Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Discussion of topics related to licensed games, software hacking/modification, prototypes, and development kits belongs here. Includes topics related to emulating the Dreamcast console on your computer or on another gaming console. Discussion of Reicast should go in the Official Reicast Forum.
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Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by q_006 » Mon Jun 25, 2007 10:22 am

Again, assuming this existed would you buy it?

A Dreamcast with 2 500 Mhz SH-4s, 128MB System RAM, PVR with 250 Mhz GPU and 64MB of Video Memory, 16MB of Sound Memory. Basically a buffed up NAOMI2 board.
I ask only because of people's acceptance of the Wii which is a buffed up GameCube.

Now I'm not asking whether it would succeed, beat any system, or have the best games. I'm simply asking would you buy it.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by melancholy » Mon Jun 25, 2007 11:34 am

First off, this should be in Dreamcast Discussion. Moved...

Now, the problem with your logic is that you base your comparison on the popularity of the Wii. However, the hardware in the actual machine has no bearing on why the Wii is popular. It's the controller that is the gimmick selling all of those machines. It is Nintendo's marketing that pushes the sales of the Wii outside of the typical age group. There is enough that is dramatically different about the system and an overall appeal outside of the typical 16-25 age group that is causing people to overlook what it lacks (namely the hardware). It is a push outside of the typical gaming experience that sells the systems.

In terms of a 'buffed up Dreamcast', there is no gimmick about it that would grab attention. It does not have the next-gen hardware that PS3 and 360 pushes, and no unusual gameplay aspect that Wii pushes. In other words, there is nothing special about it that would make people want to buy it. The only way they could even move systems would to offer an insanely low price point and make all Sega games exclusive to the system, but that would also assume that Sonic Team could get their act together and actually start developing quality games again, as opposed to the horrible Sonic games we have been 'treated' to in the past 2-3 years.

Anyway, I cannot answer this question. I can't just say 'yes' or 'no' based on the only fact we know is that it's faster than the original Dreamcast. I didn't blindly buy the first Dreamcast just because it was a Sega system. I bought it for the games, the capabilities, and what I thought the future held for the system.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Christuserloeser » Mon Jun 25, 2007 1:17 pm

The Wii is not "a buffed up GameCube" - in fact it has NOTHING to do with the GameCube at all: It's an entirely different system. Everything they did wrong with the Cube they've corrected with the Wii. One could say the Wii is what the Cube should have been.

And it's not only the controller and not only the marketing - It's the entire package of all the things the Wii has to offer combined:

- The Virtual Console
- The Miis
- The price tag
- The build-in online support
- It's compatible to the GameCube with its excellent library of (Nintendo) games
- The console's visual appearance
- The marketing
- The controller
- Wii Sports

The idea of taking existing low-spec hardware, changing the controller and sell it as something new isn't exactly innovative, unique, or revolutionary at all: Microsoft did exactly the same thing with the Xbox which is nothing but a PC with a game pad. Heck, even the NES was nothing but a C64 with a new controller.
The same goes for the motion detection in the Wiimote: Power Glove, Dreamcast Fishing Rod, etc. already used these things years ago. What is new tho is the overall concept of all these things combined and the level of perfection with which these features have been integrated into one system. In a few years when the second and third generation of Wii games comes out, we'll see how much the games' controls alone will have benefited from this concept.

But to get back to your initial question if I would buy a Dreamcast 2: I don't think I would. I wouldn't want an upgraded NES or a SuperNES 2. I haven't bought the 32X and I don't think I ever was interested in buying it. Instead I would have preferred to see more and better Mega Drive / Genesis games back in 1994 (and Knuckles Chaotix on Saturn instead of 32X >_< ).

The same applies to the Dreamcast: If asked, I would prefer to see the DC's hardware pushed with new games instead of some upgrade few people could take advantage of.

I never really understood why people wanted a Dreamcast 2 or Sega to make a new console. The Dreamcast existed only 14 months. They could have continued to sell it as a low price console in 2001 if they really wanted. Heck, they still could relaunch it today like cube_b3 recently suggested. The hardware is good enough for some decent multiplayer party games. All they would need to change would be to either remove the modem or to replace it with a WLAN adapter.

