The Dreamcast is the first sixth generation game series. Sega,the multinational game developer,launched it in Japan in 1998. Due to it’s unique features, this game series gained cult status in the history of computer games. It inspired many other innovative and creative games,such as Crazy taxi,Shenmue,Jet Grind Radio,etc. The game console was considered a path breaking one. It is still held in high esteem. It is the first game which featured internet support for online play and an in-built modem. Sill today the game console is supported by various independent releases.
Sega introduced Sega Saturn, a 32 bit fifth generation game in 1994. Sega Saturn was not very popular and struggled hard to gain market share. To overcome this debacle, Sega of America president, Bernie Stoller urged the Sega’s head office in Japan to developed a sixth generation game console. Thus the initiative of developing the Dreamcast took place. Two teams were assigned the task. One team was led by Hideki Sato and the other one was headed by Tatsuo Yamamoto. Both group used Hitachi SH4 processor. But Sato’s group selected VideoLogic PowerVR2 graphics processor while Yamamoto’s group chose 3dfx hardware for graphics. Ultimately Sega settled for PowerVR hardware. In 1999, after it’s release in US, over 400000 units were sold within 4 days.
The main hardware parts used in this game series are Hitachi SH4 processor of 200MHz and 128 bit vector graphics engine. The graphics hardware features a PowerVR2 CLX2 chipset which could generate 7 millions/second. Other graphics features also include z-buffering,bump mapping,anti aliasing,order independent translucency,etc.
One of the most popular accessories for Dreamcast is VGA adapter. It allows the user to play Dreamcast computer display and televisions. Apart from that, Visual Memory Unit,which provides different functions for different games, is also widely used. Arcade sticks and light gun controllers are also used for some specific games. A special link cable is used for linking Dreamcast to Net Geo Pocket Color.