Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:38 UTC
Games It's time for a trip down memory lane. Exactly ten years ago today - 09-09-1999 - Sega released the Dreamcast on the North American market. Widely regarded as far, far ahead of its time, the Dreamcast pioneered several concepts which the competition only picked up on years and years later. Sadly, the Dreamcast would face an early grave.
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Broadband? Pfft!
by merkoth on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:50 UTC
merkoth
Member since:
2006-09-22

Real Phantasy Star Online players could slay dragons with a dial up connection. Heh, I used to destroy my phone bill with that game.

My DC works like a charm and I still play Shenmue, Sonic Adventure 2 and Power Stone 2 from time to time. Even today, those are fantastic games.

By the way, the game coming this october is done by Senile Team with homebrew tools, so kudos to them ;)

Reply Score: 5

RE: Broadband? Pfft!
by helf on Thu 10th Sep 2009 22:07 UTC in reply to "Broadband? Pfft!"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Shenmue is freaking AMAZING! I don't care what the critics say! You can pry my DC from my cold, dead hands.

Rez is one of my all time favorite games and Q3/Unreal Tournament are awesome with two players and dual mice/keyboards ;)

I have over 50 games and I'm still adding to my collection, slowly but surely. I need to buy a few back up machines, actually. ;)

oh, I also have the arcade pad for fighting games. ^_^

Reply Score: 2

i loved Sega's consoles
by poundsmack on Wed 9th Sep 2009 20:54 UTC
poundsmack
Member since:
2005-07-13

I had a Saturn and a Dreamcast. Sega was WAY ahead of it's time on both of them (not to mention the sega cd and others), I even had the internet server that went along with the saturn (panzer dragon sage, shining forces, virtual on, so many others) mmmmmmm marm fuzy feeling inside. Anyways... Sega failed at effectively marketing its consoles in the US, which is a shame as they were easier to develop for (campared to playstation, at least for me), and were, well, amazing.

Sega, we miss you. "Wish you were here"

Edited 2009-09-09 20:54 UTC

Reply Score: 6

fo its time
by jackastor on Wed 9th Sep 2009 21:09 UTC
jackastor
Member since:
2009-05-05

Is that an abbreviation of "four" or "for" or none of the above?

Reply Score: 1

RE: fo its time
by siraf72 on Wed 9th Sep 2009 21:20 UTC in reply to "fo its time"
siraf72 Member since:
2006-02-22

slang for four. As in the context:

Ridin in my six-fo about to buss a cap in these fools.

or not....

Reply Score: 2

Comment by smashIt
by smashIt on Wed 9th Sep 2009 21:11 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

sega were idiots to pull out of the market

but now that the hardware-race is slowing down we will maybe see a dc2
i'd definitely buy one ;)

@thom:
ce was an option, but not widely used

Edited 2009-09-09 21:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ahh the memories
by siraf72 on Wed 9th Sep 2009 21:17 UTC
siraf72
Member since:
2006-02-22

I lived the Dreamcast. Virtua fighter and soul Calibur.

I recall something about the Dreamcast was that it only rendered polygons visible to the player. Where as the PS2 rendered all polygons even those that couldn't be seen by the player.

It was quite an awesome device. Alas, it couldn't survive the Sony onlslaught.

What is disappointing though is the quality of games by Sega now. At one point they were easily among the very best.

Reply Score: 3

RE: ahh the memories
by helf on Thu 10th Sep 2009 22:09 UTC in reply to "ahh the memories"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

Yeah, it did. It was a something the PowerVR2 GPU did. One of the reasons it competed so well against the ps2.

The dreamcast really should have had more memory, tho. That was one of its limiting factors from everything I had read. Imagine the games that it could run if it was still being developed on by top game companies like the ps2 ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: ahh the memories
by Ravyne on Fri 11th Sep 2009 21:18 UTC in reply to "ahh the memories"
Ravyne Member since:
2006-01-08

Yep, that was the tile-based rendering and what basically became known as "early-z rejection". The powerVR's main quality was that all the draw commands were stored until the frame was complete, then they were broken down according to which commands fell over which tile of the screen -- then, all the stuff from that tile was drawn into an on-chip cache with very high bandwidth by the day's standards -- They were also ordered front-to-back (which is why opaque surfaces occluded those behind it which were never shaded) and transparancy was resolved automatically. On most modern cards today, we have to jump through all kinds of hoops to perform broad-scope occlusion and batch by materials in order to get good performance -- all the while being mindful of any transparant objects that throw a bit of a wrench in the whole works.