Thinking back, the NES was non-existent in Germany until it had been re-released by Nintendo Europe in 1991 (!) - and they sold like mad. I also remember seeing Atari 2600 paper ads in 1992 or 1993. :lol:

Anyway, the guys at Sega definitely were aware of the potential the machine had at that time but instead they decided to restructure the entire company and to drop all support for the system. They have (had) no plans to (re)release a (new) console ever.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Juan » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:03 pm

This is Dreamcast discussion. Stop talking about shitty next gen consoles.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Christuserloeser » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:20 pm

This is Dreamcast discussion. Stop talking about us talking about shitty next gen consoles.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Cid Highwind » Mon Jun 25, 2007 4:26 pm

If it would bring me Shenmue 3, HELL YEAH ;)
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Serious Sam » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:39 am

If there was a DC 2, I would buy it, yeah... I wouldn't really care what the specs were as long as they were better than the DC.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by GyroVorbis » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:21 am

q_006 wrote:Again, assuming this existed would you buy it?

A Dreamcast with 2 500 Mhz SH-4s, 128MB System RAM, PVR with 250 Mhz GPU and 64MB of Video Memory, 16MB of Sound Memory. Basically a buffed up NAOMI2 board.
I ask only because of people's acceptance of the Wii which is a buffed up GameCube.

Now I'm not asking whether it would succeed, beat any system, or have the best games. I'm simply asking would you buy it.
I find this post extremely funny. You realize that this theoretical monster of a Dreamcast you just thought up could completely kill a Wii? The jump between a Dreamcast and those specs are like quadruple the jump between a GC and a Wii.

HELL yeah, I'd buy it.
christuserloeser wrote:The Wii is not "a buffed up GameCube" - in fact it has NOTHING to do with the GameCube at all: It's an entirely different system. Everything they did wrong with the Cube they've corrected with the Wii. One could say the Wii is what the Cube should have been.
Maybe you're referring to the marketting of the Wii. Because honestly, the Wii really is a Gamecube++.

It goes back to Mel's post, though. The specs of the Wii really don't mean anything to most buyers. It's all about the controller and innovation. That's the main selling point of the Wii.

I've seen 50 year old women playing Wii sports together that have no idea what RAM, VRAM, clock speed, or anything else like that means. All that they know is the cool controller.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Serious Sam » Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:51 pm

A system is more than just a cool controller, albeit that is definitely a plus, and Nintendo markets the Wii around the controller, but what happens when that fades away? The system sucks. 700MHz just isn't ample for a next-gen system, and that's what people are gonna want... CPU power. I always thought Sega pwned Nintendo anyway.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Ex-Cyber » Fri Jul 20, 2007 4:35 am

I wouldn't buy such a beast unless it:

1) Could actually run Dreamcast games
2) Had similar hackability in "native" mode as a Dreamcast
3) Was cheaper than a Wii

Seriously, SH-4 and PVR are showing their age by now, and it would take more than just a "Dreamcast 2" label to get me to buy it, especially considering that I already have a Dreamcast.
Serious Sam wrote:700MHz just isn't ample for a next-gen system, and that's what people are gonna want
A lot of people evidently disagree with you.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Serious Sam » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:48 am

What I meant by that was that when the cool controller craze wears off, it's just going to be another console, and 700MHz does not qualify as powerful enough for a true "next-gen" console. I mean the PS3 has like a 4GHz CPU and I can't remember what the XB360 has, but they are true next-gen consoles, even though they don't have maybe such a cool controller as the Wii, they are much more powerfull systems, and that is what people are going to want in the very near future, if not now.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Christuserloeser » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:35 am

"Next Gen" has nothing to do with powerful hardware.
Serious Sam wrote:that is what people are going to want in the very near future, if not now.
Great that you know what people want. Problem is, that judging by the hardware sales, people do not seem to care that you know what they want. :wink:

Seriously, it would be very sad to have yet another generation of consoles with exactly the same games as with the last two generations and the only difference being better graphics. - I am sure there's a market for that, but I am not part of this (and apparently I am not the only one).

