As the premier Dreamcast source on the 'net (even Sega Europe have frequented this blog!) - the 'Yard deems it appropriate to document even the most inane aspects of everyone's favourite underrated 128-bit console. And Gamecube owners - I'm not talking about you, so shut the door on the way out.
There are various oh-so-subtle differences, I believe, between the various incarnations of the DC, and if I've missed any, please be sure to let me know via the comments function.
Are you ready? Here we go...
NTSC - Japanese Dreamcast
Well, obviously it runs at 60 Hz because it's NTSC, and it features the original orange swirl. Some of the earlier models didn't apparently feature a modem - just a plastic box to make the system look complete (also true of some of the models released in other asian territories). Another unique feature is that the little bit of plastic on the GD-Drive lid is actually clear plastic so when the orange light is on, it shines through to create the impression that the light is shining across the lid and the base. Also, while I have looked into this extensively but cannot find any pics, very early models were believed to have featured some kind of silent cooling system that involved plastic piping filled with an inert gas of some description that drew heat away from the internal components. Cool. (sorry).
NTSC - American/Canadian Dreamcast
Pretty much the same as the Japanese version and retaining the orange swirl, the US version features a 56kbps modem as standard. The little clear bit on the lid was for some reason changed to a grey triangle of plastic and this is how you tell the difference between a Jap and a US Dreamcast (cosmetically).
The Canadian Dreamcast is identical to the US version. Just thought I'd include it for the sake of keeping the readers of the world happy.
As the name suggests, it's a PAL Dreamcast (!) and it's availible in Europe, the UK, Australia and the other PAL regions of our lovely but slowly decaying planet. It can run at either 50 or 60Hz depending on whether your telly supports it. I personally prefer to play most of my games in 50Hz because even though 60Hz is meant to be 'better,' 50Hz seems to have a sharper picture resolution and more vibrant colours. The PAL system differs from the US version in that it has a 33Kbps modem and of course that lovely blue swirl and packaging. It does retain the grey triangle on the drive lid though, instead of having the much nicer looking clear bit. Oh, and it features a small speaker inside that produces a simulated 'disk accessing' sound effect that is capable of reaching volumes of 1000 decibels and above.
Finally, I am extremely pleased to announce that the Dreamcast Junkyard has now reached an Ozone Layer-breaching rank of 5/10 on Google's PageRank! FIVE OUT OF TEN FOR A BLOG?! That's decent y'know.
Thanks to everyone who reads and contributes :-D