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Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreameye. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query dreameye. Sort by date Show all posts

A Closer Look At Dreameye

As mentioned here many, many times in the past, present and (probably) future, the Dreamcast has a fantastic number of peripherals - both official and third party. Just look back through our recent articles and witness the unrivalled majesty of the DreamPhoto Treamcast mouse for a good example of the latter. While that isn't technically a Dreamcast peripheral per se, you get the gist of what I'm saying...hopefully. So with this in mind let us turn our gaze, rather fittingly, to another of the Dreamcast's lesser-known peripherals: Dreameye. While it's true that our very own Gagaman wrote a short article on Dreameye back in 2009, I thought it was time that we took a closer look...

The Dream Eye! Oooh.

Well lookie what showed up toady: The DreamEye, a digital camera for the DC which I got rather cheap in an auction (about £20). Is that not the happiest box art you have ever seen? It's right up there with Samba De Amigo's box, at least.

Here's all the hardware of the box. The camera itself almost feels like a toy one, it's very light, has barely any buttons, a tiny light and weighs almost nothing. The blue part attached to it is a battery pack (takes two AAA's) so you can use it as a portable digital camera (albeit an extremely out of date one now, as most mobile phones can take better photos than this, let alone anything else).

You get a blue microphone adapter for the controller (just like the one you get with Seaman, Planet Ring etc) and a microphone head set, so you don't have to talk at the controller, which is nice. There's also a stand you can screw the camera into, which is quite heavy and sturdy.

Finally this is the software you get with it: Visual Park. The disc is in a CD case like any other Japanese Dreamcast game, only with no manual inside it as the manual is rather big, the same size as the box. Using the software is pretty easy even without being able to read the Japanese as there are plenty of visual clues to what is what.

The disc has an excellent photo editor that lets you do all sorts of daft things, and a video creator where you can record a (terribly compressed) 25 second clip and save it to your VMU or e-mail it to someone. You could also chat online with this thing, which is pretty amazing on a console considering it's age. Once again Sega was far too ahead of its time for its own good, and sadly this wasn't used for any other games like the Eye Toy was when that came out years later.

I'm working on videos of both the DreamEye and Visual park at the moment, but for now here'sa video I uploaded a little while ago in case you missed it.

CSK Holdings: A Brief History & Connection to the Dreamcast

Hey guys, I'm Ross and welcome to my first article as an official DCJY member. Seeing as my guest articles went down so well, Tom decided to ask me to join the team...and so I naturally obliged!

To give a little background to this article, Tom asked me if I had any knowledge about a variant of the Dreamcast that isn't well documented online. I looked into it and realised that what I'd discovered might make an interesting company profile. So, read on to find out more about the Japanese conglomerate that played a major role in the shaping of not only Sega, but also our beloved Dreamcast - CSK Holdings Corporation.
CSK Holdings Corporation?
CSK Holdings Corporation (株式会社CSKホールディングス Kabushiki-gaisha Shī Esu Kei Hōrudingusu) is a multi-billion dollar Japanese conglomerate with heavy involvement in I.T. industries.

Formed in 1968, they've played a big part in the history of Sega since 1984 when they bought the company and renamed it to 'Sega Enterprises Ltd.' Isao Okawa, a personal friend of David Rosen, became the company's chairman and two years later shares of the company were put on the Tokyo Stock Exchange to be traded.

CSK remained the parent company of Sega until 2004 when they sold their remaining shares to Sammy Corporation which led to the two companies merging to form the one we know today, Sega Sammy Holdings Inc.

A Closer Look At The Dreamcast Internet Starter Kit

In this day and age we kind of take it for granted that the internet is a thing we have at our disposal with almost effortless availability. It truly is a ubiquitous resource of entertainment, learning, communication and screaming at each other on forums. The internet is, I'm pretty confident in stating, one of the most important inventions the human race has ever come up with. I'd even put it up there with the wheel, the microchip, the instant noodle and the screw-top beer bottle. Yes, old Tim Berners-Lee really hit on something back in the early 1990s when he and his motley crew of super nerds at CERN gave birth to what we now more commonly refer to as the t'interwebs. It goes without saying that anybody reading this right now is doing so using the power of said network, be it on a mobile phone, a tablet, their watch, games console or even - heaven forfend - an actual desktop PC or Mac.

