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Sega Dreamcast

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Dreamcast logo.svg
Dreamcast.jpg
Sega Dreamcast
Manufacturer: Sega
Variants: Sega NAOMI, Atomiswave, Sega Aurora
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
JP
¥29,800 HKT-3000
Sega Dreamcast
US
$199.99 HKT-3020
Sega Dreamcast
UK
£199.99[2]
Sega Dreamcast
FR
1,690[4]F
Sega Dreamcast
DE
DM 499,-[5]
Sega Dreamcast
ES
?Ptas
Sega Dreamcast
AU
$499.00[6] ?
Sega Dreamcast
BR
R$R899.00 ?
Sega Dreamcast
AS
? HKT-3010

The Sega Dreamcast (ドリームキャスト) is a home video game console manufactured by Sega as a successor to the Sega Saturn. It was originally released in November 1998, becoming the first machine to be released in what is now known as the sixth generation of video game consoles, sharing a platform with the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and the Xbox.

The Dreamcast was Sega's last home video game console, and was discontinued in early 2001. It sold at least 8.2 million hardware units and 51.63 million software units by March 2001,Media:AnnualReport2001 English.pdf[8] and up to 10.6 million hardware units in total.

An arcade counterpart to the Dreamcast exists as the Sega NAOMI.

Hardware

The Dreamcast is a small, white box with aesthetics designed to appeal to a wide-ranging audience. It was envisioned as an "128-bit" "super console", designed to leapfrog "32-bit" and "64-bit" contemporaries in the form of the PlayStation and Nintendo 64, respectively (although from a technical standpoint, its main processor deals in 32-bit or 64-bit instructions, with the 128-bit figure coming from the graphics hardware). Incidentally the Dreamcast was the last home console to use "bits" as a selling point, with processing capabilities now typically measured in other ways.

Taking design cues from the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn, the Dreamcast contains four control ports, a removable modem, disc drive and an extension port (as well as the expected AV and power inputs). It is not backwards compatible with any prior Sega hardware or software (although its controller derives from the Saturn's 3D Control Pad), and operates in much the same way as the Saturn (and PlayStation) does, with a configurable settings and memory management accessed through a BIOS screen.

The Dreamcast uses a proprietary format of storage called GD-ROMs for games in order to circumvent software piracy, a strategy that ultimately backfired when the first run of discs had a high rate of defects. The format was also cracked fairly quickly (and in some cases, the pirated games were released before the legitimate versions). Sega largely had themselves to blame for the high levels of Dreamcast piracy—their use of the GD-ROM format was completely undermined by the console's support for the Mil-CD format, which allowed the console to boot from a standard CD-R. Mil-CD support was removed from the final Dreamcast revisions toward the end of the console's life.

The GD-ROM format also put the console at a disadvantage when competing against the PlayStation 2 - the PS2 used DVDs, and could therefore run DVD videos making it an inexpensive DVD player as well as a video game console. DVD-ROMs also have more storage space, allowing for bigger games (though the initial run of PS2 games used a blue CD-ROM format). Sega looked into DVD technology during the Dreamcast's development but claimed it was too expensive.

The Dreamcast was the first video game console to ship with a built-in 56k modem, with broadband adapters being made available later on in certain regions. This allowed the system to connect to the internet using a custom, fully-functional web browser and e-mail client. Many games released for the Dreamcast shipped with online play modes, the most popular being Phantasy Star Online and the Sega Sports lineup (now published under the ESPN label). Although other consoles before the Dreamcast had network gaming support, such as the Sega Saturn's NetLink and the Sega Mega Drive's XB∀ND, the Dreamcast was the first game console to include this ability out of the box and is therefore considered the first internet-enabled home game system.

The Dreamcast has a modest hacking enthusiast community. The availability of Windows CE software development kits on the Internet—as well as ports of Linux (LinuxDC) and dreamcast NetBSD operating systems to the Dreamcast—gave programmers a selection of familiar development tools to work with, even though they do not really support the high speed graphics. A homebrew minimal operating system called Kallistios offers support for most hardware, while not offering multi-tasking, which is superfluous for games. Many emulators and other tools (MP3, DivX players, and image viewers) have been ported to or written for the console, taking advantage of the relative ease with which a home user can write a CD which is bootable by an unmodified Dreamcast.

