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Newsletter from 12-01-1998
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12-01-1998 { New Areas On Site, DC Launch/News, New Releases, Misc News, and more... }

Hi all,

I apologize for the lateness of this message, heavy school work has been a great time eater the past few days as I work to get back up to speed after the brief break....

Finally I've launched the two new areas at dEX. They are still a little bit preliminary and I hope to have more data for them online soon. Along with the new areas, I've made some minor changes to the site's overall interface and will soon be changing the organization of a few areas to reflect the multi-system content of dEX. My first priority is to move the news page around as it has long not been Saturn only news. The intro and main pages are also due for a reworking. Any feedback on the new areas is encouraged. I realize that the codes and reviews areas are yet to be brought fully online with content, but am working on those when I have the time. Again, any volunteer articles are appreciated. Those who've already contacted me should be getting an e-mail from me shortly.

So the Dreamcast has hit Japan and in the first day, 150,000 units were sold. On average, most units were bought with two games and a VMS card. With very strong sales, import pricing of the system also jumped overnight. Making the situation worse, the next major shipment of DC units is due to arrive on December 28th. Cutting it extremely close to Sega's year end goal of 500,000 units shipped. Originally importer NCSX expected to sell the consoles for about $580US, now the price has risen to $650US as they only received a fraction the units the expected. Import pricing breaks down to $715 for console and one game, $775 with two games. Peripheral prices are more reasonable at $30 for VMS card, $35 for a game pad, and $70 for the joystick.

I will be monitoring prices as they change over time and will then publish the data on the site. As of writing, inflation from Japanese to US import prices (including currency exchange) is about 263% for the basic console package. Inflation in game prices is much lower at 35% (import Saturn game prices are about 4-8% over the suggested Japanese prices). Prices should severely drop as supply increases near the end of the year.

For those in Europe, retailer Computer Exchange ( is also featuring the DC. Prices aren't as bad as once thought, with early 'whisper' prices of over £1000. Currently CEX lists the console for a cool £399.99 or about $660US or about a 267% increase in price. Game prices are a bit more inflated with VF3 TB going for £80 or about $130US (+280%), Pen Pen Tricelon and Godzilla Generations for £60 ($99/+210%)...yet strangely July is selling for a mere £25! Which is less than the retail price in Japan. Strange days indeed....

In more DC news, the fabled 'Project Berkley' aka Virtua Fighter RPG has been officially named Shen Mue. Shen Mue is not an RPG but instead the first of a new genre, FREE. FREE stands for Full Reactive Eyes Entertainment. As Yu Suzuki explains it, Shen Mue is "a game that is what you make it." Explaining the acronym, Suzuki says that Full stands for 'full scale,' reactive as in 'fully responsive to the player,' and eyes meaning its a 'visual feast.' The game will be a period epic reflecting the experiences and conflicts of real life. Final details will be unveiled with the public conference set on December 20th (See Newsletter #108 for details). The game is set for release in Japan sometime during 1999. A demo disc featuring artwork and early video clips of the game was given away with the purchase of VF3 TB in Japan.

I'm afraid amidst all of the Dreamcast confusion, little news on the Saturn has made its way out. Not even importers giving word on the arrival of four new releases: E'Tude Prologue ~Trembling Heart~, Grandia Memorial Package, Pretty Girl Mahjong Special 5th Anniv. Package, and Wizardry Llylgamyn Saga. This week two new Saturn games are due, Farland Saga from TGL and My Fair Lady ~Virtual II~ from Micronet.

On a sad note, SegaCon has once again been postponed. however, this time it is postponed until future announcements. The primary organizer of the conference, Paul Acevedo, decided with others that it would be best if the conference was postponed in order to allow for more funds to be put into the event, along with increased planning and a probable move of the conference from the previous planned setting in North Carolina, to California. Paul promises that "SegaCon 99 will be announced concretely with plenty of time for travel arrangements to be made." and that "We won't let anyone down anymore." While naysayers claim that the postponement was inevitable (due to Paul's 'ineptitude,' which I cannot comment on either way). Though very disappointing, the choice to delay and move the conference is an important one as a late success is much better than an early failure.

Well, that's about all for this week. Thanks again, and see you next week!


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