7/8/00 - Piracy, Broken DCs, and a Soccer Threat
- by BenT
Welcome to the PDC Mailbag. Every week we toss in a bunch of letters from our readers and do our best to dazzle you with wit and wisdom. Roughly, that translates to copying/pasting your emails and writing the first thing that comes to mind. But hey, you take what you can get. If you have something you want to contribute to the Mailbag, send it to this address!
From: Andy Sinesio
Subject: DC Piracy - No Big Deal
Okay, people, reality check.
Everyone knows that nearly every PC game is very easily pirated, as well
as pretty much any Playstation game. However, apparently it is very
difficult to copy Dreamcast games (you can't just put the GD-ROM in your
CDROM and do a direct copy to CDR) and so I don't believe there is
really anything to worry about here. Since Sega has already fixed the
loophole, it would seem that games going to golden master this week or
later will not suffer the same fate. I look at the list of games that
are pirated, and their file sizes, and it's pretty much going to be next
to impossible to download and burn a game over a 56k modem. That leaves
the people with broadband doing the pirating. The reason PSX piracy is
so rampant is because people don't need to download anything in order to
Sure, they pirated Soul Calibur. In my book, that's a crime far worse
than words can describe, since the game is well worth $100, but they're
only charging $40 at best buy. On the other hand, maybe it's
retribution for Namco giving us DC users nothing but a stupid puzzle
game over the last year.
Bottom line, no further releases will be copied. If you own a Dreamcast
and DON'T already own Crazy Taxi and Soul Calibur, then why the heck did
you buy a Dreamcast in the first place?
It's cool that you have so much faith in Sega, but I have a hard time believing that the security hole has been "fixed." Really, "everything is under control" is the first thing a company will try to say in a situation like this. After all, they wouldn't want their investors and the mainstream press to think otherwise.
You have a decent point about bandwidth, but you should also consider that so-called broadband connections are exploding in the US. In fact, when I play Quake lately, it seems that there are a heck of a lot more LPBs than HPBs, which would have been unheard of two years ago. Make no mistake, more and more people are getting phat pipes to the net, and that will only increase the plausibility of Dreamcast piracy.
From: Chris Cummins
Subject: The SNK issue might have an Impact on Piracy
With the withdrawal of SNK games for the Dreamcast, it's going to force gamers to either import the game or pirate it if they want to play it, the same can be said of other games not imported...
I was fortunite to be able to layaway KOF99 at my local Wal Mart before it was sent back, but I wasn't able to get match of the millenium...I hope I can find it on import...
but many people won't try importing games, they'll just poirate them...As long as the sizes of the games is over a few hundred megs, it might deter some people from pirating them, but as technology advances so will the number of people who would rather pirate a game than buy it...
This does leave a thought about the region lock outs, if people do pirate games they can't buy in their own territory, maybe Sega *and Sony and Nintendo* ought to consider selling more of those games...Jailing customers is not good publicity or economics...
Another issue is the touchiness of the media, many people have complained that GD-ROMs are easy to break *they supposably scratch and can be broken easily, not that I've had that problem...yet* and if enough people believe this to be true, piracy will flourish through gamers helping pirates so they can archive their valuabe software *a $5 investment to protect a $50 GD-ROM looks good to many gamers...
In closing, I'm not defending piracy but rather stating that companies need to evaluate what drives people to pirate software. A hard line against piracy will slow it but never stop it, taking a look at the industry and being more friendly to the customers, however, can help a bit at least in this never-ending battle...
-Chris *Paratech* Cummins
You have a bunch of good points, but I'd like to take issue with the one about importing. If you ask me, a gamer is no way "forced" to pirate a game that's not released in their country. In almost all cases, said game is easily available via Internet import stores. Really, it's never been easier to obtain a foreign game -- you don't even have to pick up the phone. This is no excuse.
Btw, Video Game Depot has the Asian (English) hardcase version of MotM in stock. Just look at that case... beautiful. I think I might have to replace my cardboard English version... ;)
From: James Boldman
Subject: The DC of course!
