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Press release: 2000-03-07: ChuChu Rocket! Blasts Onto Sega Dreamcast as the First Console Title to Offer Multi-Player Online Gaming

From Sega Retro

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This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library


SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 7, 2000

Designed by the World Renowned Sonic Team, This Fast and Frenzied

Cat and Mouse Puzzle Game Takes Advantage of the Dreamcast Network

Prepare for the premiere of addictive online console gaming! Sega(R) of America, Inc. announced today the release of "ChuChu Rocket!(TM)," the first multiplayer online game for the 128-bit, Internet-ready Sega Dreamcast(TM) videogame console. "ChuChu Rocket!" is an adrenaline-paced action/puzzle game in which players must direct multitudes of mice into escape rockets while redirecting predatory cats into their opponents' ships. Created by the world-renowned Sonic Team, "ChuChu Rocket!" is an addictive innovative game for the entire family that can be played at home or on the Internet via the Dreamcast Network(TM). Gameplay options vary, allowing players to challenge friends offline, strangers online, or engage the single player mode with over a 100 different puzzles. Gamers can also design custom puzzles for unlimited replayability. The title will be available at retailers nationwide on March 7 for $29.95.

Since "ChuChu Rocket!" is the first console title to offer online multi-player gaming, players can now challenge friends around the world in real-time via the Dreamcast Network. By dialing into the Dreamcast Network, players can set up private rooms to play against friends, or meet in open rooms to go head-to-head against strangers as far away as Japan! Players in the US can chat and send e-mails to Japanese players. Pre-assigned taunts can also be sent during gameplay. When gamers log onto the Sega Dreamcast Network, they will enter a user name and password under which their scores and online "ChuChu Rocket!" stats are saved. Players can also post high scores for the competition to see. Thanks to the 56K modem-equipped Sega Dreamcast, getting online is a painless process and gamers can be dialed into the Dreamcast Network in a matter of minutes.

The frantic gameplay of "ChuChu Rocket!" must be seen to be understood. The objective is to lead as many mice as possible into a rocket, which will launch to safety at the end of each round. Each player has a color coded rocket into which they must direct mice. Whoever has the most mice in their rocket at the end of each round wins...but watch out, cats can wander into rockets or be guided into them by opponents, thereby depleted the saved mouse count by 1/3. Mice and cats constantly run in straight lines, but they can be directed by placing arrows on the screen. These arrows dictate turning points to lead cats and mice into or away from rockets. The skilled gamer will quickly learn to divide strategy between leading mice into their own rocket while directing cats into the their opponents' ships.

Created by the award winning Sonic Team, "ChuChu Rocket!" incorporates familiar touches, such as bright colors, a catchy fun soundtrack, innovative gameplay, cute characters and multiple player options. This amalgamation makes "ChuChu Rocket!" another Sonic Team triumph! "ChuChu Rocket!," which marks the first action/puzzle game the Sonic Team has ever created, has redefined the puzzle genre with astounding and addictive results. Also, several hidden features have been included in the game for Sonic Team fans to enjoy after playing through some of the more difficult puzzles.

"Sega understands that many players see the Internet as the future of gaming, and our company's heritage has always been geared toward the fans," says Charles Bellfield, director of marketing communications, Sega of America. "Because both Sega and the Sonic Team are known for breaking the mold and taking gaming into new directions, it's fitting that `ChuChu Rocket!' marks the first multi-player online game for Sega Dreamcast."

Gameplay in "ChuChu Rocket!" is a constantly shifting format. As a roulette spins, random events are selected such as Mouse Mania, during which hundreds of mice flood the screen and Slow Down, which causes every thing on the screen (including the music) to move at a lethargic pace. This stage is always welcome because it allows gamers a moment to exhale and assess the situation. In addition to head-to-head competition, "ChuChu Rocket!" has an equaling thrilling single-player mode. Over one hundred single player puzzles exist with varying missions. Gamers can also create their own puzzles to add unlimited replay value. Once a puzzle is created using the Puzzle Edit mode, it can be uploaded to the Dreamcast Network and downloaded by other gamers. "ChuChu Rocket!" is available nationwide today for $29.95.

About Sega Dreamcast

Sega Dreamcast is available in the US with a built in 56K modem, allowing for full Internet functionality through the Sega Dreamcast Network, including chat, e-mail, web browsing and online gaming. Content for the Sega Dreamcast Network is provided by Sega, [email protected] and IGN. The system's preferred Internet service provider is AT&T WorldNet Services, the quickest and easiest way to take the system online. Sega Dreamcast currently has more than 40 titles available. Third-party titles currently in the works will bring the total Sega Dreamcast game library count to more than 200 in the year 2000.

Sega Dreamcast's advanced 128-bit architecture makes it the first console with evolutionary capabilities, allowing it to grow and change to match advances in technology and the needs and desires of the consumer. Sega Dreamcast is also the most powerful video game console ever created. It is 15 times more powerful than a Sony PlayStation(TM), ten times more powerful than a Nintendo(R) 64 and has four times the graphics processing power of the fastest Pentium II processor.

In the first 24 hours of availability, Sega Dreamcast netted over $97 million at retail, more than tripling the past entertainment industry record set by Star Wars: The Phantom Menace at $28 million on its first day. In its initial four days, Sega sold a total of 372,000 Sega Dreamcast systems, easily surpassing the previous industry record holder, Nintendo 64, which took six days to hit 350,000 when it launched in 1996. In the first 13 days at retail, Sega Dreamcast sold more than 514,000 units. Since it launched, Sega Dreamcast has sold more than 1.5 million units, beating sales milestones set by other high-profile consumer and electronics products such as Tickle Me Elmo(TM) and Apple's iMac. Sega estimates that the company will sell 2 million units by the end of March 2000.

About Sega

Sega of America Dreamcast Inc. is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. is a nearly $2.5 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, offering interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at www.sega.com.
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