Now, the Dreamcast was - as most of you will be aware - the first console to come as standard with a modem and the ability to browse the internet and access multiplayer games right out of the box. Well, unless you lived in Europe for the first few months...but that's a moot point. The fact of the matter is that the Dreamcast was marketed first and foremost as a games machine, but also as a cost-effective way for people to get a taste of the internet without having to buy a computer; and in those heady days of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when flannel shirts, Backstreet Boys and Eiffel 65 were still en vogue, that wasn't something to be sniffed at.
For my sins, I did go through a short-lived spell of buying a UK-based magazine called .net after getting my Dreamcast, just so I could sit on the bus reading it looking like I was 'jacked in' to the power of the 'information superhighway.' In reality I still looked like a scruffy, fat nerd. But this is the point I'm trying to make - back in 1999, the internet wasn't as ubiquitous as it is now and people didn't have 3G and 4G enabled smart phones bouncing around in their pockets, getting scratched up by a bunch of keys. The internet for many - me included - was a vast and wondrous new frontier and by God I was ready to ride the wave on my digital surfboard, tits akimbo.
But herein lies the conundrum. Sega probably knew that the pseudo tech-savvy among its target demographic for the Dreamcast would be onboard with this idea of web surfing and online gaming. How then, would the Japanese firm entice the average person? The outliers in this new digital wonderland? The ones who didn't know a byte from a flimflam, or a googolplex from a Yahoo!? Here's how: by devising a 'starter kit' for the unlearned, one that was created with basic and easy to understand instructions and a guide to what this whole 'internet' thingy was all about. And to top it all off, by including an internet guide...for housewives.

A Rough Guide To Dreamcast Express

For a console that was only really supported for three years (more or less), the Dreamcast has left an impressive mark on the landscape of the gaming world. Looking at the system retrospectively, it's true that the Dreamcast was something of a commercial disaster for Sega even considering the record-breaking launches and relatively impressive sales figures. That said, it still amazes me the sheer volume of paraphernalia that was generated around the brand - from alarm clocks and pocket TVs to pens, jackets, mugs, bags and even tissue box holders...the amount of merchandise and superfluous branded tat that was spawned to celebrate the arrival of Sega's final console is bewildering. Some systems died on their asses simply because the public weren't aware of the thing's existence; but Sega were clearly on a mission to make sure that didn't happen to the Dreamcast, and while the platform didn't quite reach the commercial targets they had in mind, nobody can say that the firm was stingy with the marketing budget.

Marketing the Dreamcast brand was not strictly limited to stamping swirls on tea towels and mouse mats though - in Japan at least, Sega took things a little further by allowing gamers to sign up for a 'partner' service which furnished them with exclusive demo and preview discs. These could be played in their Dreamcasts and offered a sneak peek at future releases and featured exclusive bonus content that wasn't available anywhere else. This series of discs was called Dreamcast Express and seven volumes were released between 1999 and 2000, and they each comprise either a single or double GD set packed full of imaginatively-presented content.

Free Wheelin' With The HKT-7430

The Dreamcast has a stunning number of peripherals for a system that lived in the limelight for such a short time. When you really look at the list of different controllers and things you can plug into the console in order to add a new dimension to your gameplay experience, the array is pretty bewildering. Some of these peripherals literally only have a handful of games that make use of them, while others are pretty much redundant today as they were designed for use with an internet connection (or in the case of the mysterious DreamWire HKT-4400 ISDN cable, an internet connection was it's only reason for existing). Twin Sticks for use with Virtual On, the MIDI cable for plugging in a keyboard, the DreamEye for web chat...the list is as long as a long armed person's arm. Recently though, a fairly common Dreamcast accessory came into my possession - the official Dreamcast racing wheel.
A DreamWire. Yesterday.
I actually paid £1 for this item in an eBay auction and bid on it more out of curiosity than anything. I did own an unofficial V3 steering wheel peripheral for the Dreamcast years ago, but I left it in my brother's house for some reason...and he threw it away when he moved. So for the last 10 years or so I have been wheel-less...but no more! I'm sure many people reading this have experienced the official Sega wheel already, but for me this was the first time using it.

DreamPod - Episode 48 Featuring DC Gaga

[iTunes][Stitcher][Buzzsprout][UK Podcast Directory][YouTube]

If you'd like to know more about DC Gaga, you can find the main site here, and also find Jamie on Twitter and Facebook. The article on the Dream Library download service is located here, and you can find our previous articles on the Dreameye, Dreamcast karaoke unit and the DC-Free service by clicking on/tapping the various inline links. If you like what you've heard, please consider leaving us an iTune review and as ever, thanks to everyone who donates to our Patreon.

Some rarities for sale

Hello Dreamcasters! I'm trying to raise a bit of money at the moment, so I thought I would alert you to some Dreamcast related goodness I am currently selling on eBay. Each game/peripheral will be coming out of my personal collection - I have a few duplicates and I want these to now go to a good home.

