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Newsletter from 02-16-1999
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02-16-1999 { Euro DC News, Sales, News, Pricing, Power Stone Images, and more... }

Hello all,

I'm terribly sorry for the week's update being so late. The campus network has been completely down for the past few days, and extremely unstable since they 'fixed' it. I'd say about 2 hours of uptime in the past two to three days. Thus, without net access I was unable to do the research necessary to write a decent update.

Network problems aside, the past week has been fairly uneventful. First off, over in Europe there has been much buzz recently concerning the Dreamcast's launch there. The color change of the logo from orange to blue was cited by Sega as "to increase appeal to European gamers." However, the true reason is quite possibly a legal issue. A German edutainment company, Tivoli, has been using the orange swirl synonymous with the Dreamcast as their corporate logo for years. For a side by side comparison of the two logos, check out the news area. Sega Europe has also recently redesigned their aging web site. The design is quite reminiscent of Sega of America's web site...aside from the Dreamcast logos being blue. The Dreamcast area design is the same as SoAs...but don't be fooled. The section does contain some Euro specific information.

A listing of 1.5 party developers includes those previously known, Argonaut, Bizarre Creations, No Cliche, and Red Lemon with "more to be announced soon." The site claims that more than 80 prominent European developers are currently working on DC titles. The European and American release of the DC is set for Sept. 9th 1999. Expected price point will be about $200USD (£124).

Sega Rally 2 has been one of the top selling games in Japan, it along with other big DC titles, pushes the system to an overall 27.7% of console sales in Japan. The PSX had 39.2%, the Game Boy with a 16.5% share and the N64 following closely behind. Sega has announced that 700,000 Dreamcast's have been shipped in Japan. For people outside of Japan, Dreamcast import prices have dropped significantly in the past week or so. Console prices now range from about $300USD to $355USD depending on the hardware version you get. I have not seen a price change in Europe since the drop to £299.99, but one should come soon.

There are two versions out on the market at this time: Asian and Japanese. The Asian version is cheaper because it does not include a modem or passport software, but does contain an English manual. The Japanese version costs about $50USD more, but does include a modem and passport software. Though the manual is in Japanese. Games and peripheral prices are also dropping as availability increases and Japanese distributors give better deals to foreign resellers. I will publish a Dreamcast pricing log along with a currency converter soon.

The heavier DC release schedule begins on the 25th of this month with the release of Power Stone and Pop'n Music. Images of Power Stone are online in the Dreamcast snapshots area.

Saturn fans, thanks for your patience in the overall lack of Saturn coverage in the past weeks. I'll try to get the Japanese release list translated soon to run through April.

That's all for this week! Again, I apologize for the lateness of the newsletter. -Greg

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