6/02/00 - DC in the UK, and our Gala 10th Anniversary
- by BenT
Hello. It's once again time to open up the PDC mailbag. This is a very important night for me, as this is our 10TH ANNIVERSARY MAILBAG! Please, please, send your gifts and well-wishes to the usual address. For my part, I'm going to celebrate in grand style by printing some reader letters and then... well, I think I'll respond to them! It should be fun-tastic! We'll start with a round of letters about the Dreamcast's recent lack of spunk in the UK...
Subject: About the Dreamcast sales
As far as the Dreamcast competing with all these systems now and in the
future, it could come out as the best system. Thats only if Sega continues
to focus on the internet aspects of the system, making a totally new
experience for any gamer. That is they key behind this system. The
innovation factors in a ton also. You have games like Crazy Taxi that are
off the wall and so unique that you want more and more like these titles to
give you more new experiences. Graphics should not be an issue, for
Dreamcast is powerful enough to stay in the game and graphics dont make a
game anyway. Far be it from me to tell the future though, we could see
Dreamcast go up in smoke and have Sony and Nintendo lead the way. X-Box is
not a concern to me, it's just a PC for your Tv.
A lot of good points, there. The modem will indeed be a strong weapon for Sega to use against the PS2, a system that will ship with no inherent online capabilities. You can bet that situation will change a bit into the PS2's life, though, so Sega had better leverage its online superiority while it's still the only kid in town.
From: Ken Gray
Subject: DC in the UK
Too damned expensive to start with, 33.6k modem, NO advertising, no decent
football games - the real football you play with your feet 8-) - pretty
poor software portfolio generally with only a small handful of exceptions
and our DreamArena is slow and pretty damend unreliable in my, albeit,
Need I go on ?
Can only get better as it would be a real shame to see such good technology
and ideas go to the board - especially against that over hyped bag o' crap
PS2 (which IMHO will ultimately disappoint more people than it pleases).
So basically, a video game company is screwing the pooch in the UK. Business as usual, right? :/
Thanks for your viewpoint.
Subject: Dreamcast vs. The World
First the Dreamcast isn't doing very good in Japan, and now the UK sales are
low. What does this all mean? The Dreamcast is great and all, but if there
isn't any market, who would want to make great games? If sales don't pick up,
then I just hope that the American market is big enough to keep SEGA from
pooping out like it did with the Saturn. I mean, SEGA is based in Japan, so
are they gonna keep it going just for us?
That brings up a good point: Sega of Japan is not likely to continue to support the Dreamcast if the system is a flop over there. Lack of Japanese software support would be a deathblow to the system.
From: Seth Yates
Subject: DC Drags in UK
I'm writing regarding your article on the lack of DC sales in the UK.
I've been the proud owner of a DC pretty much since it's release last October. I know a couple of people who also own DCs, but I know many more that are holding out for the PS2. Another problem with UK DC is the games. Mostly we get a slow trickle of new games coming onto the market, the majority of which are average (at best) with just the odd 1 or 2 that are worth buying.
PS. Your site is one of my daily visits, nice one.
From: Chris Wright
Subject: Dreamcast vs. The World
As a proud Dreamcast owner, my views on the low Dreamcast sales over here in
the UK are:
- Sega hasn't really got a good reputation over here, it is seen by many as
another possible failure so people are reluctant to buy.
- The internet time online we have to pay for (price of a local call) so
people don't use the online capabilities.
- Most shops sell a very few Dreamcast games so the choice is decreased.
- The PS2!!
These are but a few of he reasons why, I think that the Dreamcast is doing
badly overhere I hope they help you out.
It really sounds like Sega's doing a crap job of getting the games to you guys. It boggles me that this would be the case... why release a system in a territory if you're only going to give it half-ass support?
From: James Dickinson
Subject: Sega are going to have to defend themselves for their kingdom!
Isn't it obvious? The dreamcast is a great machine but if only it had come out a year eariler. The playstation 2 is on the horizon which is the one that everyone is waiting for. I have been a dedicated sega customer for years buying the game gear, megadrive, and saturn but I now think that Sony have grown too strong for sega to fight back in the home market. The dreamcast will survive longer than the saturn did but it seems as if the playstation is immortal! The ps2 will play ps1 games and it has a dvd player. The dreamcast reigns as king at the moment but I fear that sega is about to be dethroned once again by it's powerful aversary Sony. Why buy something with an uncertain future? I will leave u to decide!