PowerVR is still popular in mobile graphics because of the bandwidth and power usage of the tiled approach -- for example, both iPhone/iTouch use PowerVR, as does the Omap3530 used on the beagleboard and Pandora, and as does Intel in their GMA500 gpu (liscensed from PowerVR) they pair with their z-series Atom CPUs. Tiled rendering also lives on in another form on the XBox 360 -- just with much larger tiles, and off-die, on-chip memory with massive bandwidth and some built-in processing logic.

Edited 2009-09-11 21:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

and Star Trek is 43 today.
by jonathane on Wed 9th Sep 2009 22:19 UTC
jonathane
Member since:
2009-05-31

Is there a connection? Not likely.

Reply Score: 0

WinCE was a second option.
by JrezIN on Thu 10th Sep 2009 02:20 UTC
JrezIN
Member since:
2005-06-29

It really didn't run a WinCE variant... SEGA offered two dev plataforms, one is WinCE based, the other is more native and offered more "to the metal" control to developers... and was actually much more popular among them.

Reply Score: 3

buzievagy
Member since:
2009-01-23

I imagine you journalists all thought it's fun to publish an article about dreamcast on 9-9-2009 - as it's exactly ten years after. Personally I think it's OK for someone who does not track both sites (this and ars) - however I guess lots of your readers do ;)

Reply Score: 0

Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I imagine you journalists all thought it's fun to publish an article about dreamcast on 9-9-2009 - as it's exactly ten years after. Personally I think it's OK for someone who does not track both sites (this and ars) - however I guess lots of your readers do ;)

Who cares?
If you don't want to read both articles then don't.

Reply Score: 3

9/9/99...
by UltraZelda64 on Thu 10th Sep 2009 10:38 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

...It's Thinking... ;)

RIP Dreamcast, and RIP Sega. ;)

Once a great hardware company and gaming company in general... now unfortunately just a pathetic shadow of its former self, seemingly unable to put out the great games it did in the past. Just look at what they've done to the once-great Sonic--the only games worth playing any more are those licensed to other companies to develop in 2-D form on handhelds. ;(

Why, Sega... WHY?!?!?!?? And that's just one example. They had something good with Dreamcast's Shenmue (amazing game), yet even that succumbed to low sales and what should have been an entire story in video game format was cut severely into bits. As a classic gaming fan, I would love to see Sega regain its former quality... but with garbage like Sonic the Hedgehog (no, not the original) and Sonic Unleashed (a werehog? WTF?), I don't see that happening any time soon. And that's just the Sonic side... yes, in case you haven't figured out yet, I was a Sonic fan. Though Sonic was surely not their only good franchise.

Reply Score: 2

RE: 9/9/99...
by smashIt on Thu 10th Sep 2009 11:14 UTC in reply to "9/9/99..."
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

sega is going back to it's roots with project needlemouse

http://www.gametrailers.com/video/debut-teaser-project-needlemouse/...

can't wait to play it ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: 9/9/99...
by malkia on Thu 10th Sep 2009 11:45 UTC in reply to "RE: 9/9/99..."
malkia Member since:
2005-07-17

Soul Calibur, and lots of good RPGs. And I'm proud being part of the team that made NHL2K2 (Dreamcast).

The Dreamcast with it's PowerVR chip and 1:8 (PVRTC) compression was far ahead the PS2 (with pony 4MB memory). The built-in anti-aliasing (which was possible because of the PVR tiling). The problem was that all geometry had to be there before it was drawn (this with the limited amount of memory vs the PS2 was troubling).

Basically the iPhone is more or less Dreamcast technology (Just SH3 chip instead of ARM).

Also the Dreamcast's API were just easy to use (unlike the Microsoft OS that Dreamcast had as an alternative - plus it was taking 2MB out of 16MB).

I still have the Audio Manager API (Dreamcast) at work ;)

Reply Score: 2

Comment by _xmv
by _xmv on Thu 10th Sep 2009 12:17 UTC
_xmv
Member since:
2008-12-09

i liked sega back then
it all looked so magical
or maybe i was just young

rip sega hardware

Reply Score: 1

Comment by LighthouseJ
by LighthouseJ on Thu 10th Sep 2009 12:41 UTC
LighthouseJ
Member since:
2009-06-18

I bought a Dreamcast back in the day too, I still liked it.