But don't get me wrong: I do enjoy a good 3D game and most of these Quake, Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time clones aren't that bad, but I also like the 8-bit/16-bit stuff and I think that with the Wiimote we finally got the chance to see an entirely new generation of games.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by BlackAura » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:37 am

Serious Sam wrote:700MHz just isn't ample for a next-gen system, and that's what people are gonna want... CPU power.
Bullshit.

There is a tiny segment of the market that's even aware of things like CPUs, RAM, clock speeds, polygons, or all the other voodoo that goes into a games machine. Really tiny.

Nobody else cares about CPU power. They don't care about RAM, they don't care about texture fillrate, or how many FLOPs the thing can do, or any of that other crap. None of it's even slightly relevant. It's basically just a my-xxx-is-bigger-than-yours contest. Teenage boy stuff.

In terms of graphics, extra CPU power buys you exactly nothing. You can inch forward a fraction closer to the ultimate goal of photorealism, but we're still so far away that the jump from, say, the Xbox to the Xbox 360 is hard to notice. Most people won't notice it.

In terms of gameplay, extra CPU power usually buys you nothing. Most of the games I've seen that use lots of CPU power to drive gameplay were PC games, and just don't work on games consoles anyway. Face it - developers have never used extra CPU power to improve AI, or to make the game more immersive. They've thrown the whole lot at graphics, simply because you can't take screenshots of AI, and you can't release trailers showing off immersion.

So why, exactly, would anyone want to buy one of these "next generation" games consoles?
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Serious Sam » Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:40 am

whatever. the core of every console is the CPU, and thus the most important component. RAM, GPU and all that are very important factors of a system. So if you think none of that "crap" matters, then why do you think Sony and Microsoft spent millions developing a system with high powered CPU, RAM, and GPU if it' only a small niche of people who cared?
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Christuserloeser » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:12 am

I got no idea why they "spent millions developing a system with high powered CPU, RAM, and GPU". If you think it's that important, then there's your answer. Why do you ask me ?
Serious Sam wrote:the core of every console is the CPU, and thus the most important component.
Honestly, I think it's the peripherals, the controllers that are much more important. ^ ^

Seriously, the Super Nintendo had a 3 MHz 16-bit upgrade of an 8-bit CPU but the system successfully competed with the Genesis' powerful Motorola 68k (a 32bit CPU clocked at 8 MHz). Former NES developers had a decent amount of knowledge of the 6502, and the system's design with its focus on the more powerful GPU allowed to make up for the difference

The Xbox used a slow Celeron CISC CPU and successfully competed with the faster RISC CPUs of the Dreamcast, PS2 and GameCube. People have lots of experience working with x86, so it didn't really matter.

The same applies to the Wii: The often claimed shortcomings in handling complex AI will become obsolete once newer more advanced SDKs are available. Afaik, licensed developers currently are still working with slightly updated GameCube SDKs.

In terms of graphics the Wii will never be able to really compete with the HD graphics of a 360 or PS3, but we might see similar complex graphics in ED - That means the difference won't be as big anymore than it is now.

RAM usage obviously varies depending on the type of graphics used. I am sure the Wii got sufficient RAM for decent SD/ED graphics.

Since we're covering all technical aspects of a console, allow me to add that regarding the sound capabilities of the Wii vs PS3/360, a good composition is much more important than optional DTS.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Serious Sam » Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:59 am

i realize different people like different things, and if you hype something up enough, you can make people not care so much about graphics (which most people prefer) and make them care about a new type of controller. But really, most people want nice graphics, which explains why games are not getting better, only getting better graphics. Games now suck. They suck hard. But they have good graphics. But as Yoda would say, graphics do not a game make. It's about the other things, gameplay, sound, story, stuff like that. That's the stuff that matters. That's what makes the game. But people don't necissarily care about that anymore. That's why so many old games are so much better than current ones. They didn't have good graphics back then, so they had to make a good story and good gameplay to make up for it. And the games of the 90s and before were far superior to most of the games today because of it.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Ex-Cyber » Fri Jul 20, 2007 11:52 am

