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Sega DreamCast System 1 - 09/12/2007
Sega's revolutionary new video game console called the Dreamcast was introduced to American consumers on September 9, 1999 (or 9/9/99). Dreamcast launched with an initial retail price of $199.99. As it had done four years previously with the Saturn system, Sega utilized the expertise of major companies to assist in the production of its new console. Hitachi, NEC, Yamaha, Videologic, and Microsoft all combined to help produce a specific part of the Dreamcast system.

The Dreamcast's CPU is a customized Hitachi SH4 RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Chip) which provides 128-bit performance and runs at 200MHz. It has been modified by Sega and Hitachi to enhance its floating-point operations capabilities which are important for high-output 3D calculations. The SH4 processor can perform floating-point operations four times faster than the Intel Pentium II chip.

NEC and Videologic combined to develop the Power VR which drives the Dreamcast's graphics engine. The Power VR boasts a peak output of more than three million polygons per second and adds customized anti-aliasing technology to the platform. High-resolution fog and water effects and a more vivid appearance of light and shadow are among the refined graphics that sets the Dreamcast system apart from other consoles.

Yamaha is providing a dedicated 3D Super Intelligent Sound Processor for the Dreamcast system. It is a chip is capable of producing 64 channels of sound. Sega also teamed with Yamaha to develop a customized 12x GD-ROM drive for Dreamcast. The new drive is intended to dramatically minimize the standard loading time for a disc-based console. This advantage will encourage the creation of more complex games and larger playing fields.

The Windows CE operating system that Microsoft has developed for the Dreamcast has been optimized to run DirectX applications. The primary motive for creating this specialized software was to simplify the process of game developing for third party companies.



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