Congratulations on the site and all - I
stumbled across your site while looking
for more info on DOA2 secrets and will
definitely be back for more.
I'm currently enjoying the US version of
DOA2 on my UK DC over here in "quaint
old" England and was wondering if you
could help me with the conundrum of
the missing alternate costumes. Having
played DOA2 on the PS2, I was looking
forward to unlocking Tina's Catwoman
costume on my DC (hubba hubba) but...
WHAT? ... where are those extra skimpy
outfits? I mean, finely crafted costumes?
This takes away a lot of the Pokemon-
eske "Gotta catch 'em all" aspect of
the original DOA where up to 20 costumes
each were available - this improved the
1-player life of the game. There is a
rumour that the Euro edition may have
the costumes - any info? If it does, I'll
be trading in my US edition come its
release. If not, I'll trade it for the PS2
Great to read the review of SF3-DI! I'm
a big Streetfighter fan and was really
overjoyed to discover what a good game
SF3 is (I have a Japanese copy). Ken
and Ryu still rock, and I'm slowly learning
the new characters' abilities. It may be
a bit of patriotism but I think Dudley
kicks ass - "Uppercut!" (even if he is
Balrog in a suit!). Hey, can you let me
know what happens to all the characters
at the end? I can't read Jap! Ken gets
punched in the nuts and that's about all
I got from him ... Ryu walks off (again)
Lets hope the DC has a great end to
2000. I work as a manager in videogame
retail and know that it really does
depend on the games released - get more
games out, Sega!!! They are soooooooo
slooooooooooooooooow on the Euro
releases (US too??? - I hear you don't
have Ecco yet?!?). Games sell machines -
Res Evil:CV sold 4 times as many DC's
after its release here in the UK. All I
had to do was put the game on the TV in
the store for a quick preview and, bang,
game sold - sometimes DC sold!
More games, faster, faster Sega!
And the PS2? As I stated above, consoles
need games (why do you think Bill "The
World is Mine" Gates is buying up
software companies left-right and
centre? Because he can't sell a console
with age of Empires, that's why! The
games on the PS2 so far are merely PS
games with better graphics - Tekken Tag
lost its appeal on me and my friends and
I proceeded to play Tekken Bowl more
than fight! As with Ridge 5 - Ridge 4
with improved graphics (and you can
achieve that with Bleemcast!) - and you
can complete it in an afternoon. Oh I
wanted Kessen to be good - what a
disappointment! Driving Emotion Type-S
should be called Driving A Shopping
Trolly-Type S etc. etc. I can see myself
buying a PS2 on October 26th without
any bloody games - rock on GT2000! I
have a DVD player so I don't need that
aspect of the machine.
Actually, as a digression, lets hope that
MSR lives up to its hype. I have a Jap
version of Sega GT and I'm not all that
impressed. A good driving game is
required (although I'm not sure about
the points for driving style etc. - first
over the line should win, my friends -
save that crap form snowboarding games)
OK, see you around in cyberspace.
Wow, your fingers must be tired...
Anyway, from what we hear (or more accurately, what Tren hears), the European version of DoA2 will have the PS2 version's extra content. As for the SF3 endings, consult the second FAQ on this page.
From: Jon Hogg
Subject: Damn evil worms...
On Monday I traveled down to my local video games store and picked up a copy
of 'Worms Armageddon' for my Dreamcast. had I really enjoyed the game on PC
and so was mightily disappointed to find that, upon my return home, the game
would not run. It got as far as telling me that it was "Powered by
Microsoft Windows CE" and then crashed. This occurrence, funny as it may
be, was not worth my hard earned money.
I returned the GD the next day and received a replacement copy, as was
expected. However, once again, the game failed to run - crashing at the
same point as the previous copy.
