal is Power Stone.
Zombie Revenge is set to be released on the Dreamcast sometime in October. The game will be enhanced from the arcade game to incorporate VMS mini games as well as puru puru support. Hopefully the poor arcade controls will be fixed in the Dreamcast version.
A new piece of software is set to be released on October 21st in Japan. Dream Internet Betting Ticket 99 is a horse racing betting program with internet compatibility. It is unknown if people can actually bet on real races. Don't expect this to be released outside Japan.
Taito is set to release Densha de Go! 2 in Japan sometime late this year.
Soul Calibur may be one of the most important games of all time. So much excitement has been generated by the title that both Namco and Sega's stock rose sharply. Sega jumped 265 yen to 1875 (+16.5%) and Namco up 500 yen to 4190 (+13.6%).
Strangely Namco are hoping to sell a very modest 300,000 copies of Soul Calibur this year. A game with such high praise as it has received should sell many more units then this. Even Sonic Adventure has sold well over 400,000 units.
Apparently Seaman has been selling out everywhere in Japan. Although the title only received average reviews people have been snapping up the title as soon as it hits the shelves.
In what can only be seen as a boost to the Dreamcast's credentials the Playstation 2 has been confirmed to ship without a modem. Hopefully is Sega can have a dozen or so excellent online games this will be one feather in a cap that Sony can't match.
Sierra are considering porting their PC smash hit Half Life to the Dreamcast. Don't expect it any time soon though a final decision still has't been made.
Apparently Pen Pen Triathalon has been confirmed for a release in the United States, although the publisher has not been announced.
Tommo, a publisher in the States has announced they will release Evolution in America. But that's not all apparently they are also looking at publishing Taito's Psychic Force 2012 as well as NEC-HE's Sengoku Turb and Seventh Cross.
Rumours have once again surfaced about a Dreamcast version of Fox Interactive's Croc 2 on the Dreamcast. Little is known at this stage although the game has appeared on Sega's release lists in the past although Fox have denied the game.
LucasArts are almost certainly developing games on the Dreamcast as you read this. But the big rumour this week has been that a Star Wars based game may be released by the end of this year. This is still only rumours but a port of one of the existing games wouldn't be out of the question.
Just a quick note to everyone to vote in the brand new poll on the main page.