Check out the post on mysegacollection if you wish to see everything that's for sale (Shenmue 1,2, Last Hope, Dreameye...), or jump straight into eBay if you wish to bid on my auctions. Good luck and I hope one of our excellent readerbase here at DCJY picks up a few quality items. 

More to come... such as Samba de Amigo maracas, limited edition VMUs, a Segagaga boxset and more!

A Quick Look At The Dreamcast Twin Stick Controller

The Dreamcast's peripheral lineup offers plenty of oddities for the discerning collector to pore over. From the karaoke unit and maracas, to the fishing rod and the Dreameye there's something for everyone. One peripheral we've never really looked at in any real depth here at the Junkyard is the Dreamcast Twin Stick, an odd looking beast of a controller that always peaks the curiosity of the public whenever we wheel it out at live events and expos. The Twin Stick was never released outside of its native Japan, although that doesn't stop it being compatible with both NTSC-U and PAL Dreamcast systems, but the incredibly small library of games that officially make use of it renders the Twin Stick something of a luxury.
Twinned with the relative high price these controllers command in the current climate, the Twin Stick is a device that still enjoys something of an enigmatic air. Like the Arcade Stick controller, the Twin Stick is one of those peripherals that greatly enhances the experience of playing games that make use of it, but outside that small selection is pretty redundant simply because of its fairly unorthodox design. Let's take a more detailed look at the hardware itself, and some of the games that make use of the Twin Stick before investigating whether or not this is something you should consider adding to your collection...

Dreameye InsideOut Video

Well here's that Dream Eye video I promised, or should I say the first of two, as this will be followed up with a Rummage video of the Visual Park software. 'InsideOut' is the name for all the unboxing type videos I'll be doing from now on (I guess you could count these
Samba De Amigo and Wind and Water videos as 'InsideOut' videos, too).

A Quick Look At Free-DC

As you're no doubt aware, the Dreamcast was served by a plethora of online services depending on the territory. In Europe we got the Dreamarena service; the US got SegaNet and in Japan Dreamcast owners were treated to the Dricas service. Dricas - to me at least - looks like it was by far the most feature rich of these three services, and offered such delights as video calling (through the Dreameye) and the ability to spam your friends with nonsense in the form of Dreamflyer. Dricas itself is a truly vast topic of discussion but due to the nature of the internet I fear much of the features and functionality that users enjoyed is lost to the mists of internet lore. No amount of internet archaeology or Wayback Machine plundering can bring back a service that just cannot be accessed anymore because the servers are now in landfill (probably).
Dreamarena went through a flamboyant midlife crisis.
Dreamarena was totally serviceable for web browsing; and SegaNet was fine for gaming (at 56k speeds) over in the US as far as I can ascertain...but Dricas was the real deal. Going from the scant details I can find trawling the internet, Dricas offered Japanese Dreamcast owners some really intriguing features, including something called Dream Map which was powered by Japanese mapping firm Zenrin and allowed Dreamcast owners to locate each other on a Google Maps-style thing and connect with people in their locality. It sounds a bit like the Near function incorporated into the Sony PS Vita...but y'know, actually used by people.
Garish enough for ya?!
There was also a thing called MailChum!, which - and I quote - "...provides you with an instant e-mail penpal, from a variety of characters ranging from beautiful girls to mythical animals." Erm. Anyway, the reason I'm banging on about Dricas and other long-dead internet services for the Dreamcast is that I wanted to discuss something I knew of previously...but just didn't think anyone else would be interested in reading about: Free-DC.

Dreamcast Collectors Unite! Exploring your collections - Part 2

In the Dreamcast Junkyard's now 15 year pursuit of all things related to Sega's last console, we've featured many a topic - we've had nostalgic trips down memory lane, a pursuit for the Dreamcast barber, interviews with some of the biggest names, 70+ episodes of a podcast; you name it, we've (probably) done it. But none of that would of been possible, without people like you reading our sometimes rambling thoughts. Like us, many of you live and breath the Dreamcast, and we thought, during these rather unprecedented and surreal times we live in, what better way to celebrate our collective passion, than to throw the doors open to some of your very own Junkyards, for us all to admire.

And so here we are, with part 2 of our 'Dreamcast Collectors Unite!' article series. Last time out, we featured 4 fantastic, passionate Dreamcast fans as they allowed us a glimpse of their cherished possessions, collections that would put many of us to shame. But we also wanted to highlight those collectors who have gone that extra mile in amassing their collections, whether it be through sheer volume, or through dedication to a particular sub-set of the Dreamcast collecting journey. The 'Super Collectors', as we now are going to call them. And today, we feature our first.

