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Newsletter from 05-10-98
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05-10-98 { 2 New Relases, Upcoming Titles, Misc Info, and more... }

Hi all!

It's been another slow week with little news. However, Sega of America has finally gotten around to releasing some more Saturn games. Last week House of the Dead, and Panzer Dragoon Saga shipped. The blood code option is present in the US version HotD as expected. PD Saga has made it here in currently limited numbers. However more copies will gradually appear as secondary shipments are made. Some have questioned whether Sega will be selling the title directly to gamers and the answer is yes. SoA will be selling PD Saga direct starting May 19th. Equally curious is that Sega's customer support reps seem unaware of the games release stating that it wasn't out yet and that it was only on one CD. Of course such comments are garbage as the game remains essentially unchanged from Japanese and European releases. The intros have been smartly left with the Japanese speech, and use English subtitles. Currently, the game is primarily available through independent retailers or Electronic Boutique/Babbages.

I'd hoped to have my own copy of the game for review, unfortunately I'm unable to spare the money at this time as its needed elsewhere. For those who do have it, and would like to write up a review, let me know!

Speaking of EB, the store seems to be stepping up their plans to sell imported Saturn games; listing more than ten titles coming. Unfortunately, none are relatively new and at $70 there's no need to buy through EB as better deals can easily be found elsewhere. Though its a nice sign that EB plans to continue Saturn support on some level....

This week we can expect to see two new releases in Japan: Dracula and Baroque. Dracula is the (very) long awaited release from Konami, previously thought to be delayed. Baroque from Sting presents itself as a '3d-RPG.' The RPG, published by ESP, offers complete freedom in the dynamic 3D world. It is also based on a non-linear system which is great as it can be extremely annoying in an RPG to be simply 'missing something' and unable to continue. I'll try to get some screenshots up later this week.

Also, at the Computer Game Developer's conference, the PVRSG technology was shown to developers. Final production chips have begun shipping to selected developers at this time. Previous versions of the chip shown used a .35micron process with not all of the features implemented. Final versions will use a smaller .25 process. If you want more information on the chipset, you can find a PDF version of the documents handed out at the show here: http://www.powervr.com/cgdc/501b.html.

The docs include PVRSG technology overview, technical information on texturing processes, and display list rendering. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF files. The docs include a few screenshots demonstrating some of the features present. I'll see what I can do about writing up an overview for those who cannot view PDF files.

A few weeks ago I implied that there were a few changes to be made at dEX. They are still in planning, and I've decided on a few things which I want to do. Hopefully I'll have time to begin work on this after graduation. You'll know when I've made the changes. I promise that. That's all this week, cya!

-Greg



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