Holiday Notice

Hello everyone. We are shortly moving to a new, bigger premises so website ordering will be closed for the next month while we move everything to our new building, reorganise and do a full stock take. We will be open again at the start of November. Many thanks. Console Passion

Sega Dreamcast

The Sega Dreamcast (Japanese: ドリームキャスト; code-named "Blackbelt", "Dural" and "Katana" during development) was Sega's last video game console.

When the time came to design the successor to the Sega Saturn, the new President of Sega, Shoichiro Irimajiri, took the unusual step of hiring an outsider. He hired Tatsuo Yamamoto from IBM Austin to head a skunkworks group to develop the next-generation console. However, it soon became apparent that the existing Japanese hardware group led by Hideki Sato did not want to relinquish control of hardware, and so there were two competing designs led by two different groups.

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The Japanese group led by Hideki Sato settled on an Hitachi SH4 processor with a PowerVR graphics processor developed by VideoLogic (now Imagination Technologies) and manufactured by NEC. This was originally codenamed "White Belt". The first Japanese prototype boards were silkscreened "Guppy" and the later ones "Katana".

The US skunkworks group (in a secret suite at the 303 Twin Dolphin Drive building) led by Tatsuo Yamamoto settled on an IBM/Motorola PowerPC 603e processor with a 3Dfx Voodoo 2 graphics processor, which was originally codenamed "Black Belt". The first US prototype boards were silkscreened "Shark" (in response to the Japanese "Guppy"). The Japanese hardware was codenamed "Dural", then later, Katana. This codename was only used by The US hardware team called themselves the "Black Belt team".

In July 1997, it was decided that the Japanese "Katana" would be the chosen format, renamed Dreamcast. In September 1997, 3Dfx filed a lawsuit against Sega and NEC (later including VideoLogic), claiming "breach of contract", although they later settled.

The Dreamcast was released on November 27, 1998 in Japan, on September 9, 1999 in the United States (the date 9/9/99 featured heavily in US promotion) and on October 14, 1999 in Europe. The tagline used to promote the console in the US was, "It's thinking", and in Europe "Up to 6 Billion Players". The vagueness of these campaigns and almost total lack of any in game footage has been touted as one of the reasons for the Dreamcast's eventual downfall. Many Americans knew that the Dreamcast was coming, but didn't know what one was.

The Dreamcast was the first console to include a built-in modem and Internet support for online gaming. It enjoyed brisk sales in its first season and was one of Sega's most successful hardware units. In the United States alone, a record 200,000 units had been pre-ordered before launch and Sega sold 500,000 consoles in just two weeks (including 225,000 sold on the first 24 hours which became a video game record until the PlayStation 2 launched a year later). In fact, due to brisk sales and hardware shortages, Sega was unable to fulfil all of the advance orders. Sega confirmed that it made $98.4 million on combined hardware and software sales with the Dreamcast with its September 9, 1999 launch. Sega even compared the record figure to the opening day gross of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which made $28.5 million during the first 24 hours in theatres.

Before the launch in the United States, Sega had already taken the extra step in displaying Dreamcast capabilities in stores nationwide. Much like the PlayStation's launch in North America, the displays of titles such as Soul Calibur, Sonic Adventure, Power Stone and Hydro Thunder helped the Dreamcast succeed in the first year. Although Electronic Arts declined to support the Dreamcast which included the omission of its popular sports games (due in part to EA's losses from the past Sega Saturn), Sega Sports titles helped to fill that void.

In April 1999, Sony announced its PlayStation 2, designed to be backwards-compatible with the older PlayStation, and released the unit in Japan in March 2000. Sony's press release, despite being a year ahead of the launch of the PS2, was enough to divert a lot of attention from Sega. Even though Sega touted the Dreamcast's online capabilities (the PS2 would not go online until late 2002), American public attention was focused upon the PlayStation 2's ability to play DVDs (the DVD format did not catch on in Japan until after the release of the PS2 as VCD/SVCD were established standards). Electronic Arts also announced its support for the PS2. This, combined with the fact that SEGA had dropped support for the Saturn and did not offer backwards compatibility led to poorer sales in America (Sega CD and 32X are good examples of this).

On January 31, 2001, Sega announced that production of Dreamcast hardware was to be discontinued by March of that year, although the 50 to 60 titles still in production would be published. The last North American release was NHL 2K2, which was released in February of 2002. With the company announcing no plans to develop a next-generation successor to the Dreamcast, this was Sega's last foray into the home console business. By the time Sega decided to cease development of the Dreamcast, about 10 million consoles had been sold. Though the Dreamcast was officially discontinued in early 2001, commercial games were still developed and released afterwards, particularly in Japan.