Come with us as we take a somewhat mesmerising journey into the console, controller and toy collection of a man called Brian...

Hello fellow Dreamer! Tell us a little about yourself!

Well let's see, I am a father of 2 (soon to be 3), I'm a huge gamer and of course enthusiast, as well as horror fanatic. I'm a pretty busy dude, but I'm sure like most of, I trade sleep to play games (my wife isn't a fan).

A Look Inside The Junkyard

We spend a large part of our time here at the Junkyard bringing all the Dreamers out there the latest news, opinions and articles on our beloved little white box. Whether it be long thought lost games, articles on every element of the Dreamcast that you'd ever wish to have (and some you probably didn't!), collectors guides, an award nominated podcast, interviews with the best DC indie developers out there; you name it, we try to cover it.

But when we're not letting our creative juices flow, the staff here at the 'Yard can often be found building up our own collections. We're a varying bunch, covering 4 continents, and our own collecting goals are somewhat different – whether it be feeding the compulsion to finish a full set, attempting to expand on the Dreamcast family with arcade hardware and software, or just enjoying the thrill of the hunt and finding 10 copies of Spirit of Speed 1937 in a charity shop; we all have different aims and ambitions with our Dreamcast indulgences. And whilst we talk about the console a lot, it's occurred to us that we haven't shared our own collections – at least not for a while. With new members now aboard the Junkyard train, it seems the right time to share our own little corners of Dreamcast heaven.

Oh, and we want to show off a little. There's nothing wrong with that, right?

So without further ado, The Dreamcast Junkyard presents...a look inside the Junkyard!

I'm Thinking.

I've finally made it. After eleven months of climbing the Sega blog ladder, I've joined the Dreamcast Junkyard. See kids? All it takes to dominate four Sega blogs is a little perseverance, some smart-ass comments, Father Krishna and Tomleecee. The latter of the two accepts paypal, making bribes easy and convenient.

Before I begin my introduction I wanted to set a few things straight. First off, I'd like to apologize to Tomleecee for going off on him for hating on the movie Punch-Drunk Love. I can agree, that as an Adam Sandler movie, it is awful. However, as a piece of modern cinema it's excellent. Paul Thomas Anderson is a filmmaking genius and was nice enough to give a Sega Dreamcast some screen time. Secondly, that British Shenmue video was made by me.

My Dreamcast fandom began in September 1999. The Dreamcast was the first Sega system, since the Genesis, that I dived into on day one. As the Dreamcast debuted in September, and my birthday is in November, I had to bide my time with magazine articles and short play sessions at mall kiosks. When my fifteenth birthday hit, in came the cash from the grandparents. Soon I had enough for a new system, a VMU and Sonic Adventure. I remember the store was sold out of the game, so I had to spend a week playing only the bundled Dreamcast Generator demo disc. Sure I could've rented the game, but then I'd never want to return it! Once Sonic Adventure was in my hands, I was a Dreamcast fan through and through. The Official Dreamcast Magazine was my bible, and I picked up as many games as I could in the console's 2 year lifespan.

My collection has really grown over the past ten years

I remember the day I learned the Dreamcast was being discontinued. It was on Tech TV's XPlay. I still hate Adam Sessler for breaking the news. Despite the "death" of the Dreamcast, I continued to buy the usual used game until 2003 when I went off to college. I wisely brought my Dreamcast with me, making one of the few dudes in my dorm to own a video game console (I went to an art school, so there weren't too many gamers).

Upon graduating I moved to Philadelphia where I currently live with my girlfriend. She puts up with me owning all this stuff, so shes a keeper. As school assignments were behind me, and I had a steady income, I turned to ebay to fill in the gaps of my collection.

Since 2007, my Dreamcast collection has doubled, with a few more consoles and lots of wacky accessories joining the pile. Gagaman is to thank for making me want to buy a DreamEye.

Yeah, I know the Space Channel 5 soundtrack is a bootleg.

I'm missing issues 0, 2 and 3. If you have them and are willing to sell, hit me up in the comments section.

There is so much more I could say about the Dreamcast, but I'll save it for another article. Happy to be here and looking forward to the future!

My First Podcast and A Resolution

A couple of days ago, I had the fortune of participating in our blog's podcast. And from that experience I learned one important thing:

It's still a bit of a mystery to me!

I do not know nearly as much about the Dreamcast as I should! Despite having gotten the console near the end of its life time and playing it since then, much of the stuff discussed was stuff I was hearing for the first time. Like, the game "Under Defeat" being the last game released on the system, or the worst game on the system (From our poll, it's Spirit of Speed 1937). Or the fact that the Dreameye was a thing.

