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The Icon Bar: News and features: Pace to take over Dreamcast?

Pace to take over Dreamcast?

Posted by Richard Goodwin on 15:49, 24/1/2001 | , , , ,
According to The Register, our favourite OS copyright holder Pace is to produce a device which is at least based upon the Sega Dreamcast.

Sega are widely rumoured to be ditching the Dreamcast - they probably won't make any more when current stocks run out in March - and are unlikely to work on a successor after signing up last November to develop software for Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox, coupled with a fourth loss-making year in a row.

Given that Pace's set top boxes are currently based on RISC OS, what does this mean? A move away from existing hardware or retro-fitting some pretty nifty graphics handling chips into existing or similar hardware? It's probably too early to say, but The Reg says that:

Sega is believed to be preparing an announcement [about the tie-in], with press and analyst briefings scheduled for Monday, 29 January. The official launch of the Pace box will be made two days later on 1 February, we hear.
We await those announcements with baited breath.

Source: The Register

  Pace to take over Dreamcast?
  (20:53 24/1/2001)
  John Campbell Rees (22:23 24/1/2001)
    David McEwen (23:31 24/1/2001)
      Nathan (09:13 25/1/2001)
        Richard Goodwin (09:14 25/1/2001)
          David McEwen (12:18 25/1/2001)
            Annraoi (14:56 27/1/2001)
              mark quint (19:16 27/1/2001)
                Annraoi (17:33 28/1/2001)
Kevin Wells Message #88238, posted at 20:53, 24/1/2001
Unregistered user Perhaps they are going to make a risc os games console based on the dreamcast?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
John Campbell Rees Message #88239, posted at 22:23, 24/1/2001, in reply to message #88238
Unregistered user If they do produce a RISC OS based games console based on the Dreamcast, then they will have to introduce some backwards compatibilty for existing games. This should lead to emulator software for the newer RISC OS computers, allowing a much larger selection of games, thus making them more attractive to the general computer buying public.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
David McEwen Message #88240, posted at 23:31, 24/1/2001, in reply to message #88239
Unregistered user Be prepared this is quite long...
Since Sega themselves haven't actually made an official statement it's very difficult to work out fact from fiction - every games related website seems to have conflicting reports.
However I stumbled across the tie in with Pace over a week ago (STB tie ins had been rumoured for ages). It is widely known that Sega have got the Dreamcast hardware down to a chip and that a plug in card for PCs will be available at some point in Japan.
My thought would be that any Pace device that includes the DC hardware will have it as is, as if you change anything games will not work. So using DC software will bypass the native STB OS and use the DC stuff. Emulation just wouldn't be an option. As for a RISC OS desktop machine emulating a DC... don't hold your breath, it'd be a stretch for a Ghz xScale especially without decent 3d hardware with hardware T&L (but that's another gripe).
AS far as ditching the console this is basically wrong... they are scaling down production of the console from March, however they have enough stock to meet demand (unlike another console manufacturer). Sega have confirmed software support for the DC with 100 games (the DC line up as it stands is probably the best a console has had in its first year). There are only rumours about games on other platforms of which all I have heard is 2 PS2 games (they have an agreement with Acclaim - Crazy Taxi, Zombie Revenge, 18 Wheeler are the choice they have) and 5 GBA games.
Hopefully things will be cleared up in a week -> however Sega are not doing an SNK on us (which some sites are effectively reporting).
I hope this clears some things up.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Nathan Message #88241, posted at 09:13, 25/1/2001, in reply to message #88240
Unregistered user Yes, I very much doubt that it would make it into the RO box. Either they produce another STB as well as the RO one or they will ditch the RO one or just have the RO one for core network clients rather than typical customers.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Richard Goodwin Message #88242, posted at 09:14, 25/1/2001, in reply to message #88241
Unregistered user Thanks David, that's interesting stuff; the "ditching Dreamcast" thing is pretty hard to untangle as the US and Japanese arms of Sega seem to be reading from a different script.

The bit about a DC onna chip sounds good though - could this be used on a RISC OS desktop machine (as some form of podule)? Isn't this effectively what Pace will have to do for the STB?
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
David McEwen Message #88243, posted at 12:18, 25/1/2001, in reply to message #88242
Unregistered user Well since Omega supports PCI and there will be a DC PCI card (like the 3do blaster all those years back, there was a Saturn card as well) all that we would need are drivers...
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Annraoi Message #88244, posted at 14:56, 27/1/2001, in reply to message #88243
Unregistered user According to ARM the VR is being integrated into the ARM9 and ARM10 cores. With a wide and very fast on chip co-processor bus there is no need for PCI (it would be several times slower anyway), so this means an ARM10+VR upgrade should be available to any of the new computers that will support ARM V5TE architecture (basically OMEGA or IMAGO)
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
mark quint Message #88245, posted at 19:16, 27/1/2001, in reply to message #88244
Unregistered user so where does this leave us in the discussion of whether Risc OS machines will take the ARM 9/10 or the XScale???
  ^[ Log in to reply ]
Annraoi Message #88246, posted at 17:33, 28/1/2001, in reply to message #88245
Unregistered user It makes no difference. ARM9/10 and xScale are all ARM Architecture V5TE so all are equivilent (except xScale adds some Intel specific stuff and a 4Kb (write cache)) to help reduce cache trashing. xScale also (initially) will be available at a faster clock rate (600MHz). On the other hand ARM10 may well have ARM's has Jazelle JAVA extenstion, the very fast VFP10 co-processor and PowerVR. None of ARM9/10/xScale can run 26 bit code so whatever changes are made to enable one to run RISC OS will enable all of them to do so.

The xScale and ARM10 have a 64 bit databus so vendors like Millipede and Microdigital should (as they have committed themselves to xScale support) have no problems also accomodating ARM10.
  ^[ Log in to reply ]

The Icon Bar: News and features: Pace to take over Dreamcast?