I fear the battle has already been lost before it has even begun..
sorry sega enthusiasts
From: Nicolas Houllet
Subject: (no subject)
i'm french and i 've got v rally 2.
speedy!!! cleaaan ! the best textures .
like a suuuuper sega rally 2.!!!!
Yeah, it looks quite good. You almost ran out of adjectives there, though. Be careful.
In Jeff's message about the battle between the big corporations like Sony and Sega, he says "that's the American (and UK-eian) way".
What a waste of an email this was.
Well, now it's wasting space in the Mailbag. What a vicious cycle we've created.
From: Michael Atkinson
Subject: Laugh, I nearly Shat.
Dear Mail Baggers:
This will not be one of those lengthy diatribes on the DC/PS2 debate. Nor will this be a gushing recount of my history with Sega as the progenitors of such godly gaming goodness. To put it simply if the PS2 is superlative I will get one. Just like I have a DC, Genesis, Gameboy, PSX, Gamegear et al. What I want to purvey here is something from your previous mailbag. And I quote:
"A good friend of mine is trying to convince me that PS2 is the Second Coming of Jebus or something. I tell him that PS2's 1st gen. titles basically suck, he says they will be better in the future. He may be right, but who buys such an expensive system because "it will get better"? A fool. That's like buying fresh cheese because in 10 years, it will be delicious."
BwwwahhahHAHHwhhehehEHEHEhEhshhshehseheheheheheeh. That was funny, almost had Pepsi shoot out of my nose. (I drink Coke too, but I just happened to be drinking Pepsi today)
Lucky for you it was Pepsi. Nasally-expelled Coke can be lethal.
From: Avalon Alarma
Subject: Survival of the fittest
Hi There, First of all I would like to congratulate Sega for the best launch of any console in gaming history. PS2 may have been more sucessful in terms of sales but considering the bad name Sega made for themselves following the *gulp* Saturn, Dreamcast's start was a complete sucess. I won't get involved into this PS2 versus Dreamcast debate. Till now I prefer Sega's clean look to Sony's raw power but I must admit that the flow games for the Dreamcast has been slow of late (too slow). For me it really seems that Dreamcast will walk down Saturn's road in a years time.
The question that has been going on in my head is this: Why dont Sega forget the console market and go on doing what it does best (making quality conversions of arcade games)? There are various new consoles coming up on the horizon (such as the X-Box and the Dolphin) so Sega really has no excuse to put off Dreamcast owners by announcing their followup console already. Sega has a reputation for abandoning its old consoles without blinking an eye (strangely the Saturn comes to mind once again). So why not just use all its avaliable resources to spawn hit after hit and build a name for itself? Namco and Konami have been doing it for years. I doubt Sega will ever have a better launch than the Dreamcast's launch.
On a final note. I dont care who wins in the consoles war as long as I dont get ripped off. In a perfect world there would be just one console and everyone developing games for it (and the PC acting as a medium to avoid the total monopolisation of the games industry). That is what gamers all around the world should aspire to in the long run. Survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Time will tell which breed will come out victorious. When it does I will be there ready to spend my money on it.
Hehe, your "perfect world" actually does exist, in the microcosm known as the handheld market. The Nintendo Game Boy has been reigning there for more than 10 years now, unfazed by anything the "competition" could dream up. And you know what? Because of that, people are still playing low-res, 8-bit, monochrome games -- in the year 2000! Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't there just something wrong with this scenario? Shouldn't the most popular handheld system be a little more advanced by now? I certainly think so. The reason it's not is because Nintendo has absolutely no competition for your handheld dollars, and thus no reason to innovate. As a result, they can just go on milking the Game Boy for all it's worth, while we're stuck playing sub-NES quality games. Is this "perfect"? I don't think so. Spirited competition is absolutely essential for a healthy video game marketplace.
(Yeah, there is the Neo Geo Pocket. And yeah, I love it. But no, it's not gonna make a dent in Game Boy's market share anytime soon...)
From: Carmen Genovese
Subject: Half-Life for DC
I am an avid HL Player, and I just read that HL is coming out for Dreamcast. I was wondering, does the devloper of HL DC plan to Include Team Fortress Classic or possibly Counter-Strike?
