Sega Dreamcast Review!
History - Ιστορία
In 1997, the Sega Saturn was struggling in North America, and Sega of America president Bernie Stolar was pressed by Sega's Japanese headquarters to develop a new platform. Two competing teams were tasked with developing the console–a skunkworks group headed by IBM researcher Tatsuo Yamamoto and another team led by Sega hardware engineer Hideki Sato.
Sato and his group chose the Hitachi SH4 processor architecture and the VideoLogic PowerVR2 graphics processor for their prototype. Yamamoto and his Skunkworks group also opted for the SH4, but with 3dfx hardware. Initially, Sega decided to use Yamamoto's design and suggested to 3Dfx that they would be using their hardware in the upcoming console, but Sega later opted to use the PowerVR hardware of Sato's design. This was attributed to 3Dfx leaking details and technical specifications of the then-secret Dreamcast project when declaring their Initial Public Offering in June 1997 a move which readers on Gamespy.com named one of the dumbest mistakes in video game history. Sega's shift in design prompted a lawsuit by 3dfx that was eventually settled.
With Sega's machine, no operating system resides in the device until it is loaded in on a disc with each game. The advantage, Sega executives say, is that developers can always ship products that use the version of an operating system with the newest features and performance enhancements. The operating system used by some Dreamcast titles was developed by Microsoft after 2 years of work with Sega. It was an optimized version of Windows CE supporting DirectX. According to Richard Doherty, president of Envisioneering Group, "Microsoft had initially wanted Windows CE to be Dreamcast's main operating system. It isn't." The Dreamcast's boot-up sequence was also composed by accomplished Japanese pianist, Ryuichi Sakamoto.
The Dreamcast was released in November 1998 in Japan; on September 9, 1999 in North America and on October 14, 1999 in Europe. Despite problems with the Japan launch,the system's launch in the United States was successful. In the United States alone, a record 300,000 units had been pre-ordered and Sega sold 500,000 consoles in just two weeks (including a record 225,132 sold during the first 24 hours). In fact, due to brisk sales and hardware shortages, Sega was unable to fulfill all of the advance orders. Sega confirmed that it made US$98.4 million on combined hardware and software sales with Dreamcast with its September 9, 1999 launch.Four days after its launch in the US, Sega stated 372,000 units were sold bringing in US$132 million in sales.
Launch titles such as Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Power Stone, and Hydro Thunder helped Dreamcast succeed in the first year. Sega Sports titles helped fill the void left by a lack of Electronic Arts sports games on the system.Dreamcast sales grew 156.5% from July 23, 2000 to September 30, 2000 putting Sega ahead of the Nintendo 64 in that period.However, Sony's launch of the much-hyped PlayStation 2 that year marked the beginning of the end for the Dreamcast.
End of production - Τέλος παραγωγής
On January 31, 2001, Sega announced that it was discontinuing Dreamcast support by March of that year.The last North American release was NHL 2K2, which was released in February 2002. With the company announcing no plans to develop a next-generation successor to Dreamcast, this was Sega's last foray into the home console business.
Sega Europe continued to support the Dreamcast until 2003, with exclusives such as Shenmue 2, Head Hunter and Rez. During the following years, unreleased games like Propeller Arena, Hellgate, System Shock 2 and Half-Life were leaked to the Internet in essentially completed, playable forms.
Although production of the Dreamcast ended in 2001, Sega of Japan continued selling refurbished systems and releasing new games until 2007. Many of the games were initially developed for Sega's NAOMI arcade hardware, including Sega's final first-party Dreamcast game, Sonic Team's Puyo Puyo Fever, released on February 24, 2004.
The last Dreamcast units were sold through the Sega Direct division of Japan in early 2006. These refurbished units were bundled with Radilgy,and a phone card. The last Dreamcast games published by Sega of Japan were the 2007 releases Trigger Heart Exelica and Karous.
3 other NAOMI games Exzeal, Illmatic Envelope: Illvelo and Mamonoro were supposed to be ported to the Dreamcast, when Sega abruptly decided to discontinue the production of GD-ROM's.
The system's processor is a 200 MHz SH-4 with an on-die 128-bit vector graphics engine, 360 MIPS and 1.4 GFLOPS (single precision), using the vector graphics engine. The graphics hardware is a PowerVR2 CLX2 chipset, capable of 7.0 million polygons/second peak performance and trilinear filtering. Graphics hardware effects include gouraud shading, z-buffering, anti-aliasing, per-pixel translucency sorting (also known as order independent translucency) and bump mapping. The system supports approximately 16.78 million colors (24-bit) color output and displays interlaced or progressive scan video at 640x480 video resolution.
For sound, the system features a Yamaha AICA Sound Processor with a 32-Bit ARM7 RISC CPU operating at 45 MHz,64 channel PCM/ADPCM sampler (4:1 compression), XG MIDI support and 128 step DSP.
The Dreamcast has 16 MB 64 Bit 100 MHz main RAM, 8 MB 4x16-bit 100 MHz video RAM and 2 MB 16-bit 66 MHz sound RAM.The hardware supports VQ Texture Compression at either asymptotically 2bpp or even 1bpp
The system reads media using a 12x maximum speed (Constant Angular Velocity) Yamaha GD-ROM Drive.
JP Νοέμβριος 27, 1998
NA Σεπτέμβριος 9, 1999
EU Οκτώβριος 14, 1999
AUS Οκτώβριος 14, 1999
PAL Δεκέμβριος 3, 1999
Τέλος παραγωγής 2001
Πωλήσεις 10.6 million
Media CD, 1.2 GB GD-ROM
CPU 200 MHz Hitachi SH4 RISC
Χωριτικότητα μνήμης VMU, Nexus Memory Card, Zip Drive (δεν κυκλοφόρησε)
Γραφικά 100 MHz PowerVR2 CLX2
Online services SegaNet, Dreamarena
Best-selling παιχνίδι Sonic Adventure, 2.5 million
Πρόγονος Sega Saturn
Από τα καλύτερα συστήματα που κυκλοφόρησαν αλλά δυστυχώς το "έφαγε" το Playstation 2