|Wednesday, February 10, 1999||
Volume 64, Issue 90
Too sexy for the stage
|With Dreamcast on
its way, you may have to say 'bye' to N64
The Game Boy
Brandon H. Franks
What dreams will come
It's official! Sega has confirmed the release date for the Dreamcast, their newest game console. The Dreamcast will come to the U.S. and Europe on Sept. 9, 1999.
We might also see most of the Japanese peripherals come to our shores. Among these are the arcade stick, the light gun, the Puru Puru Pack (a forcefeed back unit, like the rumble pack), a one-gigabyte hard drive and last but not least, the VGA box.
The VGA box is a device that will let you hook your Dreamcast to a computer monitor for powerful high-resolution graphics. This little black box has composite jacks (two stereo RCA's and one video) and an S-Video jack that lets you hook up to a regular TV and its sound system.
When you flip it over, there is a pin slot to connect to your monitor. It also has an audio jack to hook up your PC speakers. If you don't like those speakers, you can still use the RCA jacks to pound out the sound through your sound system.
As of now, the VGA box doesn't work with all the Dreamcast software in Japan, but many of the future titles coming here should have the capability.
The one peripheral that will not make its way to America is the Fishing Rod. Hmmm, I wonder why? If there is anybody that isn't lazy enough to go out and catch the fish themselves, then go to Japan and Get Bass. Yeah, believe it or not, that's what the game is called.
I can think of a lot of things I could get, and bass is not one of them.
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, the right stuff
Now, as for the core system itself, let's see what this baby can do! As I said last time, Sega teamed up with four global leaders in business and technology.
The first company is now a household name, unless you've been living in a cave. Microsoft is providing a custom version of the Windows CE operating system with DirectX, optimized for console gaming.
This will provide developers with flexibility and a versatile development environment that is supported by Visual C++ 5.0, which makes development more efficient.
Windows CE has been designed to provide incredible performance exclusive to the Dreamcast's hardware, letting developers know that their software will take full advantage of every hardware component in its system.
The central processor for the Dreamcast is Hitachi's SH-4 reduced instruction set chip (RISC). It has a clock rate of 200 Mhz, 360 MIPS (millions of instructions per second) 3-D calculations, 800+ megabyte per second bus bandwidth and 1.4 billion floating-point operations per second (FYI: that's four times faster than the Pentium II chip).
Still saying you'll stick to your PlayStation and N64? Well, can I coax you with a better graphics engine? After all, isn't that why we have our PlayStations and N64s?
NEC and Videologic have created just that. This engine has a peak performance of over three million polygons per second and has a custom anti-aliasing technology which helps the chip out-perform all other graphics engines, even those set to be used in upcoming PCs.
Finally, Yahama has created a real-time 3-D audio chip with power that some next generation consoles can only dream of. They also helped in creating a high-speed CD-ROM drive to speed up access times and enable bigger games with immense playing fields.
With all that Sega has put into the Dreamcast, it's no wonder the system has been the talk of the game industry.
I don't care what others are saying, and you know who you are, my money is on Sega. Besides, I was true to Nintendo for a long time until I got a PlayStation last year and realized that it had awesome graphics as well. Like a great man once (sort of) said, "All (I am) saying is give (Sega) a chance."
Coming soon to a game console near you...
What else is new? Well, I just got NCAA Final Four '99 and the new boxing game Contender. The reviews will be coming soon.
I also have some games for PlayStation and the N64 from Midway on the way. For all the Internet freaks, I'm going to be looking at some cool game sites, and I will tell you which ones are hot and which ones are not.
Finally, I know everyone has their favorite games, so send us an e-mail, and let me know your top five games and the most wanted for PlayStation, Nintendo and even PC.
Categorize them by RPG, Action, Strategy and so on. At the end of the semester, we will tally up the votes and find out the best games of the semester.
Gotta go! So many games to play, so little time!
Send comments to