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Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast is the most recent Sega console to date even though it is officially dead. It was released in 1999 long before other similar consoles were and enjoyed brisk sales its first season. It was an attempt to break into the console market with a next generation[?] system designed to supersede Sony's PlayStation and Nintendo's N64, but mainly because of doubt (most Sega consoles have been failures) and anticipation of the Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2, and Microsoft Xbox, it lost a lot of steam and Sega began to lose money once again. Early 2001?, Sega announced that the Dreamcast was to be discontinued but that new games would still be made. The failure of the Dreamcast was the final blow that took Sega out of the hardware business.

Dreamcast used a proprietary format called GD-ROM for storing games in order to foil software pirates, a strategy that ultimately backfired when the first run of discs had a high rate of defects, and pirates managed to pirate the games anyway (in some cases the pirated games were released before the legitimate versions!).

Microsoft cooperated with Sega hoping to promote its Windows CE for video games, but Windows CE for the Dreamcast showed bad performance and because of that was only used for very few games. The libraries Sega offered much more performance, but they were more difficult to program.

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 and 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 home brew minimal Operating System called Kallistios (http://sourceforge.net/projects/cadcdev/) offers support for most hardware, while not offering multi-tasking, which is superfluous for games.

Sega build a Arcade board based on the same technic as the Dreamcast called Sega NAOMI.

Specifications

  • CPU: SH-4 RISC CPU with 128 Bit graphic computational engine built-in (operating frequency: 206 Mhz 360 MIPS/1.4 GFLOPS)
  • Graphics Engine: PowerVR2 DC (capable of drawing more than 3 million polygons per second)
  • Memory: Main RAM-16 MB, Video RAM-8 MB, Sound RAM-2 MB
  • Sound Card: Super Intelligent (Yamaha) Sound Processor with 32-Bit RISC ARM CPU core built-in (64 channel PCM/ADPCM)
  • GD-ROM Drive: 12x maximum speed (when running in Constant Angular Velocity mode-CAV GD-ROM is a new high density memory medium (capacity = 1.2 GB)
  • Modem: Removable 56kbps modem
  • Color Output: Approx. 16.77 million simultaneous colors

See also



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