Sega released an arcade board, using the same technology as the Dreamcast, called Sega NAOMI, leading to many Dreamcast-exclusive games with a high level of arcade quality.

The Dreamcast's PowerVR CLX2 was the first GPU for a home system with hardware capabilities such as bump mapping, volumetric effects,[9] order-independent transparency, and Dot3 normal mapping.[10]

Models

Main article: Dreamcast consoles.

Japanese Dreamcasts can be identified by the triangle at the front of the unit. Though the power LED is identical across all regions, the piece of plastic attached to the lid of the Japanese model is transparent, while in North America it is grey. The Japanese models also have the text "Designed for Microsoft Windows CE" printed on the front right, whereas Western versions say "Compatible with Microsoft Windows CE".

For a full list of special edition Dreamcasts, see Special Dreamcast Models.

Technical specifications

Main article: Sega Dreamcast/Technical specifications.

Hardware comparisons

Main article: Sega Dreamcast/Hardware comparison.

History

Main article: History of the Sega Dreamcast.

Games

Main article: Sega Dreamcast games.

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega Dreamcast/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advertisements

ODCM US 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (US) #1: "September 1999" (1999-08-24)

ODCM US 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (US) #1: "September 1999" (1999-08-24)

ODCM US 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (US) #1: "September 1999" (1999-08-24)

ODCM US 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (US) #1: "September 1999" (1999-08-24)

Arcade UK 10.pdfArcade UK 10.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Arcade (UK) #10: "September 1999" (1999-07-27)

CVG UK 213.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Computer & Video Games (UK) #213: "August 1999" (1999-07-14)
also published in:
  • DC-UK (UK) #1: "September 1999" (1999-xx-xx)[11]

ODM UK Preview.pdfODM UK Preview.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Official Dreamcast Magazine (UK) #preview: "Taster" (1999-xx-xx)

ConsolesMax FR 02.pdfConsolesMax FR 02.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Consoles Max (FR) #2: "Juillet/Août 1999" (1999-xx-xx)

DLMO FR 05.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Dreamcast: Le Magazine Officiel (FR) #5: "Juillet/Août 2000" (2000-xx-xx)

DLMO FR 05.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Dreamcast: Le Magazine Officiel (FR) #5: "Juillet/Août 2000" (2000-xx-xx)

DLMO FR 05.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Dreamcast: Le Magazine Officiel (FR) #5: "Juillet/Août 2000" (2000-xx-xx)

DDOM DE 01.pdfDDOM DE 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Dreamcast: Das Offizielle Magazin (DE) #1: "Oktober 1999" (1999-10-xx)

DDOM DE 01.pdfDDOM DE 01.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Dreamcast: Das Offizielle Magazin (DE) #1: "Oktober 1999" (1999-10-xx)

MAN!AC DE 1999-11.pdf

PDF
Print advert in MAN!AC (DE) #1999-11: "11/99" (1999-10-06)

MAN!AC DE 1999-12.pdf

PDF
Print advert in MAN!AC (DE) #1999-12: "12/99" (1999-11-03)

Gamers BR 44.pdfGamers BR 44.pdfGamers BR 44.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Gamers (BR) #44: "xxxx xxxx" (xxxx-xx-xx)

SuperGamePower BR 089.pdf

PDF
Print advert in SuperGamePower (BR) #89: "Agosto 2001" (2001-xx-xx)

Retailers

Arcade UK 10.pdf

PDF
Print advert in Arcade (UK) #10: "September 1999" (1999-07-27)

Television advertisements

Other advertisements

Artwork

Hardware diagrams

Logos

Patents

References

Sega Home Video Game Systems
83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11
SG-1000 SG-1000 II Mega Drive Mega Drive II
SC-3000 Mega-CD Mega-CD II Genesis 3
Sega Mark III 32X Dreamcast
Master System Master System II
AI Computer Game Gear
Saturn
Pico Beena


Sega Dreamcast
Topics Technical Specifications (Hardware Comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and Legacy) | List of Games
Hardware Dreamcast consoles in Japan (Special) | Overseas
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third Party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third Party)
Controller Connectors DC Tsunaident 123 | Dream Connection 2 in 1 | Dream Connection 4 in 1 | Dream Connection II | Super Converter 3 | Total Control | Total Control 2 | Total Control Plus | Total Control 3 | Total Control 5
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Treamcast | Third-party
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora