May 21, 1998
On May 21 at midnight PST, a press conference was held at the Akasaka Hotel New Otani to promote Sega Enterprise latest game console, Dreamcast. In attendance was Sega's President Shoichiro Irimajiri, who officially released the machine's specs.
Its here, its white, it looks just like the Saturn, but this time it brought its friends Dreamcast, the mould-breaking new 128-bit console produced by Sega, Videologic, Yamaha, Hitachi and Microsoft has broken its cover and gone public. Designed for network connectivity and multiplayer gaming, the Dreamcast has four controller ports, an integral 33.6 Kbps modem, and an innovative visual memory PDA card (seen that somewhere before, eh?) that slots neatly into the top of the controller and presents the user with various interesting gaming functions. The machine will shift 3 million polygons per second, features a 64-channel Super Intelligent sound system and rocks along with an SH-4 CPU, Power VR2 graphics engine and a customized version of Windows CE under the hood. There’s no price or hard-and-fast release date yet, but the press pack tentatively suggests November 98. Available separately, the PDA **** memory card looks uncannily similar to Sony’s efforts, but instead of attaching to the controller port, the visual memory inserts into the controller itself, a bit like the planned N64-Game Boy Pocket Monster converter and is configured for super high-speed data transfer. A scenario envisaged by Sega’s PR department involves using the modem to hook your Dreamcast up with a friends machine somewhere far away, thrash the friend at a game, then gloat over your victory by means of a chat session conducted afterwards using the console. And if that wasn’t enough, you are then supposed to download the data to your visual memory card, hang it round
your neck on a chain, and walk around town looking very smug. If you chance to meet your hapless opponent during your trip, you can connect the visual memory card directly to his (or hers) and swap game data, including team formations for sports games, radar and maps for action titles and special moves and rankings for fighters. For the future, Sega even expect you to be able to hook the visual
memory card up with your mobile phone for, they say, a whole slew of new gaming experiences. Hmmm. On a more mundane level, the visual memory is also a basic PDA, featuring a calendar, clock and planner function.
CPU: Hitachi 128 bit graphics engine with anon-board RISC processor SH4 (operating frequency of 200MHz 360 MIPS/1.4FLOPS)
Graphics Chip: NEC PowerVR2 (rendering
capacity: over 3 million polygons per second)
Sound Processor: Yamaha Super Intelligent Sound Processor (simultaneously
articulates 64 sounds)
Operating System: Customized OS using Windows CE as its base (Supports
Main Memory: 16MByte (64Mbit SD-RAM x 2)
CD-ROM Drive: 12-speed ( Maximum )
On-board Modem: 33.6Kbps modem
Controllers: Red, Yellow, Blue, and Grey
Visual Memory (sold separately): A liquid-crystal display PDA for game data
backup and data exchange.
Console Dimensions: 7 7/16" X 7 11/16" X 3"
Release Date: September 9, 1999
Data save method on PDA
Dimensions 190 mm (W) x 195 mm (H) x 78 mm (D)
Weight 2.0 kg
Memory 128 KB
Display 48 dot (W) x 32 dot (H) Monochrome
Display size 37 mm (W) x 26 mm (H)
Case dimensions 47 mm (W) x 80 mm (H) x 16 mm (D)
Power source 2 x button batteries, w. auto-off function
Sound 1-channel PWM sound source