My second question is about FPS games in general, without a Mouse and Keyboard they generally suck, does Sega have any plans to release a Mouse for Dreamcast? They already have the keyboard, so a mouse seems like a no-brainer.
No word on the mod front, but I'd be very surprised if CS made it in. TFC is more likely, but still unconfirmed.
And yes, Sega does have a mouse in the works. We played some Quake III with it while at E3, and it worked great. It's a little small for my tastes, but it sure beats the tar out of the DC control pad. :)
From: John Yoon
Subject: frame rate
so what's the deal with frame rate? people say that the human eye can't
distinguish anything beyond 30 fps. yet others say that at frame rates
higher than 30fps, motion becomes "more fluid and lifelike." this would
contradict the first statement.
Some people are more sensitive to framerate than others. I don't know the science behind it, but it's true. A friend of mind claims he can't notice a difference in anything over 30, while I'm just the opposite: if it's anything less than ~60, I can usually tell. So, I need 60 frames per second to perceive an illusion of smoothness, while my friend does not. It's just the way it is; people are different.
If you'd like to check for yourself, try playing Soul Edge on the Playstation, and then compare that to Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast. If you can't notice how much smoother Soul Calibur is, you're either not sensitive to framerate, or blind. :)
Just like to start by saying that I love your site.....it's....frankly.........quit perfect + luv tha reviews I only have a couple issues with u and well they're infirior so now that the butt kiss'n is done let me ask you something.
Ahem I got my dreamcast around christmas and have loved it......however just recently it has begun being.....wierd......it emmits a loud single "BEEP" (about 3 seconds long to be precise) upon turning it on, and during games sometimes ("rarely") ((about three times in 5 weeks)) it resets itself, so................ WHAT'S UP!???!!?!!?!?!!?!!?!!?????? I heard that Dreamcast had some reported overheating problems, could that be it? I mean I don't play it THAT much (about 6 hours a week, on average) but I just don't know what to do, other than that it runs fine (and is quite fun to play) please help
The beep is from your VMU battery being dead. If you'd like the beep to stop, replace it. It doesn't really bother me, though.
The reseting problem is not as simple. If it becomes more frequent, I'd definitely have the system checked out by Sega. Consult your manual, or their website.
From: Ed Chewens
i heard something that is going to be released for the dreamcast like a
sort of sega cd type thing to make the dreamcast as powerful as the
playstation 2.dvd, 3d card, hard drive, and an addition to the ram, like
a 100 or so . can you confirm???
No, but I can deny. First, what you describe sounds like a whole new system in itself -- what would be the point of making it an add-on? And really, when you think about it making an add-on is the last thing that Sega wants to do. All an add-on would do is tell people that Sega didn't learn a thing from the 32X debacle, and they'd effectively be digging their own grave. So, in short, this add-on thing is not gonna happen.
From: Chris Brinkley
Subject: VOOT Dual Joysticks
Just curious if you guys have any word if they will release this
peripheral in the US or if you import a japanese one, will it work on
the US dc or even work for the US version of VOOT?
Sorry, they're not coming over. We have the US version, and the sticks aren't even mentioned in the manual. The Japanese controller is all but impossible to find at this point, so it looks like western VOOT fans are totally out of luck. :( You could try using your Saturn Twinsticks via one of those Saturn to DC controller converters, but the odds of that working are low.
From: Jazak H. Stan
Subject: Dreamcast emulator
I know you guys haven't much pull on the game industry, so don't think of this letter as the casual "can you make for Dreamcast?" bullshit. I wanted to know how good or bad are the prospects of a Dreamcast Saturn emulator. Has Bleem! leaked any info?
That is never gonna happen. Like it or not, most gamers consider the Saturn a farce, and have absolutely zero desire to play emulated Saturn titles. As such, there's no market for such a beast, so it'll never be made. Quite the loss, as I'd love to see my Saturn favorites in high-res with bilinear filtering.
Is NHL2K1 going to be handled by Black Box, Visual Concepts, or a
different designer? I'm praying VC does it, because last year's was ok
but, you know, nothing great. Also, will Bleem!cast let you play EA
sports games? I could finally get my Dreamcast FIFA fix!