Cursing my bad luck I once again made my way to the store only to find that
when the GD was tested it ran without a hitch. Normally I would be inclined
to say that the console itself must be at fault but all my other games run
flawlessly. So what is it about Worms that my Dreamcast can't handle? What
special property could it possibly possess that no other game does?
It seems to me that the only common factor here is your Dreamcast. Weird as it may seem, what else could it be?
From: Louis Huckabay
Subject: Games screw up
3 of my games wont play any more all of the are less than 2 months old.
I put them in and a controller comes up that says play. They wont play
though it just keeps going back to the controller.
Either your discs are scratched/dirty or your Dreamcast can not read the discs correctly. Are your discs completely pristine? Dreamcast games are really sensitive to scratches, smudges, and the like. If you're sure it's not the media, try cleaning the lens of your system's GD-ROM drive with a CD lens cleaning kit. You should be able to find one in a well-stocked audio or computer store. If you still can't get things working reliably, look into exchanging it or getting it serviced.
From: YO MAN
Subject: Modem Upgrade
I have DSL and i wanted to know if Sega was ever going to make DSL/Cabel modems for the Dream Cast. It sucks not being able to go online with my Dream Cast because I dont have a slow 56k connection.
Yes, later this year.
Subject: Real Multiplayer Gaming
I Wanna buy the Dreamcast but I need to know if you can hook up two
Dreamcasts with two TV's just like the Computer for some seperate multiplayer
gaming. Oh is Halflife ever gonna come out for the Dreamcast.
Nope, sorry. Well, it's possible that the LAN adapter will support peer to peer networking, but I doubt it. And even then, games will have to be written to take advantage of it.
Subject: Free DC?
I was reading in EGM about how you can get a $200 rebate by signing up for 2 years of seganet and I was wondering how I would go about getting this rebate. Also, will the Ethernet/LAN adapter let you use a cable modem already hooked up into a computer network?
Note: This answer has been updated to correct erroneous information. Thanks go to reader TheWafer for spotting the error. Now back to your regularly scheduled Mailbag...
The $200 rebate dealie is not in effect yet -- it will start in September. At that time, Sega will formally roll out the SegaNet ISP. A number of retailers will allow you to sign up for the required 2 years of SegaNet service at the point of purchase, and thus you'll save your $200 on the spot. If you're not that lucky, you can simply sign up for your 2 years through normal methods, and Sega will send your check in the mail. The rebate is retroactive, so it looks like current DC owners should be able to get in on the rebate action, too. We'll just have to wait a bit until SegaNet is ready...
As for the cable modem question, I'm sure you or a networking-affluent friend could hack something together.
From: Grant Hummer
Subject: Dreamcast sucks
Many people have been claiming that consoles are outpacing PCs, and that
such systems as the dreamcast, being cheaper in price, will overtake them. I
beg to differ, and here is why:
1. Console technology is merely a showing of what PCs will have, say, 6
months from now. The console market is very stagnant in terms of upgrading,
however the market for PCs is very dynamic, as companies utilize the new
technologies offered by faster cpus, better graphic chips, etc.
2. Controls in FPS games. Now, unless you can hook your dreamcast up to a
keyboard, I can guarantee you that with that pitiful little console
controller you will get owned by an experienced player in an FPS game like
Quake III Arena, due to lack of doing many things at once, such as strafing,
aiming, shooting, and jumping all at the same time.
3. The internet connections. Now, when valve said 200 ping is "very
playable" for Half-life, I laughed my ass off. Any Half-life console player
newbie that enters into a game with a bunch of 20 pinging LPBs will get his
ass handed to him.
4. Lack of maturity in the console market. The console market's demographics
have many more players under the age of say, 14, than the PCs' do, due to
it's simplicity, low price, and drone-like qualities.
5. Consoles aren't upgradable. Even Microsoft is putting some security
system on it's X-box to keep people from replacing the graphics chip or
upgrading it's measly 64 MB of RAM. You want to get Quake 3 Fortress while
you're on the dreamcast, or that new model released to PC users? Dream on.
