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Newsletter from 06-17-1999
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06-17-1999 { Deals in Europe, New Software, Misc News, New Snapshots and more... }

Hello all,

Whew, finals are now over, and what has been a long first year in college is now over. Now that my additional workload has calmed down, I hope to start putting more time into dEX. I'd also like to put a very big thanks out to those who let me know that they do support my efforts. Perhaps in the future there will be even greater things that I can make available on the site.

Over in the news area, Sega of Europe has been busy signing papers as they've signed two major sponsorship deals with football clubs: one French team, the other Italian. Earlier Sega signed a deal with Italy's U.C. Sampdoria. In terms of points scored last year Sampdoria tied for 9th in Series A league, four goals ahead of AC Milan. This year they haven't faired as well finishing 16th of 18. Yesterday, Sega announced the second deal with France's A.S. Saint-Etienne. Saint-Etienne was also promoted into the First Division national league in France after finishing 1st in the second division championships.

These two sponsorships along with the previously announced Arsenel F.C. will begin July 1st. Beginning then, players of sponsored teams will have Dreamcast logos on their jerseys. The Arsenel deal is for three years, while lengths of the other two have not been announced. with all these sponsors all we need is a good DC footy game. Thus far, there is only one native European football game in development, UEFA Striker by Rage. The game hopefully will be out with the DC's launch on September 23rd. Strangely missing is Sega's WorldWide soccer series that was quite good on the Saturn. However, Sega is still working on at least one DC soccer game, announced at the New Challenge conference, Virtua Striker 2 will be coming to the DC. However, as the game is more focused toward arcade style play, we'll be missing the more serious style of other titles. Electronic Arts has yet to even mention their Dreamcast development efforts. EA was a major supporter of Sega back when the Genesis was first launched.

Other software developments include Sega's announcement of their work on a DC version of Baldur's Gate. Based on TSR's Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, the game will be a multiplayer network based RPG. With the PC developer, BioWare's blessings, Sega is porting the game to the DC. BioWare has expressed their confidence in Sega's abilities to a great job. BioWare opted to not develop the title in-house, and they are busy already with their DC project, MDK2. In addition to Sega's NBA and NFL games, NHL Hockey 2000 is in the works, we can expect the same attention to detail as in the other games, with around 1600 motion captured animations. At this time the game is in fairly early stages of development at around 10%.

Recently, some fake Dreamcast zip drive images have been floating around...several web sites and even a trade publication fell to the fake images. The pictures were actually modified versions of existing Zip250 drives from Iomega. Commenting on the fakes, an Iomega spokesperson stated that the DC drive is not fully external but would be built into the DC. Folks at Sega of America would neither confirm or deny what the Iomega spokesperson said. Both Sega and Iomega are sharing technology for work on a few future DC peripherals. Some have suggested that the 'internal' model would connect to the bottom of the DC similar to how the SegaCD connected to the Genesis.

In other hardware related news, Sega will be including a 56K modem in the Dreamcast's over in Japan beginning with the units sold at the new lower price (in effect June 24th).

Over on the site, I will have images of Soul Calibur up later today in the snapshots area. Today, there has been a report that Sega has revealed their Model 4 arcade board. Here's what's floating around: it uses a 500MHz PowerPC CPU, and for graphics a 128-bit 'Gigalize' Hitachi processor. The Hitachi chip is able to produce 32million polys a second. It also uses a DVD-ROM Drive for storage.

After some research, I've found that Gigalize is the name of Hitachi's high end computer graphics subsystem, aka Spherix in the US. The name roots back to at least 1996. I do not know how much they've continued to develop the product. I do know that the Gigalize product page is no longer existent despite many links to it. All references found of the product in a search of Hitachi Japan's web site have been removed. I do not cast doubt on the report of the Model 4 system, as it is from a fairly reliable source, but I do not want to create false expectations.

That's all for this week, cya!


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