Three accessories / devices canceled from the Dreamcast
The Dreamcast did not have the life it deserved, many now agree. A large number of projects were canceled following the announcement of Sega to withdraw from the race to the manufacturers. If we know the Unreleased games, we forget that accessories, sometimes surprising, were also abandoned.
From the online game to the reservation of concert tickets through listening to MP3s and video dialogue, the whole aspect of the Dreamcast connected to the net was planned. Sega believed in the possibilities Online with a catalog of accessories more than complete, some of which will never see the light of day. Sega was investing in I-mode by offering many services linking the Dreamcast and the web by cell phone, for example.
The Japanese firm wanted transform your last console into a multimedia station as the Dreamcast Zip Drive proves.
DVD player (Unreleased)
A mysterious tablet
A Swatch watch connected to a Dreamcast:
The Swatch Group SA is a multinational company headquartered in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It is the largest watch company in the world. It produces a wide variety of watches ( Swatch , Flik Flak , Omega ) and manufacturing elements for them.
Internet time was introduced and marketed by the Swiss group in 1998. One of the main objectives of this concept was to have universal time by abolishing any notion of time zone. In this system, the hours, minutes and seconds are replaced by a unit called "Beats". A 24 hour day corresponds to 1000 beats.
Sega used internet time for its Phantasy Star Online online games released in 2000 to facilitate intercontinental games between the Japanese , Americans and Europeans .
On February 14, 2000, Swiss watchmaker Swatch and Japanese video game maker Sega announced a technical cooperation agreement in Tokyo. The goal: to develop a range of new products capable, on the Internet, of ensuring the marriage between a watch and a video game console. Swatch and Sega believed that it was possible to communicate a watch and a video game console through the Internet.
The launch of the accessory was scheduled for April 2000. Its price was set at around 120 - 155 Euros.
Swatch had a watch called " Access " with a memory, like that of a computer, which could record data. This series of watches had two types of chips inside: a SkiData chip, which allowed access to different ski resorts, and a chip which allowed to pay for all kinds of things like drinks, museum passes or ski passes. public transport.
Sega wanted to allow the watch to use the full potential of the Dreamcast game console.
The user of a watch could have read the information contained in its memory by plugging into connection points installed by Sega in cinemas, museums ect. in order to connect to the DC via the net from anywhere!
By using "Internet & Wearable" technology, the Swatch Access watch would have interfaced with the Dreamcast via a controller plugin using RFID technology (technology which makes it possible to save and retrieve data remotely on so-called chips. or RFID tags or radio tags) inside the watch.
The Sega network connected watch project ended at the same time as the Dreamcast project, with the death of director Isao Okawa .
The Swatch archivist about the project:
Knowing the (proven) technology used for this connection, it is likely that the prototype was functional; it remains to be seen whether the network itself had been tested. I do not know and I have no documentation on this subject. In my opinion, the shutdown of the project is not due to a technological problem but mainly linked to the shutdown of the Dreamcast. "
The only product that came out on the market, the result of a partnership between Swatch and Sega , is the Swatch Sonic The Hedgehog (SQK101) in 2001.
A limited console prototype, the Dreamcast " Swatch Club " was presented at a press conference. Its production phase never started. Its location still remains a mystery. Does it still exist where it was destroyed? Sega Japan may well have the answer ...
Dreamcast Pace-VR, a 2 in 1 TV box
Today, everyone has a TV decoder in order to access our favorite channels. The more sophisticated models offer additional functions such as connecting to the internet or playing. In 2001, a box stamped Sega almost saw the light of day.
PACE , a British company specializing in TV decoders, had made an agreement with Sega to create a TV box incorporating the hardware of the Dreamcast. It was presented on January 29, 2001, a few days before the announcement of Sega to stop production of its console.
The device did not have a GD-Rom reader. The games, for download, were recorded on a hard drive of 40 GB, an impressive size for the time.
A channel offering the catalog of Dreamcast games was planned for the TV box. It was used to download demos or full games for a $ 20 monthly subscription, Xbox Game Pass ahead of time.
Online games were in the game with the addition of a video conference function allowing you to see your opponents in a corner of the screen, much like the Dreameye, an accessory released only in Japan.
During the presentation of the Sega-Pace , some softs were playable like Sonic Adventure 2 , Shenmue and Crazy taxi . They worked perfectly. The hard drive could accommodate around 50 titles. Other types of content could be downloaded like music and even backup files.
A release was slated for 2002 with a selling price of £ 450. PACE was also considering boxes for Gamecube, Playstation 2 and Xbox.
" Sega was expressing its desire to provide Dreamcast hardware to devices other than game consoles in order to expand its market."
The project was abandoned along the way probably because of the disastrous financial situation of the Japanese manufacturer.
Where is this prototype hiding? Would it be possible to make it functional like 20 years ago?
MP3 music player
The MP3 player was a large VMU to connect to the console through the controller port to download songs from the Internet. We assume that he could connect to a PC to record the music of our choice.
Sega had little communicated about it, no technical information was ever revealed.
The MP3 VMU was interesting since it could store 2 hours of music. With a capacity of 64 MB, it was going to be sold for around 90 Euro.
The accessory was presented at the Tokyo Game Show in 2000 along with a video. This presentation suggests that the project was well advanced.
My article on another canceled prop from the Dreamcast: The Dreamcast Zip Drive