I had a friend that went to Japan for their Dreamcast release and bought one over there and brought back a huge flipfile of bootlegged games, movies, etc... He worked at the local video game store and once he got tired playing it nonstop, he set it up on a kiosk monitor (no controller) and let the Sonic Adventure intro sequence loop. He would get people walk in once a week offering cash, more than he paid for it in Japan, to buy it right there. He let me take it home and play it for a few weeks, months before it came out in the US.

Some friends and I used to play Powerstone, Soul Calibur and especially Virtua Tennis on it. I especially had a great time playing tennis, so much that I had to pickup Virtua Tennis 3 for the PS3 and still have fun with that. I never really got into fighting games before (Street Fighter, Killer Instinct, etc...) but I really got into Soul Calibur -- good to hear it's still alive on modern consoles today too.

I was sad it didn't catch on. Many months later, when the Dreamcast didn't seem as popular as before, I was playing Gran Turismo on the PS1 and I still remember noticing the poorer 3D effects, lower amount of textures, etc... and thinking "the Dreamcast lost out to this?"

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by LighthouseJ
by Laurence on Thu 10th Sep 2009 16:45 UTC in reply to "Comment by LighthouseJ"
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

I had a friend that went to Japan for their Dreamcast release and bought one over there and brought back a huge flipfile of bootlegged games, movies, etc... He worked at the local video game store and once he got tired playing it nonstop, he set it up on a kiosk monitor (no controller) and let the Sonic Adventure intro sequence loop. He would get people walk in once a week offering cash, more than he paid for it in Japan, to buy it right there. He let me take it home and play it for a few weeks, months before it came out in the US.


Funny enough, the first time I saw the DC was in a the same setting (only there was a controller set up).

I instantly fell in love with Sonic Adventure (and the DC too) and it was because of this I actually went out and got a part time job (I was at college at the time) just to buy one.

So the Dreamcast is directly responsible for my first job hehe

Reply Score: 2

Comment by motang
by motang on Thu 10th Sep 2009 15:14 UTC
motang
Member since:
2008-03-27

Still one of my favorite system.

Reply Score: 1

Impressive & disappointing
by StephenBeDoper on Thu 10th Sep 2009 15:54 UTC
StephenBeDoper
Member since:
2005-07-06

As someone who was a pretty big Sega fanboy at the time (having owned all the previous consoles), it was a big disappointment when the Dreamcast got axed. Especially when the XBox was essentially the same concept (a console that used mostly commodity PC hardware) - but became successful largely due to Microsoft cannibalizing the PC gaming world.

And, on the other hand, it's impressive to see a discontinued console that still has such a large following. IIRC, even 2 or 3 years after it was cancelled, Dreamcast consoles & software were still outselling the XBox in Japan.

Reply Score: 2

Still kicking
by MissinBeOS on Thu 10th Sep 2009 21:49 UTC
MissinBeOS
Member since:
2006-10-20

I still have my Dreamcast and still blow the dust off of it every few months to fire up Ready 2 Rumble boxing, Powerstone, Soul Caliber. My only regret is that it doesn't look as good on the HDTV widescreen monitor -- I need to track down a set of the VGA cables and see if that helps.

Great system, great games -- very much a shame that the plug was pulled.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Still kicking
by helf on Thu 10th Sep 2009 22:14 UTC in reply to "Still kicking"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

With the VGA adapter, it'll pump out 480p (640x480) and should scale up decently on larger displays ;)

Reply Score: 3

It was the marketing...
by electr0n on Fri 11th Sep 2009 08:50 UTC
electr0n
Member since:
2006-10-10

... I don't think so. The Dreamcast (like the Saturn) had great launch titles (Saturn: Panzer Dragoon, Dreamcast: Sonic) but later on there was a huge lack of quality third party support.

What I personally dislike about the Dreamcast is the controller and the PowerVR tile-based renderer which let in many games to ugly "pop up" effects.

Reply Score: 1

It's all about Titles
by Phloptical on Fri 11th Sep 2009 23:34 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Sony wiped the gaming world with Dreamcast because they had the better titles that were exclusive to Sony.

It's too bad Sega let all the momentum they built with Genesis fizzle away. Kind of like Sony has done with Microsoft now.

Reply Score: 2