Word on NHL2K1 has been scarce, as it's clearly taking a back seat to NFL2K1 and NBA2K1. I did manage to dig up a small tidbit in an MCVNow article, which seems to indicate that VC will definitely be involved in the game's development. That's about all we know at the moment, so stay tuned.
From: Gavin Montague
suprisingly excellent?thats if you forget the blocky graphics,twitchy an
alogue controls,killer slow down (sometimes even with only one car on sc
reen),poor pit system that never worked the way it was supposed to and a
tendancy for the game to crash almost every bloody time you playit,yeah
,apart from that it was REAL excellent.
They can keep their sequel,i`ll just wait for MSR.
We've never experienced a single crash, and find the game to be the best F1 sim in ages. And looking around at other publications, I'm afraid you're in the minority here. Guess we can just agree to disagree, eh?
From: Ryan Tsou
Subject: are there any good games coming?
I'm looking for a good game to get and don't see many games that really spark
my interest after Power Stone 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Some of their
'parent games' didn't receive reviews that really satisfied me. Also, I just
read mail about playing PC games on the dreamcast. You guys answered 'of
course.' No way! So what you are saying is that if I put in Half-Life I get
to play it on the dreamcast along with Starcraft or Unreal Tournament or Quake
Can't really help you with the upcoming games thing. You seem to be into fighters... I am too, and am quite looking forward to Street Fighter III and Tech Romancer. YMMV, though. Concerning the PC/DC remark, it's called sarcasm. Learn it, live it, love it. ;)
From: Naim Falandino
Subject: give me charity!
I want a dreamcast _very_ bad. The system looks so good that I'm kind of turning away from the PS2 all together. But alas, I'm a poor college kid who is struggling just to pay for my tuition. How much are the DC's going for now? Could you give me one. ;-)
In the US they retail for $200, although Sega will soon be offering a $50 rebate for your Dreamcast purchase. The promotion runs from June 4th through August 31st, and details should soon be revealed on Sega.com.
Subject: japanese cars
ok, i've heard the arguement before and this is how i settle it.. look at gt1 and gt2.. notice that you can do next to nothing with the corvettes? notice you cant turbo them, and you can't increase displacement, and that they handle like a monkey smoking crack? well, i'm tired of that, i want american cars in games.. i drive a 1985 corvette z-51, i can take a corner slide thourgh a corner at about 45 miles an hour(a 80 or greater degree corner, that is) and keep going, not a problem.. they handle great, and you can GASP, turbo chagre them, you can also GASP increase the displacement from 5.7 liters (350 cubes) to a big bad 6.6liters (approx 402 cubes), heck, i autocross my vette, and i know that it can outperform any jap import i've toed the line with, and i think the lack of american cars in games is due to the fact that maerican cars are stereotyped as big, oversteering, led sleds... lets see some respect for the bowtie camp, ok game makers?
*waits in anticipation of next week's car letter*
From: Pricilia Linan
Subject: every boby plays their games for a long time anyway
Ok. the game is hard to learn in the bigining, but when you learn how to play which takes about 1 hour at most, and than just like any other game u get better the more uyou play, and the best part of playing isusing the special moves. i meam in what game can you control fire or ice and make that power grab your opponent. bascally, the person who reviewed this game did not give it a fair chance, because of the time factor but besides that the game it self is better than most fighting games i've played and the fact that it takes a little time to learn how to play, i like that if u like fighting games u should like this game. and another thin i like about is that it reminds me of Dragonball Z and since mentioned DBZ how come no body from dreamcast is smart enough to make a good game out the best action cartoon ever. thats it. i hope somebody reads this.
Uh... my psychic powers tell me that you're babbling about Psychic Force 2012. Am I right?
Actually, no, please don't answer.
is there any cheat codes for this game???
Don't be ridiculous. Of course there are cheat codes for this game. Some people...
IS SEGA COMING OUT WITH A DVD PLAYER FOR THE DC
MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS KAYLIN [email protected]
Thanks, I'd forgotten.
Wee, that's another Mailbag. Some great letters this week, but don't stop now -- keep 'em coming! You know the addy. Oh, and Leslie -- I didn't forget about your request. Slow and steady wins the race, right? ;)
Alright, now I'm going to finish my mad celebrating by going to bed. Really, it'll be grand. So, until next week, see ya!