Showing posts with label Development Tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Development Tools. Show all posts

Atomiswave Dev Kit 'SystemX' Discovered, Contains Fragments Of Unreleased Game 'Chicago 1929'

Ah, the Atomiswave. A beloved arcade system developed by Sammy that has its roots firmly planted in the fertile foothills of the NAOMI system heartlands, the Atomiswave is viewed by many as something of an extension of the Dreamcast family - indeed, our own 'Expanding the Dreamcast Collection' series goes into great depth looking at the Atomiswave, its hardware, some of its finest games and the link to the Dreamcast family.
The Atomiswave arcade system
With this connection in mind, a recent discovery may excite those interested in both the Dreamcast and the Atomiswave - an innocuous white box that looks for all intents and purposes like a standard Dreamcast dev unit; but one with the label 'SystemX' stuck over the familiar Dreamcast logo.
The Atomiswave dev kit, SystemX
After further investigation of the SystemX, owner Brian Hargrove has deduced that this is pretty clearly a Dreamcast development unit converted into an Atomiswave development kit...and even more intriguing is that it appears to contain fragments of a game that never saw a final release - Chicago 1929. Here, Brian explains how he came to own the SystemX and what he's discovered about the technical side of things:

Katana Simple Checker Innards Revealed.

The image of the Dreamcast with the weird circuit board hanging out the side has been floating around online for a while now, and has been pretty much confirmed as some form of development tool or quality control checking device. The theory is that games were sent to Sega for testing and if they were run in this system and indicator LEDs flashed, then there was something wrong and the game wasn't approved. Or something like that, anyway.
The mystery board complete with heatsink
I'm about as far removed from a development tool expert as you could possibly get so if I got that hilariously wrong, then I apologise. The reason I'm explaining all this is that some folks over at the Assembler Games forum have started to re-investigate this odd contraption and the the guts of the console have finally been revealed.
A close up of the board with the heat sink removed. Source: Assember Games
You can see the 'Katana Simple Checker' text on the main board. Source: Assembler Games
The board sticking out of the side of this Dreamcast does have some interesting markings on it as well as what looks like an extra processor (and of course the aforementioned LEDs) but it's the main board which adds more intrigue. With the top half of the shell removed, it's clear that the exposed circuitry is actually a part of the main board itself and also has the marking 'Katana Simple Checker' printed on it. There is information about a Test GD on Sega Retro, but this refers to a setup that used a disc and a device that connected to the Dreamcast via the serial port - this system has the extra PCB hard wired to the main board.

As stated, there are people far more knowledgeable than I already discussing the possible uses for this Dreamcast over at the Assembler forums, but I thought this was worth bringing to the attention of the Dreamcast community at large in case someone out there has any more information on it.

Source: Assembler Games