News From September 1998:
VF3 Saturn Officially Dead - 9/18/98 - 2:28 PM
First Party DC Games Update - 9/18/98 - 8:17:30 AM
SoA Appoints R&D, Business Figures - 9/11/98 - 10:54:05 AM
VideoLogic Ships Chips to Sega - 9/11/98 - 10:54:09 AM
DC Launch Titles. Capcom Formally Does DC. - 9/9/98 - 9:11:25 AM
ECTS Update 1 - 9/7/98 - 10:38:52 AM
PSX Games On Dreamcast? - 9/4/98 - 7:07:03 PM
SoJ and SoA have confirmed a one week delay of the Dreamcast's release in Japan. It is now scheduled to ship on November 27th. SoJ cited wanting time to produce more DC console units, and wanted time to tweak Sonic Adventure a little. IMO, this is good, as it's very important for Sega to have as many bugs ironed out as possible when the console launches.
Five games are confirmed to be available at launch: Pen Pen Tricelon, Sega Rally 2, Seventh Cross, Sonic Adventure, and Virtua Fighter 3: TB.
After months of hiding on the ends of Sega of Japan's release list, its ship date being market as 'TBA,' Sega has finally announced that the VF3 Saturn project is dead.
Sega of Japan announced today that two of their Dreamcast launch titles will be Sega Rally 2 (direct port), and Virtua Fighter 3: Team Battle. No details on exactly what will be different in VF:TB. Previously it had been reported that Rally 2, Sonic Adventure, and Virtua Righter RPG would be first party DC launch titles. Sega would not confirm any details on VF: RPG.
In other news, Visual concepts will be producing a football (US football, sorry), and basketball title for the American release of the Dreamcast. A year ago dEX reported on Sega's interest in Visual Concepts. VC previously worked on NHL Hockey '97, Madden Football 94/95, and more recently NBA Action '98. The games will have an extremely high level of detail, ex in the basketball game perhaps 1,000+ polygons per character will be in use or 600,000 polygons per second of character data alone. The game will include other graphical details such as reflections, complete modelling of various court side details such as benches and referees.
Its easiest to begin with quoting the press release: "Sega® of America today announced the addition of two seasoned business and product development professionals to its growing staff focused on the North American launch of its new "super console," DreamcastTM, in the fall of 1999."
On the business end, Stephen Ackroyd, brings more than ten years experience to the team. He will be in charge of Sega's network gaming and e-commerce ventures and develop strategic alliances with key technology partners. Ackroyd was recently working for Sony Computer Entertainment, where he managed new business development. Over in the R&D department, a new directory, Jared Rosen fills the position of Director of Research & Development. Rosen has more than 11 years experience working with realtime 3d graphics solutions, image processing, and graphics hardware knowledge.
Commenting on the two new appointments, SoA head Bernie Stolar said "As we gear up for the launch of Dreamcast in the U.S., it is imperative for us to bring professionals to Sega that have the technical and business expertise to succeed in this competitive environment. Stephen and Jared will help guide our business relations and technology efforts in this vital preparation year."
VideoLogic has announced that they are now shipping their second generation PVR ships in mass to Sega for the Dreamcast console. The group of chips will be collectively called 'PowerVR Series2.' The 3D chip powering the Dreamcast will be called 'PowerVR2 DC.' The chip is the first mass produced 3D chip to use the .25micron fabrication process. nVidia had promised a .25micron chip with their TnT processor, but has only delivered .35micron fabricated chips. Years ago, nVidia developed a 3D solution using rectangular polygons (which the Saturn utilized) vs. the now 'standard' triangular polygons used in realtime 3D graphics. The press release continues saying that PVR2 DC is easily 20 times more powerful than current generation console systems, and significantly more powerful than current arcade machines. VideoLogic plans to ship more optimized versions of the chip later this year.
FGNOnline an IGN associate, is reporting that at ECTS, attendees of the invite only Dreamcast presentation were told by Sega reps that three titles (from Sega) will be ready at launch: Sonic Adventure, Virtua Fighter RPG, and Sega Rally 2. Interesting news, but I have yet to have a 3rd party confirmation of this report. Also, with Yuji Naka being somewhat optimistic as to Sonic Adventure being ready for DC launch, we'll see. Hope it is indeed a launch title. But then...where did VF RPG come from?
In other news, the Nikkei Keizai Shimbum repoorted yesderday that Capcom has announced that they plan to release a title on the DC console around the November release of the system. No details on what would be released were provided.
For those with the appropriate invitations, Sega showed off its Dreamcast console. In a special video presentation SoJ head, Shoichiro Irimajiri, presented his hopes for the Dreamcast system in Europe. Then a two minute video of Sonic Adventure was shown, along with Irimajiri's comment that the game would be a launch title. European developers from Argonaut, Lionhead, and Core then praised the DC's abilities...continuing with the 3rd parties, Acclaim, Codemasters, Eidos, Gremlin, Interplay, and Infogrames were officially announced as 3rd party developers. After the video, a preliminary DC console itself was shown, along with the console running Sonic Adventure in a demo mode. Behind closed doors and many NDAs, Argonaut and Rage Software presented their DC wares. 1.5 party software coming from companies such as Red Lemon, and Bizarre Creations are only in the earliest stages of development and therefore only small demos were shown.
For the Saturn, not much was shown, not even the PAL version of Deep Fear made an appearance. Though it seems that the game is still on for a European release.
Well, starting a few days ago, several news sites (beginning with IGN associates) have reported on a rumor that Sega has contacted the authors of a PC based PSX emulator. The purpose: none other than to emulate the Sony console on the Dreamcast system. Allowing for a very unique (and possibly illegal) form of compatibility. While technically possible, it is not probable. Sure what has been done in recent years in the emulation scene (especially with Neo Geo emulation) is very impressive, one has not seen a company publicly support the scene in any way. The ISDA, Sega and Nintendo all have been relatively aggressive in pursuing distributors of ROM images of their games. Thus, any action on Sega's part wouldn't look too great. Anyway, just remember its only a rumor and to take it as a grain of sand. If such a thing will exist, then it will. But for now, lets focus on very real things coming up...
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