Sega Net Merc

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Sega Net Merc cabinet.jpg
Sega Net Merc
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
Arcade (Model 1)
JP
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The Sega Net Merc (セガ ネットマーク)[2] is an arcade system released by Sega in 1995. Developed jointly with UK-based virtual reality pioneers Virtuality under a £3.5 million contract,[3] it employs modified Model 1 boards, a Mega Visor Display attached to a 3SPACE ISOTRAK II head tracker, and a specialized cabinet to produce virtual reality visuals for software.

Only one game, Dennou Senki Net Merc, was created and released for the system before the cancellation of further development; poor critical reception and a shortage of Model 1 hardware causing a limited release have been cited,[4] and due to the naming similarity with Dennou Senki Net Merc, the system and game are often used interchangeably in retrospect.

Hardware

The Mega Visor Display, co-developed by Sega and Virtuality for use in VR-1 and Net Merc

The Sega Net Merc arcade system consists of several pieces of hardware, used in conjunction in a 1500 x 2010 x 2225 arcade cabinet to produce a simulated virtual reality experience. Most key to it is the Mega Visor Display headset developed by Virtuality and Sega AM4, first publicly released as part of the VR-1 theme park attraction at Joypolis and overseas Sega World locations in 1994.[5] The headset was designed with the priority of providing comfortability, light weight, and ergonomics for most users, whilst also outputting technically superior graphics to other examples.[6]

In the Net Merc system, the MVD's graphical output is supplied by Model 1 arcade boards, presumably modified in some capacity to support the headset's purported pixel resolution output of 756 x 244.[5] In addition, a 3SPACE ISOTRAK II tracker is used to track head movement as accurately as possible. The 3SPACE ISOTRAK II was manufactured by Polhemus Inc. (originally known as Polhemus Navigation Sciences),[7] a technology company specialised in motion tracking that was founded in 1969 by Bill Polhemus and based in Colchester, Vermont.[8][9]

The physical Net Merc system cabinet itself mainly consists of a standing space for the player, motorised "Net Defender MKII" gun yoke controller with two buttons, coin tower, and storage space for the Mega Visor Display when not in use. However, it is also augmented by a monitor outputting gameplay and attract mode footage to onlookers, as well as a 7-strong sound system of speakers.[10] Alongside safety barriers, these surround the play space and the player to create further in-game immersion.

List of games

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References


Mega Visor Display
Hardware Mega Visor Display | VR-1 | Sega Net Merc
Software Space Mission | Planet Adventure | Dennou Senki Net Merc