Jump to content

Join the World of Atari!

Sign In or Create Your Atari I/O Account to join the party! Membership is always free! Gain full access to an amazing new retrogaming community with UNLIMITED member features, weekly high score championships, and prizes. Join other friendly retrogamers as we celebrate nostalgia & classic games, from Atari to Nintendo, Sega, TurboGrafx-16 and beyond!

Photo

Yes, the Dreamcast really is an 128bit machine...


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 01:27 PM

I thing that has really annoyed me when I see the Dreamcast being discussed is the claim it's not a true 128bit console and it's just Sega's marketing...

This espically when it's come from supposed journalists who've gone to huge lengths to defend the 16bit aspects if the Atari Lynx and the whole 64bit aspects of the Jaguar,just because they are Atari hardware.

Whilst it's true Sega of Japan tried pulling a fast 1, marketing the Saturn as having a 64bit GPU, by adding the 2 32bit SH-2 CPU's together, what allows Sega to get away with the claim in the Dreamcast is that the SH-4 which many critics point at and say it might get a powerful RISC. Chip, but it's a 32bit design, can handle 4 simultaneous packets of 32bit data for operations such as matrix multiplication..

Also said SH-4 has been modified by Hitachi, at Sega's request with a host of special functions,including accelerated inverse square root calculations and sin and Cosin, so it's not an off the shelf number.

The weakest link Dreamcast had to its rivals was lack of hardware lighting routines.

Support only given for vertex lighting,rather than fancier lightness.

I do wish journalists would stop putting personal bias into articles and posts.
  • RickR, Clint Thompson, LeeJ07 and 1 other like this

#2 LeeJ07

LeeJ07

    Apple Member

  • Member
  • 985 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 02:54 PM

Glorious 128 bits.
  • Lost Dragon likes this
"I'd buy that for a dollar!" -Smash T.V.

#3 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,006 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:12 PM

One memory I have of Dreamcast is the store displays when it first came out.  The Football 2K demo was simply astounding at the time.  Graphics and speed that just blew away anything else at the time. 


  • Clint Thompson, Rowsdower70, LeeJ07 and 1 other like this

#4 LeeJ07

LeeJ07

    Apple Member

  • Member
  • 985 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:14 PM

I can't wait to play stuff like Sonic Adventure and Phantasy Star Online.
  • Clint Thompson and Lost Dragon like this
"I'd buy that for a dollar!" -Smash T.V.

#5 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 05:24 PM

It was the crispness of the graphics, along with the sense of sheer vibrancy that sold the hardware to myself, textures seemed rich, colours simply alive...

 

Sony could wax on all they likes about emotion engines, polygon counts etc, DC games simply looked gorgeous and fun and this coming from someone who at that time had loved the PS1 and shunned the Saturn (though i did later buy a 2nd hand Saturn and fell in love with that as well).

 

But yes, it really does wind me up to read selective reporting, yes the SH-4 was a hybrid chip, but so what?

 

The PC Engine, Genesis, Neo-Geo, Saturn etc, plus lord alone knows how many coin-op's used a mixture of 8 and 16bit chips, let alone when you got to the Jaguar...

 

Hell the PS2 soundchip was in effect 2 PS1 soundchips running in Parallel, games like Gran Tursimo 3 on PS2 were using same A.I routines the PS1 game used.

 

If people who write on games as a living or secondary income are going to make sweeping statements..A)Apply them to ALL formats and B)Do some proper research into what your actually reporting on.


  • RickR, Clint Thompson and LeeJ07 like this

#6 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,006 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:13 PM

It was the crispness of the graphics, along with the sense of sheer vibrancy that sold the hardware to myself, textures seemed rich, colours simply alive...

 

This is exactly my feeling too.  The graphics were bright and vibrant!  Good choice of words.  And the speed that things moved!  What a great console.


  • Clint Thompson, LeeJ07 and Lost Dragon like this

#7 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:40 PM

You look at something like Powerstone or Soul Caliber on the DC, just pure showcase games in very different ways, yet both in the same genre.

