A couple of days ago a received and e-mail from an employee at EA Canada who wishes to remain anonymous. Anyway this person posted a response to a couple of lines in my FAQ about Electronic Arts developing on the Dreamcast. Unfortunately it's not good news :
FAQ : Electronic Arts are rumoured (October 1999) to be considering Dreamcast development very strongly and want to see how the Dreamcast fares prior to Christmas. Several people have stated that they already have titles in development at the EA Canada studio. Remember it took EA 6 months to release games on the Playstation after launch as well.
Response : I'd just like to say, I am currently at EA Canada, and there are no Dreamcast titles in development, and EA have no plans at all to support Dreamcast. They are focusing on another console :).. The reason is they don't think the Dreamcast will succeed or interest them financially. 'very strongly' should be reworded to 'not at all'.
Another piece of news which I manages to forget in recent weeks is that Shiney have decided to port Messiah, their upcoming action/shooter to the Dreamcast. It is expected a couple of months after the PC version.
I just wanted to quickly wish everyone a great New Years Eve. It's doubtful that I'll be updating tomorrow due to festivities (parties) so I hope everyone has a great time. It's been a great year running Dreamcast Australia and hopefully I can improve it further for you in the future. In fact I know I will improve it further.
I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got lots of Dreamcast pressies from Santa. It's been a good year for Sega in America and Europe and one that they probably were hoping was a little better in Japan and Australia. Anyway with Shen Mue and D2 now out in Japan hopefully this epic game will increase sales considerably in Japan.
Apparently Sega's president Irimajiri-san was shown a working prototype of Microsoft's mysterious "X-Box". This is apparently a new console based on an Intel chipset with unknown graphics card. Just why Sega was shown this technology isn't known although it's not inconcievable that they will develop on the system.
Jaleco have set a date of February 24th (my Birthday) for the release of Carrier in Japan. The game has been confirmed for release in America and a PAL release is also almost certain.
According to CTW Sega has signed Mad Katz to provide peripherals in Europe. All peripherals will have the Sega approval seal on them and should be available early nexy year. The best news is that they are reportedly set to release a PC keyboard converter which should be much cheaper then purchasing a full Sega keyboard.
Don't forget that the poll on the main page finishes in a couple of days. Make sure you vote immediatly if you haven't already.
Rumours are once again surfacing about a conversion of Daytona USA 2. According to GameFan they have it on "outstanding authority" that the game will be available soon. My guess is that Sega may release it in March to disrupt the launch of the Playstation 2. Then again I could be wrong. No word yet on internet play.
According to sources in Asia Dreamcast games can be copied and aren't too far away from hitting the shelves. The reason games aren't on the shelves now is a lack of demand. Before you ask, I don't know and don't want to know anything about these illegal activities. I only report the news.
It looks as if Ion Storm's latest game Anachronox may be headed to Dreamcast. The game which is an RPG and not due on PC until late 2000 will be a great boost to the Dreamcast's RPG lineup.
Rumours are growing from Japan that R&D7 are making changes to their epic RPC, Eternal Arcadia. Apparently they are considering altering the design of some of the characters. This is very unsubstantiated rumours and hopfully won't set the game back much.
Shen Mue : Yokosuka is reported to have cost SOJ up to 7,000,000,000 yen to develop (other people are saying 3,000,000,000 yen). Either way that equates to a whopping $AU 10,700,000. A huge figure for any game. Unfortunately it may not be the killer app that Sega need. Famitsu have rated the game giving it a disappointing 33/40.
Capcom have announced that Marvel VS Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes will run on the Naomi arcade board and will be release in Q'2 2000. Expect a release on the Dreamcast by the end of 2000.
For those of you who are wondering Marvel Vs Capcom is still coming to Australia with a release date now set for January 10th, 2000. No reason has been given for the delay although thankfully a 60Hz mode is now assured.
At last, the VMU's are in stores for purchase. The quantity is limited to 10,000 Australia wide so some shortages are expected until the next shipment in a month or so. The VMU's are retailing for $49.95 and are available at most retailers that stock the Dreamcast.
