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Thread: Dreamcast

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    Dreamcast

    Are there any other fans of the Sega Dreamcast here?

    I've been a big fan of the Dreamcast since it's launch and it remains one of my favourite consoles, even today. It wasn't a commercial success in the eyes of the industry but there is just something special about the system that is hard to explain in words.

    The Dreamcast was also the only Sega system I have ever owned. I never owned a Megadrive due to the Amiga, and never bought a Saturn because it was a pale second to the Playstation, but for some reason I was attracted to the Dreamcast at launch and never regretted buying one.

    For some reason the games have a unique feel to them that you instantly know are Dreamcast games when you see them running. Maybe it is the unique texture mapping of the hardware that makes the graphics always seem bright and cheerful. I'm not 100% sure.

    The controller was also quite unique at the time, with the two analogue triggers offering great control for racing and many other games, the analogue joystick being more precise than that seem on the N64, and the unique two slot VMU memory card system built into the control. With the VMU itself being quite revolutionary at the time offering it's own mini console with screen that offered additional information while connected to the controller, and mini games when disconnected.

    And while the Dreamcast may not have ended as a successful system it still enjoyed a lot of great games releases during it's lifetime that unlike recent systems were largely exclusive to the system. This was partly due to the system enjoying it's own mini generation between that of the 32-bit era of the original Playstation, N64 and Saturn, which could not match the technical abilities of the Dreamcast, and that of the next main generation of the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox, which were slightly more powerful but not by much. For this reason it saw many unique games released before the PS2 came out. It was also a platform that saw many unique games that didn't quite fit into a specific genre, or were unique takes on a genre.

    It was also the first platform to offer internet access out of the box with its built in modem (and optional Ethernet unit). This made the system the first online console which led so some amazing first generation online games, including the historic Phantasy Star Online and Bomberman Online. Even Quake 3 was released on the system.

    And no one can talk abut the Dreamcast without mentioning Shenmue. A series that pushed forward the ideas of what an adventure game was and remains an exception gaming series.

    And for anyone who missed the Dreamcast completely at the time, now is a great time to get hold of one to enjoy. They are selling for next to nothing on ebay. 9.99 will get you a system with a few games, and for under 100 you can get a system along with a load of games and extras included.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    I quite like some games on the DC, as there are some great releases such as Shenmue or Skies of Arcadia. But I cannot consider myself as pure DC fan, as I'm also fan of a lot of other consoles/computers, but I know that the DC is still Oz' favorite console. He's Sonic and Sega addicted.

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    I think for me the Dreamcast was the first system that truly showed good 3D was finally possible on a console.

    With the first 3D console generation none of the consoles were really powerful enough to handle 3D well. The Saturn was designed for 2D and so fudged 3D by doing a lot of complex 2D scaling and rotation techniques within it's parallel 2D sprite processors, The N64 while having quite a powerful 3D SGi processor, generated much of it's 3D at too low a resolution, and so then did a full screen anti-aliasing effect to hide the low resolution jaggies, leaving the games looking very blurred and fuzzy (giving the impression you were actually watching US TV!) and the playstation while technically OK at generating the 3D, had quite limited texture memory, so a lot of PSX texture mapping looked very blocky and horrible close up. In contrast the Dreamcast finally showed that true anti-aliased clean and bright texture mapping was possible, with smooth framerates.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    I fully agree. I believe that the Dreamcast was the pinnacle of console development during its time and it is just a great shame that it did not get the support that the other consoles got.

    The great element with the dreamcast was that it was a 3rd option, although, in reality, it was the PSX that was the real 3rd option, as Sega and Nuntendo were the big boys on the block.

    If you look at all the times in the past where there has only been two options available to the public, there has never been that much of a sense to advance. The two sides tend to slip into some sort of status quo that is sustained until something major happens. It becomes a series of tit-for-tat exchanges. (Coke vs Pepsi, Democrat vs Republican, Star Wars vs Star Trek, M1cr050f7 vs the world)

    After all, how dull was it when it was just the PS2 and the Gamecube, each with their exclusives and not really having anything to fear from the competition, then in steps Gat3$y with his box-o-tricks and shakes up the whole console scene. I feel that if the Xbox hadn't been introduced, then perhaps we would still be playing on our Gamecubes and PS2s without any concept of a new generation.

    I suppose the point of this rambling is that two is good, three is better. It is just a shame when one falls by the wayside (r.i.p. Gizmondo... we miss you (j/k)) but it is even more of a shame when the one that falls by the way is oneof the innovators and one of the most influential and important examples of its kind. The Dreamcast will be one of them, loved and lost, but always remembered.