 

 

Look at DC Resident Evil, MDK 2, Le Mans 24, compared to the PS2 versions  and you know Sega went the correct route by ensuring the DC had plenty of Ram....

 

 

 

You look at MSR when it was 1st previewed to the (fantastic) game we (finally) got..now that is putting faith in your product and development teams and letting them attempt to rebirth the racing genre, rather than just rusing yet another copy cat racer out the door...

 

 

You look at Capcom's Resident Evil:Code Vernocia producer making the game for Dreamcast as he felt bad Saturn owners never saw Resident Evil 2...

 

 

You look at Sega banking on online gaming being massive in years to come and putting all their hopes on it with the Dreamcast and taking such a gamble, now that was an attempt to capture the market 1st...look at XBLA, PS+ these days?.

 

 

But no, writers out there would rather question the machines 128bit claim to fame..fact is, it is..where it bloody needed to be.

 

 

The SH-4 was chosen for it's floating point calculations, Sega had adjustments made to it even then to ensure it was suitable for a games machine and it really did offer the best performance to cost ratio.

 

 

Sony were always going to try and steal DC's thunder by quoting absurd polygon counts (75 Million at 1st claim, then 66 Million, it kept dropping down each time)..it was an arms race Sega could never win.

 

 

Buit as a writer you cannot be on the outrage bus with the WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  Siren blazing away because likes of EGM/Edge mocked the Jaguar saying all Atari had done was add 2 32bit chips together, then proclaim as bloody fact DC wasn't a 128bit console, it just doesn't wash.


  • RickR, Clint Thompson and LeeJ07 like this

#8 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,006 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 06:51 PM

The truth is that hardware specs are all just blah-blah-blah anyways.  It's all about the software, and the talented developers that make magic out of whatever machine is given to them. 

 

Dreamcast was a great machine, and it was a fantastic gamble to beat Sony and Microsoft to market.  But it was an uphill battle no matter what. 


  • MaximumRD, LeeJ07 and Lost Dragon like this

#9 MaximumRD

MaximumRD

    MST3K Fan

  • Moderator
  • 1,010 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 08:37 PM

One memory I have of Dreamcast is the store displays when it first came out.  The Football 2K demo was simply astounding at the time.  Graphics and speed that just blew away anything else at the time. 

Hah funny you should say that, pretty sure that is the same demo I seen and I mention this every time I relate my first in personal encounter with the Dreamcast. I read about it, seen yummy screenshots etc but it was at my local mall when form a distance I thought they were broadcasting a NFL game, I was even kind of pissed they would display that on a video game store display but as I approached it slowly sunk in that I was actually seeing a Dreamcast game demo, now I could care less about Football but I must say I was blown away by the graphics and sound and presentation, I was instantly hooked. 


  • RickR, Clint Thompson, LeeJ07 and 1 other like this

Bah-weep-Graaaaagnah wheep ni ni bong.

I am Rob aka MaximumRD aka OldSchoolRetroGamer
and THIS is my world http://about.me/maximumrd
ON the FACEBOOK? Well have I got the Classic Gaming / Computing group for you!

;) https://www.facebook...ximumrdclassic/


#10 RickR

RickR

    The Don

  • Member
  • 5,006 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 08:57 PM

Hah funny you should say that, pretty sure that is the same demo I seen and I mention this every time I relate my first in person encounter with the Dreamcast. I read about it, seen yummy screenshots etc but it was at my local mall when form a distance I thought they were broadcasting a NFL game, I was even kind of pissed they would display that on a video game store display but as I approached it slowly sunk in that I was actually seeing a Dreamcast game demo, now I could care less about Football but I must say I was blown away by the graphics and sound and presentation, I was instantly hooked. 

That is pretty much EXACTLY my experience too.  The steam coming out of payers' mouths due to the cold weather....it was just something amazing to see. 