More details are surfacing almost on a daily basis now for Capcom's highly anticipated Resident Evil : Code Veronica. The game, which will be available on February 3rd in Japan, will include 2 new characters including Steve Burnside, who has a special double gun attack, and Alfred Ashford, who is a specialist sniper. The game will apparently be much longer then Playstation versions and a 1 hour demo will be included on Bio Hazard 2 Value Plus which is due on Japanese shelves tomorrow.
Sega of Japan have posted a patch on their website to alter the Station Square in Sonic Adventure. If you (people in Japan anyway) download the patch the Square will be decorated in a Christmas theme. The patch will only be available until Christmas Day.
Virtua Striker 2000.1 is scheduled for release in America late next year. The game should be available in Australia around February/March 2000.
Well here's one we weren't expecting. Apparently Michael Jackson's voice is used in Sega's upcoming dance game Space Channel 5. While it's unlikely you'll be able to grab your own crotch it's still one of most wanted games in Japan.
I have to quickly apologise once again for the lack of updates this week. I've been in a bit of pain since 1/2 my tooth fell out last weekend and then had to suffer the visit to the dentist. All is well now.
Could it be that VMU's are about to be delayed in Australia again. Although Ozisoft told me a couple of days ago that they would be available this Monday a visit to EB's today told another story. According to the sales assistant in the store the VMU's aren't expect now until the 24th December, Christmas Eve, assuming all goes well. Fingers crossed.
Konami and Universal Interactive Studios have announced a multi-title agreement. Konami will market, manufacture and distribute games made by UIS. While it's unlikely (read : impossible) that we will ever see Crash Bandicoot or Spyro on the Dreamcast it is believed that at least one game is headed to the Dreamcast based on franchises including The Mummy, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Woody Woodpecker, and Kid Monsters.
Midway have set a release date of March 15th for Gauntlet Legends in America. The Australian release is due shortly after.
SOA have once again advised people of a Dreamcast shortage in America and are predicting that the system will be almost fully sold out across the country by the end of this weekend. Things are a little brighter in Australia with systems still available in many store. No doubt helped along by Ozisoft's poor launch and lack of marketing.
Rainbow 6 has once again been delayed officially. The game is now due out on January 12th in America. My advice, don't expect it until next Christmas the way things are going. No word yet on a PAL release.
It should come as no surprise to hear that Castlevania has been delayed on the Dreamcast. The game was expected around March next year although ebworld.com now has the game listed as 3rd September 2000.
Just a quick note. I am now on a 6 week vacation from work so you can expect plenty of reviews and previews in the coming weeks.
Pre orders for Shen Mue : Yokosuka have already topped 100,000 units in Japan. The game is due out on the 24th December for those who pre-order the game or a week alter on the shelves. Sega are expecting the title to sell between 500,000 and 600,000 copies in the first month.
Eidos have struck a deal to develop 3 Disney branded games. Fortunately the Dreamcast has been announced as one of the platforms. The first game will be Walt Disney World Racing which is due around mid next year. The next title is expected to be based on <>102 Dalmations which is the sequel to 101 Dalmations.
Tecmo's Dead Or Alive 2 will include several new modes not found in the arcades for its conversion to the Dreamcast. Tecmo will include a Tag Team, Practice and Survival mode similar to those found in Namco's Tekken series on Playstation.
UbiSoft recently confirmed that Suzuki Alstare Racing should be on the shelves here in about a weeks time. Those of you interested in motorcycle races should check this game out. Expect a review shortly.
Konami have confirmed that they are working on a Major League Soccer title on the Dreamcast. This is the same series as International Superstar Soccer which will inherit the new name. Anybody who has played ISS on the Playstation will know that it is one of the, if not the best soccer series ever. No release date has been set yet.
IGNDC have received a PAL beta version of Virtua Striker 2000. Thankfully it looks like the game will include a 60Hz mode. The game is currently scheduled for release in February 2000.
Sega have announced that Crazy Taxi will include 9 mini games in total. While not confirmed it's possible that these minigames will unlock new cars or drivers. But the best news is that the home conversion will also include the music from the arcade which includes tracks from Offspring and Bad Religion.
Good things come to those who wait. This saying seems especially true of the Official Australian Dreamcast web site. Ozisoft have finally managed to get the web site up and running and it's easily on par with overseas Dreamcast web sites, if not better. There are game previews, competitions, news, forums just to mention a few things. Go on over now and have a look at http://www.dreamcast.com.au.