Many consider the critically acclaimed arcade shooter Ikaruga developed by Treasure to be the Dreamcast swan song. It was released in September 2002 in Japan only after a large amount of speculation on the game's fate; its US release was on the Nintendo GameCube in April 2003. Hacked unreleased games like Propeller Arena and Half-Life continued to become available to the public by program decoders like Echelon. On February 24, 2004, Sega released their final Dreamcast game, Puyo Pop Fever, although a small number of third-party games are still being released, such as Trizeal, released in April 2005, or the release of Rajirugi and soon-to-be-released Under Defeat.

Despite its short lifespan, the Dreamcast is still a very popular and highly-regarded console among many fans due to its impressive library of both mainstream and quirky titles. It is even starting to become a cult classic, as the system is getting harder to find (in fact, although the Dreamcast was officially discontinued in January 2001, Sega continued to produce the console for a short time afterwards due to rising demand, not least among collectors and hard-core fans).

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MagForce Racing

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Welcome to the world of Magforce Racing, where the action is blindingly fast and the competition is fierce. Breathtaking futuristic cities fly by as racers drive sleek tripods of sinuous 360 degree tracks at fantastic, white knuckle speeds. Flying through the course is only the beginning. Grab magnet power to hang suspended, energy to increase speed and offensive and defensive power-ups to blow your opponents away.

Looney Tunes - Space Race

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£22.00
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Join all your favourite Looney Tunes characters as they step astride their rocket-powered space racers in a no-holds-barred winner takes all contest that spans the galaxy and back again! Race as one of eight of your favourite Looney Tunes characters, each with a specialised Hover Racer. Zoom through seven incredible worlds and twelve challenging tracks with over forty events to enjoy.

Legacy of Kain - Soul Reaver

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They say the dead know no pain. things are about to change! Cast down to the material world, the mysterious entity Raziel seeks vengeance for betrayal by his master Kain. He must slay his un-dead brethren; only then can he absorb their souls for the energy he craves. Moving between the spectral and material plane, Raziel must negotiate puzzles, overcome traps and defy blood chilling enemies to reach his goal - the final battle with Kain!

Le Mans 24 Hours

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£14.00
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£14.00

Are you ready to go to town in a legend? Only the worlds greatest champions have entered the mytical Le Mans 24 Hours Hall of Fame. In order to join them, you will need excellent racing strategy and masterful driving skills to finish the race. You will need to be able to control the most powerful cars at speeds of over 350Kph.

Kao the Kangaroo

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£14.00
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Kao the Kangaroo is a hind leg stomping third person 3D arcade adventure featuring an energetic marsupial with over developed hindquarters and a eye fro a fight. Armed with comedy sized boxing gloves, Kao the Kangaroo hops, skips and jumps his way across twenty-five incredible landscapes.

KISS - Psycho Circus - The Nightmare Child

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£18.00
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£18.00

Jimmy Whites 2 - Cueball

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£8.00
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Jimmy White's Cueball 2 is the most realistic snooker and pool simulation available, with stunning attention to detail, accurate ball physics and motion captured hands that act as referee and your opposition - all in gorgeous high resolution graphics. It also includes the greatest conversions of other bar games such as drafts, draughts, a one armed bandit machine and Dropzone arcade cabinet!

JoJos Bizarre Adventure

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£45.00
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£45.00

Unleash loads of special moves in one of the most colourful and spectacular games ever. Experience five game modes, loaded with mini games, eighteen characters and three different fighting styles. Classic comic book style animation from one a Japan's most famous comic series, combined with Capcom's signature gameplay.

Jeremy McGrath Supercross 2000

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Supercross fans get stoked! Race as or against eleven-time Supercross Champion Jeremy McGrath and other superstar riders. The only supercross game featuring Jeremy 'Showtime' McGrath. Get voice tips from Jeremy himself. Two player split screen gameplay for intense competition. Complete customisation of bikes, riders, racing modes and tracks.

Jet Set Radio

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The government is attempting to silence the kids of Tokyo-To, but armed with their motorised in line skates the cops will have to catch them first. DJ Professor K keeps the tunes pumping from the pirate radio station 'Jet Set Radio', his music keeps the kids unified and inspired to fight for their rights of expression, which includes graffiti art. You can design your own graffiti tag, or even upload download new tags online, so start expressing yourself, grab your spray cans and tag the city streets. Join up with likeminded street artists that will help you keep your territory the way you want it. With rival gangs trying to muscle in on your turf and the law just around the corner you'll have to skate hard. It's fast, it's fun and it's definitely funky!

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