  • MaximumRD, LeeJ07 and Lost Dragon like this

#11 Clint Thompson

Clint Thompson

    Apple Member

  • Member
  • 609 posts

Posted 13 July 2016 - 11:28 PM

Same thing with Virtua Tennis for me. I couldn't believe it was actually a real game running on the hardware. I kept pushing a button to get past the FMV, only to realize it was the actual game. Imagine the words that came out of my mouth next... :)
  • RickR and LeeJ07 like this

2600 - 7800 - 800XL - 130XE - Lynx - Jaguar

cerka.weebly.com

 


#12 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 14 July 2016 - 08:05 AM

Yep, i think the proverbial proof was indeed in the Dreamcast's Graphical puddings as it were, that it was very much THE powerful hardware Sega were claiming, by the games it delivered.

 

 

Added to titles listed by good folk so far:

 

 

Ecco The Dolphin, simply looked stunning...

 

 

Jet Set Radio, which due to the Power VR chip DC used would be impossible to recreate as was on the PS2 and that's from the team coding it.

 

 

I think the DC simply delivered on the potential Sega promised us from day 1, graphically, yet was sadly ignored by the public who were lured in by the supposed power of the PS2.

 

 

Metal Gear Solid II looked amazing, but at the time it was 1st being shown to UK Press, it was the only title showcasing true power of PS2...lot of released games were being refered to as PS1.5 games, people moaning of Jaggies etc as developers learnt how best to juggle data on the fly to get round the split Ram issues on PS2 and use the hardware to best effect and implement best fit Anti-Alising solutions etc.


  • RickR and LeeJ07 like this

#13 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 21 July 2016 - 08:05 AM

looking through Edge:Essential Hardware Guide 2000, it show cases just how absurd the whole 'bitness' aspect of hardware had reached by the Dreamcast era...


The PS2 CPU noted as being true 128 bit, as it could store and act on data that was 128bits wide, yet by comparison the intel chip in the Xbox would be 32bit, yet intel's CPU would be running far, far faster than the PS2's 300 Mhz....
  • Clint Thompson likes this

#14 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 26 February 2017 - 05:54 PM

Just added DC Ecco's developer comment about how they felt they hadn't even scratched the surface of the true power the Dreamcast had to offer and i'd also like to add that whilst Jez San (Argonaut Software) was happy to throw a hissy fit and blame the DC hardware (and sega themselves) for Red Dog's poor commercial performance, this after of course praising it, hinting that his team had got even greater performance out of it in tech tests etc....

 

 

Red Dog Producer (who was honest enough to admit previous Argonaut titles he'd worked on, were not so hot in cases..Birds Of Prey ST/Amiga..technically brilliant, but sadly slow, Days Of Thunder-A terrible PC movie game), Nick Clarke..had said as optimised as the code was in Red Dog DC, there was still more power to discover and this wouldn't be realised for a few years..This back in March 2000.


  • RickR likes this

#15 Lost Dragon

Lost Dragon

    Banana Member

  • Member
  • 2,942 posts

Posted 27 February 2017 - 04:30 PM

:)

 

Found the interview Argonaut gave to Official DC Magazine about Red Dog, noteworthy is fact Jez San, who went WAHHH and blamed Sega and Dreamcast hardware for games commercial failure, has very little to say at this point (July 2000), only side steps Q put to him about newspapers saying he was 1 of the richest men in the UK :)

 

 

The actual Dreamcast team at Argonaut do not sound like they think the Dreamcast was underpowered, as talk of:

 

 

Dreamcast being a dream to work with, Sega providing great tools, hardware being very powerful, number of textures cramned into game shaming any other system bar expensive, top end PC, DC having high resolution textures, rich colours, power to chuck around quite a few polygons, DC would of been able to handle 16 player online matches, upto Argonaut management to want to put it into the game....

 

Not one comment moaning about things being cut or reduced due to hardware constraints, only time restrictions.


  • RickR likes this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users