The Dreamcast is still going strong across Europe. Sega's European boss JF Cecillon believes Sega's first year European sales target of one million units will be achieved by Easter. Currently sales of the Dreamcast accross Europe have just reached 500,000 units with the UK alone selling 180,000-190,000 units. Sega are expecting a sales figure of 650,000 by the new year.
I have to say that the Dreamcast is selling quite well at BIG W Runaway Bay where I work. Several systems have been sold in the first 2 days and the games are also selling quite well. For your information we also received Snow Surfers, F1 WGP and Sega Rally 2 the other night with all games retailing at $87.84.
According to an article in Bloomberg Japan a major software company will cease developing titles on the Dreamcast after their current projects are completed. While no mention has been made of the company some possabilities are Namco, Capcom, or Konami amongst others.
Rainbow 6, which was meant to be a launch title in America has been delayed once again. Although the game went gold a couple of days ago more bugs have been found. It is now unlikely that the game will be released this year.
I have a chance to have a brief chat with Steve O'Leary over the phone today regarding the peripherals in Australia. The VMU's are expected to arrive in Australia late next week and should hit the shelves the following Monday, thats the 20th December. The quantities are still going to be limited. Both the RF adapters and official light guns should also be available around the same time. If you are really desperate there are 3rd party VMU's, RF Adaptors and Guns available but you might have to shop around as most stock is selling very quickly.
For those of you that don't know I work in home entertainment at BIG W's Runaway Bay store. Last night we finally received the Dreamcast consoles as well as Dreamcast controllers. We received around 14 consoles but only 5 controllers (I already bought one of them) but if your quick you should be able to get what you want. We also received Sonic Adventure, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter 3tb and House Of The Dead 2 (no gun though). All the games retail for $87.84 from memory.
Although Activision still haven't confirmed this news, they aren't denying it either. Apparently Tony Hawk's Pro Skater will be coming to Dreamcast. The gamehas been a smash hit on the Playstation since it's release several months ago and a Dreamcast port would be another boost to the Dreamcast game lineup.
Vigilante 8 : Second Offense has been delayed in America from Decmber 8th to December 28th. Unfortunately this title will now miss the busy Christmas rush but Luxoflux, the game's developers, needed more time to polish the 3 and 4 player modes in the game.
Taito have announced that they will be releasing Puzzle Bobble 4 on the Dreamcast. For those of you that can't remember this is the game where you have to burst a series of coloured balls by grouping several together. Anyway the game is scheduled for release on March 16 in Japan.
I have to give a quick apology for the lack of updates recently. I have been working 12+ hours a day for the last 2 weeks but with school holidays beginning in a week I will have a lot more time for the site after that. Thanks for your patience.
Sega's highly anticipated Crazy Taxi has been given a release date of February 2nd in America. Apparently the conversion from Naomi to Dreamcast is going very well which is the reason for the release being brought forward a few weeks. A release in Australia is due shortly after America.
Many people have been asking me abou the VMU's for Australia. As far as I know some VMU's are due in stores this coming week. Unfortunately it looks likely that there will be a severe shortage of units, possibly as low as 3,000 for the entire country. If you haven't pre-ordered you might want to do so. There are some 3rd party memory cards as well but they are also extremely scarce.
Of course your other option is to buy a VMU from an importer or get a VMU imported for yourself. As Ozisoft warned me a couple of days ago importing VMU's is illegal but seriously, who wants to wait until February to save your games and who's to say they won't be short supplied again. A couple of web sites to look at for VMU's are http://www.burn.com.au and http://www.lik-sang.com.
Famitsu have recently rated Virtual ON : OT and it received a massive 39/40 which is one of the highest marks ever awarded from the Japanese Magazine. Although the game hasn't been confirmed for release outside Japan yet is surely can't be far off.
Here's a press release from Ozisoft concerning the launch of the Dreamcast in Australia :
For immediate release, December 3rd 1999. Australian demand for the world’s most powerful gaming console may have surpassed the‘retail sales’ to ‘wholesale ship’ ratio reported on launch in Europe. Australia may not enjoy the accuracy of a Charttrack survey system however OziSoft, the Australian distributor, has received reports from key retail stores of sell through rates as high as 60%.