    It's position in history is secured, alongside the Amiga, the Gameboy and the Intellivision.

    Maybe, one day, Sega will re-emerge and surprise us all. I look forward to that day.
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    I didn't get a DC at the time because I was holding on for the PS2, but did get a chance to play on one my mate had. I remember the games looked smooth as opposed to textured 3D on the PS1. Was going to buy one on eBay about a year ago but didn't because I don't get enough chance to play on my PS2 at the moment. What's the emulation scene like with the DC?

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    Emulating a DC or emulation on the DC?

    If you mean emulating a Dreamcast, then it is not good. An emulator called Chankast, version Alpha 0.25, was released a couple of years ago and showed real promise. Able to boot Dreamcast ISO images and CDs, and even run some commercial games partly successfully. But nothing has been mentioned of further development of that emulator since this alpha release so it is probably dead now.

    But if you are talking of emulation on the Dreamcast, then a big emulation and homebrew scene appeared for the Dreamcast and many emulators are available that run on it, including Megadrive, SNES and MAME. Not sure if UAE was ever ported though.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    Quote Originally Posted by v85rawdeal View Post
    I fully agree. I believe that the Dreamcast was the pinnacle of console development during its time and it is just a great shame that it did not get the support that the other consoles got.

    The great element with the dreamcast was that it was a 3rd option, although, in reality, it was the PSX that was the real 3rd option, as Sega and Nuntendo were the big boys on the block.

    If you look at all the times in the past where there has only been two options available to the public, there has never been that much of a sense to advance. The two sides tend to slip into some sort of status quo that is sustained until something major happens. It becomes a series of tit-for-tat exchanges. (Coke vs Pepsi, Democrat vs Republican, Star Wars vs Star Trek, M1cr050f7 vs the world)

    After all, how dull was it when it was just the PS2 and the Gamecube, each with their exclusives and not really having anything to fear from the competition, then in steps Gat3$y with his box-o-tricks and shakes up the whole console scene. I feel that if the Xbox hadn't been introduced, then perhaps we would still be playing on our Gamecubes and PS2s without any concept of a new generation.

    I suppose the point of this rambling is that two is good, three is better. It is just a shame when one falls by the wayside (r.i.p. Gizmondo... we miss you (j/k)) but it is even more of a shame when the one that falls by the way is oneof the innovators and one of the most influential and important examples of its kind. The Dreamcast will be one of them, loved and lost, but always remembered.

    It's position in history is secured, alongside the Amiga, the Gameboy and the Intellivision.

    Maybe, one day, Sega will re-emerge and surprise us all. I look forward to that day.
    I'm not sure about that. The original Xbox didn't sell at all well in Japan which is after all the home market for both Sony and Nintendo. And Sony began development of the PS2 while the PSX was still years from being over. I expect Nintendo were also already working on the Gamecube.

    Console manufacturers look at their systems as having roughly a 5 year live span, so begin the development of the next system pretty much as soon as they launch the last one.

    And Sega had been in trouble for a very long time before the Dreamcast ever came to market. The Genesis (Megadrive) was a huge success and the best selling home console in many countries, but the Saturn was a huge disaster and Sega made huge losses on it. So there over stretched themselves with the Dreamcast to try and make a comeback. The Dreamcast Hardware was amazing at the time ad far ahead of the other current systems, but Sega had spent big to make the Dreamcast, and unfortunately the launch of the PS2 finished Sega off as they just didn't have anything left to fight back with. Very sad for such an old gaming company with such a huge gaming lineage. At least they accepted they were beaten in the hardware market and instead switched to exclusive games development. And you could tell how bad off they were when the Dreamcast ceased production because for the next couple of years all Sega released were updates and ports of their existing games. Only recently have they managed to start developing new games and beginning to get going again.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    An emulator called Cankast
    It's called Chankast and the latest version dates from 2004. And it doesn't support original DC discs (GD-ROMs), only copies.

    Another emulator is called DEMUL which is very fast and also very compatible. A lot of games run properly, and it's an alternative to Chankast, as it runs games, Chankast still doesn't. And it also only supports copies so far.

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    Thanks for noticing the spelling mistake.

    I tried DEMUL when it first came out and gave up after not being able to get anything to run. I will have to give it another go when I get chance.

    DC emulators will never be able to run real GC-ROM Dreamcast discs as standard PC CD drives cannot read them, much like Amiga emulation with Amiga disks. Therefore we will always need to either use mounted ISOs or copied CD-R's of the games.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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    So do you think that Sega will rise back to prominance? Or will they be stuck forever?
    Check out my blog - submeg.com/

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