Serious Sam wrote:i realize different people like different things, and if you hype something up enough, you can make people not care so much about graphics (which most people prefer) and make them care about a new type of controller. But really, most people want nice graphics
I think you're projecting the views of a very small population of "gamers" onto the population in general. As far as I can tell, most people don't care all that much about graphics in general, and the technical complexity of the graphics is virtually a non-issue compared to how well artists make use of the medium. There are some absolutely terrible-looking games that nevertheless have a higher poly count than their predecessors, and some old ones that just look better because someone was paying attention to things like character design, level design, color coordination, animation timing, and working with what the hardware could give them.
which explains why games are not getting better, only getting better graphics. Games now suck. They suck hard. But they have good graphics. But as Yoda would say, graphics do not a game make. It's about the other things, gameplay, sound, story, stuff like that. That's the stuff that matters. That's what makes the game. But people don't necissarily care about that anymore. That's why so many old games are so much better than current ones. They didn't have good graphics back then, so they had to make a good story and good gameplay to make up for it. And the games of the 90s and before were far superior to most of the games today because of it.
I don't think that's really true; a lot of utter crap has been produced in every generation, including things like TV/movie license games (E.T. on 2600, anyone?). The basic genres are largely still around, but the gameplay has, on the whole, become more polished and sophisticated, as have the storytelling, music, sound effects, and so on. Ten or fifteen years down the road, people seem to forget the awful games and remember the good ones, and then wonder why there's so much crap around today.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by mankrip » Fri Jul 20, 2007 1:26 pm

Serious Sam wrote:that's what people are gonna want... CPU power.
The Genesis had a more powerful CPU than the SNES, and the Neo-Geo was more powerful than both. Also, the N64 was more powerful than the PS, and the GC was more powerful than the PS2. Do you see any relation between CPU power and market share in any of these cases?

Also, about the potential fading of the Wii controller's popularity: Did the L & R buttons (introduced by the SNES controller) lose their appeal in the future generations? Did people get tired of analog sticks after the N64? Was the N64 Rumble Pak's vibration just a quickly-forgotten gimmick?
BlackAura wrote:There is a tiny segment of the market that's even aware of things like CPUs, RAM, clock speeds, polygons, or all the other voodoo that goes into a games machine. Really tiny.
And what's sad is that in many cases what they know is not enough to form a good opinion. It is not rare to see people saying that the PS2 has more graphical power than the GC, or even the Xbox.
BlackAura wrote:Face it - developers have never used extra CPU power to improve AI, or to make the game more immersive. They've thrown the whole lot at graphics, simply because you can't take screenshots of AI, and you can't release trailers showing off immersion.
That's something I only learned recently, and you're right. The worst thing about this is when people try to judge a game's gameplay by just looking at screenshots, or try to judge the controls of a game by looking at a video.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by BlackAura » Sat Jul 21, 2007 10:53 am

One point that a number of other people have touched on - extra hardware is kind of pointless if it's not used properly.

Back in the PS1 / N64 days (and their PC equivalents, to a lesser degree) the hardware was a significant limiting factor. Back then, any vision a developer has about the kind of game they wanted to make had to come in second to what was actually possible on the given hardware. Artists could have made beautiful, complex 3D models with high-resolution textures, but they wouldn't have worked on the hardware. Much of the art effort, and much of the game design effort, was spent on working around the limitations of the hardware. It's like most NES games - the NES was a pretty capable machine, but it had lots of limitations.

Fast forward to the PS2 / GameCube / Xbox (and PC equivalents). Much better hardware. In graphical terms, they had enough power to fill the screen with lots of highly detailed 3D models, fully animated, and texture them with enough detail that you would be unable to see any more improvement on a SD TV. Towards the end of this generation, developers had been pretty much freed from the constraints of the hardware. Art and game design effort can be expended on making games how they were actually meant to be, with either no compromises at all, or compromises that nobody would notice. I'd compare this to the SNES.

In the current generation, things aren't really much different. The Xbox 360 and PS3 are required to be more powerful by at least a factor of 6 to get something that doesn't look worse on an HD TV, with a corresponding increase in RAM and VRAM requirements. However, they're still pretty powerful pieces of kit, capable of all kinds of extra features and graphical effects.

The problem is two fold.