National Sales Manager for OziSoft, Danny Gambaro, spoke this morning on feedback received from Dreamcast stockists, "I have been in contact with most of our key retail customers and all have reported significant sell through over the first few days, perhaps as high as 60% across the board".
Although some international freight delays prevented software, including the demo disc, arriving into the country in time for Tuesdays kick off, third party software titles were already in retail channels, awaiting the Dreamcasts arrival. OziSoft were disappointed with the delays however all distribution staff have been working around the clock to rectify the situation. All G classified titles are hitting stores today, with all other titles scheduled to be in store early next week.
Peripheral delays were also being experienced due to demand from the northern hemisphere. Though beyond OziSofts control, staffs are working to get the peripheral ranges uplifted and into the Australian market place as soon as possible. Michele Bell, Dreamcast Business Manager stated "The popularity of the Dreamcast worldwide has caught even Sega by surprise. Manufacturing requirements have far surpassed forecasts, resulting in some peripheral stock shortages for this and other territories".
A National Marketing Campaign targeting an audience of core gamers 16-35 years, kicks off on the 5th of December with a series of Software advertisements, starring Sonic and Sega Rally 2. A Blockbuster '60 second' console ad then joins the campaign to establish the Dreamcast as a big player in the billion dollar Australian computer games market.
Print media follows, in January, to accompany a media blitz which will run right through to July 2000, when phase two Marketing commences.
Reg Moses, CEO of BAM+SSB, the agency incumbent responsible for all Dreamcast's Australian advertising, commented "Dreamcast is already an extraordinary success in the US and we believe that our locally produced campaign will give Dreamcast an even stronger competitive edge in this market"
With Dreamcast achieving a pick up rate potentially higher than that of Europe, OziSoft and their retail customers have greeted the birth of the new generation consoles with great enthusiasm and look forward to growing band of dedicated Dreamcast users across Australia. As production capacity increases in Japan and internet access become available to Dreamcast users in early 2000, OziSoft see a bright future for their 128 bit monster console.
In case you didn't read the entire press release just remember that the TV advertising begins on Sunday 5th December so keep your eyes peeled to the TV.
Codemasters, the development team behind Colin McRae Rally, Toca Touring Cars and Micro Machines have confirmed they will be developing games on the Dreamcast. Although no game has been mentioned yet all their titles have been great games so anything would be welcome.
Yu Suzuki has told the Japanese press that by developing Shen Mue he has learnt a lot about realistic facial expressions and body movement. Yu also let slip that before the next chapter of Shen Mue he will release a new fighting game with the number "4" in it. For those of you who can't figure it out, that Virtua Fighter 4.
Although Shen Mue's official release date in Japan is December 29th it will be possible to get the game 5 days earlier, on Christmas Eve. All you have to do, if you live in Japan that is, is pre-order the game before the 17th December and you'll be playing it 5 days before it hits the shelves.
Capcom's new arcade game, Spawn : Into the Demons Hand, looks like including a slot to plug in you Dreamcast controller from home. The game will be ported to the Dreamcast sometime next year.
Things are starting to look a bit brighter on the Dreamcast front in Australia. Most of the games should be in stores at the moment and anyone who didn't receive a demo disc with their Dreamcast can now pick it up from the shop where you purchased your system. (Electronic's Boutique also gave me a free Dreamcast T-Shirt).
A lot of official peripherals are now available for purchase including the Vibration Pack and the Arcade Joystick. The controllers are also reportedly on sale although they are in short supply and hard to track down. The Keyboard, Light Gun and Fishing Rod are expect in the coming weeks.
One major concern from the launch is the lack (read : non existence) of VMU's. I received word today that the total number of VMU's expected in Australia by Christmas may be as few as 3,000 units. This only includes the official Sega VMU's, and there will be several 3rd party memory cards available soon. Your other option is to purchase a JAP/USA VMU through the internet or you local games importer. The NTSC VMU will work on PAL systems.
A lot of you have been asking what has happened with the internet. Well, it's just not ready. Ozisoft could have allowed us to use the system but following the problems with the internet in Europe Ozisoft are working hard to remove any of bugs and problems associated with setting up a new service. Each Dreamcast has a coupon to fill out and send back. When you do so Ozisoft will send out the internet browser disc as well as a free carry bag when the internet is ready early next year.