Listen to the podcast if you haven't!

Plus, I haven't played the classic Jet Set Radio/Jet Grind Radio! This is a situation I'm trying to remedy even as I type.

Another game on the "Get This" list!

Therefore, I must resolve to learn more about my Sega consoles in general, and our beloved Dreamcast in particular. What makes it popular today? Why do I still like it after all these years? What other great games haven't I experienced yet? All this and more, next time on Dreamcast Junkyard!

Also, listen to the podcast! :P

Lookin' Like a Fool With Your Swirls On the Ground

As I entered a hotel yesterday, I was greeted by this carpet pattern:

Super-fans who would like to see this for themselves can check it out at Radisson Northeast Hotel in Philadelphia. This will be my second swirl sighting in a month, perhaps the Dreamcast is sending me the message that I need to give it more attention. Today I was kind enough to replace the batteries of my Dreameye, so it seems the subliminal swirl messages are working.

ps - Last year I had a video feature planned, but lack of time and the belief that I needed AVGN levels of production quality led that idea to dwindle. Now I've conceded that I need to make a video and quality be damned, hand held camera and unscripted chatter is good enough! Expect the first video by April. Whee!

Adventures in eBay

Oh look. A birthday cake. Just like the one I didn't get. Moving on, we all know that you can get practically anything on eBay. I once saw someone trying to flog a plastic bag that was filled with air from inside the cinema at the premier of Mr & Mrs Smith. The major selling point, according to the pathetic twat who had listed it, was that a Mr Brad Pitt and Ms Big Lips Voight had expelled CO2 in that very auditorium and so whoever won the bag would own a 'piece' of said Hollywood shag partners. And some cretin had ACTUALLY BID ON IT!!!!!!!!!!

Aaanyway...as most people occasionally do, I like to browse the virtual auction rooms for bizarre and sometimes affordable pieces of obscure gaming tat. Indeed, most of the 'Yard's stock came from those hallowed pages. However, every now and then a few items appear that are truly special and here for your enjoyment are some of the less ubiquitous offerings (people listing copies of Soldier of Fortune with the phrase 'RARE!' in the heading have automatically been sent a vicious computer virus by the Junkyard's impossibly powerful Dreamcast powered artificial intelligence mainframe.) You have been warned.

Cool - you probably wouldn't be able to use it these days, but it'd be nice to see one of these in the 'Yard. Not gonna happen in the near future though - I need a new coat.

System Shell!
Oh yes...If only these were more readily availible. Problem is - I aint payin £30 for it to get shipped from America.

Pad Converter!
Play your DC games with a PS pad? Sure! Probably not rare at all in the US, but here in Blightly anything with a blue swirl is as rare as rocking horse shit.

Wierd Transparent Keyboard!
Woah - how cool is this? It'd be even better if it had LEDs inside. I'm sure that with my electronics skillz I could manage it...Interesting.

Cool Black Gun!
Strangley, Sega didn't release their official light gun in the US because of fears surrounding gun crime. Even stranger is that the official Sega gun is big, white and looks nothing like a firearm. This Starfire gun is new to me and looks decidely more realistic, but still looks more like something out of Star Trek than a 'piece' off the streets of South Central L.A.
Further more, you can still "Suffer, like G did," but now in style!!

Dreamcast Vinyl!
Yes! now you too can emblazon your house with a vinyl Dreamcast Logo. According to the listing, the Dreamcast vinyl can withstand all kinds of weather conditions for 5 years! Just think - you could support the Dreamcast until 2011! Yay!

Bar Sign?!?!?!
Now, while you are never, ever going to see one of these in any bar (come to think of it, you wouldn't have seen one in a bar when the Dreamcast was still en vogue), I do think it looks pretty good...If only it didn't cost £30 for delivery.

On the subject of ripping out that orange LED and replacing it with a blue one, I went into Maplin yesterday and spent my entire dinner hour trying to explain to the very nice but English languagley challenged Indian gentleman what I wanted. When we finally agreed that I didnt want a solar powered torch or a potato powered alarm clock, it became apparent that they had no LEDs. Blue or otherwise. And this is supposedly Britain's premier electronic component outlet. Typical eh? Therefore, The Dreamcast Junkyard awards Maplin the first entry into the Dreamcast Junkyard Shit Pit of Shame. Be sure to read further nominations in coming posts.

Finally, look here for my review of Crazy Taxi 2. Your comments, as ever, are highly appreciated.