First, there's a requirement to use those new features, if for no other reason than to justify why the console even exists. The level of art required is much higher. Instead of having a 4000 polygon model, you suddenly need to build a 4000000 polygon model and a 10000 polygon model. Instead of a texture, you need a complex material, consisting of at least four textures. A huge ammount of art effort is expended on simply keeping up with the hardware. Much of this could be offset by tools, but those tools simply do not exist yet, and probably won't exist until the very end of this console generation.

The second problem is that it's mostly wasted effort. Most people simply will not notice all the extra graphical features, aside from a general feeling that everything looks a bit shinier, and maybe a bit sharper.

It also ramps up the expense to much that publishers will become even more adverse to taking risks. Expect more sequels and sure-fire blockbusters that just repeat the same formula as other successful games.

The same problem hit 2D games. After a certain point, creating all that high detail artwork simply becomes far too expensive and time consuming, with exponentially more effort required to get diminishing (often unnoticeable) gains.

The Wii is an interesting balance - it's basically a last-generation machine, with well known tools and methods for producing games, with all the kinks and issues worked out. The general idea is to free developers from the constraints of working with older hardware, to an extent, but also to allow them to focus more on the game itself, and not on keeping up with the latest graphical doodads. Remember - the Wii's key audience is those people who really don't care about graphics, or couldn't tell the difference anyway. And you'd be surprised at how many people buy new HD TVs, feed a bad analog signal into them, and still think it looks great.

The controller is basically there to force developers to try to innovate a bit. The console itself is designed so that they can afford to innovate, and to take risks. The marketing and targeting of the console in general, and Nintendo's games too, are designed to give them a new audience to innovate for - one that doesn't have the same kind of expectations at the Xbox 360 of PS3 audience.

Whether this will work or not remains to be seen, but so far it seems to be going pretty strong. Remember that Nintendo's target audience has worked against it in the past though - traditionally, it's been very hard to compete with Nintendo's own games because they're typically so good. A lot of developers avoided the GameCube for this reason, and initially shied away from the Wii too. The Wii's sales figures seem to have changed their minds a bit.

There's also a similar movement on PCs in independent games, or other smaller, low-budget development teams. They're not aiming for the latest and greatest graphical effects, but they're using the pretty powerful hardware in even the crappest of modern PCs to do some really neat, interesting things. Such efforts are typically overlooked by mainstream gamers, but there's a lot of great games out there that would never have been made by a large developer.
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Re: Assuming this existed would be you buy it?

Post by Morphv2 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:17 am

q_006 wrote:Again, assuming this existed would you buy it?

A Dreamcast with 2 500 Mhz SH-4s, 128MB System RAM, PVR with 250 Mhz GPU and 64MB of Video Memory, 16MB of Sound Memory. Basically a buffed up NAOMI2 board.
I ask only because of people's acceptance of the Wii which is a buffed up GameCube.

Now I'm not asking whether it would succeed, beat any system, or have the best games. I'm simply asking would you buy it.
I believe the clock ceiling for SuperH's SH4's is 400MHz (300 by Hitachi), so at 500MHz you'd be looking at SH5's (which are better anyways, beefed up FPU performance + 64-bit). Not only that, but I do not think that SH4's (or even 5's X___X) run in, quote on quote, 'dual' operation. I believe it functions more along the lines of processor/co-processor in a multi SH environment.

The memory is nice, but unnecessarry. A 64/32/8MB configuration would be more than sufficient (considering the Celeron 733/Geforce2 Xbox only has 64MB period). However, I wouldn't look twice at it unless it was DDR memory. PC1600/PC2100 (100MHz/133MHz DDR respectively) would allow the memory to be efficient enough to make anything more unnecessarry. Besides, there isn't a PVR core in existance (even a Kyro3) that REALLY makes use of anything over 32MB.

On the GPU side, you'd be loong at a Kyro3 (never released, but this is all hypothetical anyways), which is all fine and dandy. The Kyro3 would have had plenty of graphical oompf to it, but the fact is anything less wouldn't even come within spittin range of 250MHz, even at .18um.




So, it'd all depends. Besides, a machine such as this wouldn't even EXIST until early 2002, and if such a beast came out then, it'd definately be a powerhouse, but it'd probably run you in excess of $500.
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