Though I may have gone out on a tangent with consoles in general, the
dreamcast has all the flaws that I have just mentioned, which keeps it from
rising up to the quality and flexibility of PCs.
Ah, a PC stalwart, eh? Let's address your points one by one.
1. Only in a perfect world would game companies take advantage of all of the newest PC technologies. Sure, there may be cards out there that support "free" full-scene anti-aliasing, motion blur, anisotropic filtering, bump mapping, the works... but you won't find any games that use them. Why? Because PC game designers want their game to be played by the widest possible audience, and that means designing for the lowest common hardware denominator. Could an awesome, console-destroying (heh) game be created with a P3-1000 / Voodoo 5 6000 as the target platform? Sure... but only about 12 people would be able to enjoy it, so it wouldn't get made. On the other hand, consoles don't suffer from this problem. Since the platform is fixed, developers can go "all out" in exploiting the possibilities of the system, without worrying about shrinking the audience.
2. A keyboard is already available for the Dreamcast, and a mouse is coming soon. 'nuff said.
3. Thankfully, Sega has an oft-discussed LAN Adapter waiting in the wings, which will bring Dreamcast users into the realm of low pings.
4. "Drone-like qualities," hehehe. :) It's funny that you mention simplicity and low price as demerits, since they are exactly what make consoles so appealing over PCs. And although you think of the lower age of the console demographic as negative, it seems to me that kids have more time to devote to games than your average adult, the result being higher console software sales.
5. Consoles are upgradable, it just rarely works out. Allowing consoles to have upgrades is usually a bad thing, because it splinters the audience. To compensate for advances in technology, new consoles are released every few years. Would you rather spend thousands on keeping your PC up to date for 3 years, or a mere $200 for the latest console? Most casual gamers would say the latter. Heck, I would too, if I weren't such a FPS freak. Please realize that I'm not trying to put down your beloved PC; I love PC's myself. Nevertheless, I think it's clear that consoles will continue to be the dominant gaming platforms for the foreseeable future.
From: Fahad Al-Roqaie
Subject: I'm gonna kill someone!
............Still no ISS for DC.
is there any sign of intelligent life form on planet KONAMI (sigh) ?!
do you have any thing on the subject,ISS i mean?
To answer your first question... No. Konami is at an all-time low. What the heck happened to the company that brought us the 16-bit Castlevanias, Contras, and Axelay? About the last good thing they released was Suikoden II, and it's been all downhill from there. Their big thing right now in Japan is music games... music games! Sigh.
Anyway, moving on... IGN just ran a news piece saying that an ISS title is apprently on the way. You can find the details here. Hopefully that will prevent your killing rampage, or at least decrease the body count. Note, though, that the baseball title that IGN talks about is most likely canceled. The programmers who were working on it were supposedly fired last Friday. :/
It seems Royal rumble will be a blast mainly for a number of people.
It should be out approximately August 2 of 2000. The fallback on this is it
wil only contain over 20 wrestlers.
It will be exactly like the arcade version.The entrances aren't
very detailed though.yes, there will allow 9 wrestlers in the ring at once
and it doesn't make it run any slower.but you can have a royal rumble with up
to 100 wrestlers. you are probaly wondering how will they do that since
theres only over 20 wrestlers well they will come out over over over, and
I can name some of the wrestjers that of course will and will not
be in there:
will be:the rock,hhh,tazz,rikishi,shane,vince,hardy boyz,dudley boys,edge and
christian,undertaker,kane,stone cold :steve austin,mankind,d-lo
brown,godfather,x-pac,road dogg,big show,kurt angle.wiill not
be:mosh,trasher,trish stratus,terri,the cat,king,stephanie and some more.
Erm... thanks for the update. As you were, soldier.
Subject: (no subject)
im trying to find how you can get internet for the dreamcast please help me
Internet for the Dreamcast is available now at all leading retailers. You have mail!
That's it for this week. Have a burning question? Keep the letters coming, to this handy address.
Until next week!