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Games Entertainment

Dreamcast (Finally) Goes Broadband 135

Posted by timothy
from the around-sixty-smackers dept.
Thornburg writes: "The Dreamcast Broadband adapter is finally available for sale directly from Sega's online store. I got the story from Console Wire, here." So the next time you hear someone complain about how the Internet isn't how it used to be and Why Back In The Day Sonny We Didn't Have "Keyboards," you can tell him how you "use your existing Ethernet network, DSL or Cable modem services for smooth, low-ping gameplay."
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Dreamcast (Finally) Goes Broadband

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  • I cant believe you didnt use the word "gay" in your analogy and how it evolved from happy to meaning homosexual.

    From webopedia.com-- Broadband A type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry several channels at once. Cable TV, for example, uses broadband transmission. In contrast, baseband transmission allows only one signal at a time. Most communications between computers, including the majority of local-area networks, use baseband communications. An exception is B-ISDN networks, which employ broadband transmission.

  • Don't worry - you'll still need ping to verify your routing, test your interfaces, that kind of thing. You can leave your 'Story about Ping' on your O'Reilly shelf...
    --
  • If you haven't played it online, you haven't played it at all. I was starting to get a little disappointed with it until I got it online - trust me, it's a whole new kettle of fish.
    www.gamefaqs.com have detailed instructions on how to get the Japanese version online (on the PSO messageboard)

    I just can't wait to see how it handles lag and dead reckoning
    Pretty well. The game is designed to hide it, so it rarely becomes visible and almost never affects gameplay significantly.

    I guess the biggest hurdle now is getting the US servers online
    They're already there (and rather busy)
  • Yeah it reminds me of my favorite Steve Vai (the virtuoso guitarist) quote: "If they had Nintendo when I was a kid, I'd probably be a great Nintendo player now instead."
  • What's funny to me is, people who grew up on PC first-person shooters (Wolfenstein, Doom, Quake, etc.) agree resoundingly that the mouse+keyboard combination is the only way to play an FPS. However...

    ...people that grew up playing console games say that a controller is the only way to play an FPS (GoldenEye, Timesplitters, Perfect Dark).

    Case in point: I just recently got a friend of mine into playing PC FPS (Unreal Tournament, Soldier of Fortune). He loves it, and he's (annoyingly) good at it...his only complaint is having to reach all the way over to hell-and-be-gone just to switch weapons, or jump, or crouch. I'd never thought of it that way, because I'd ALWAYS played it that way (anyone remember when Duke Nukem 3D (IIRC) brought 'jump' and 'crouch' to FPS?).

    The point is, simply, that it's personal preference. A skilled console player I'm sure would be excellent comp for a skilled PC player. I'll see you guys on the Net.

    P.S.-->The only game (other than flight sims) where I've seen keyboard skill REALLY make a difference is Starcraft. It's SCARY watching a skilled keyboardist play....sheesh.

    --Just Another Pimp A$$ Perl Hacker
  • ive had a DC for 3 to 4 months now. ive tried quite a few games online (nba2k, nfl2k, some racing games, etc) and have never had a problem with lag or any of the usual problems associated with PC gaming on a dialup connection. all this and i max at 28800 with the dreamcast. i would definetely hold off on this until there is some need for it. (unless your one of the rare ones who uses the DC for internet access and email) -- im sorry. peace.
  • actually the article should appear later, there is a bug in slashcode i guess that sometimes lists a story that wasnt meant to be posted yet, it was queued..... although maybe im wrong cause ive never seen or used slashdcode, but ive heard other say this so ill act smart and say it too :)
  • And now, the moment all you Dreamcast owners have been waiting for (me included),

    -in a spanish announcer's voice-

    El Fasto Brrrrrooooooaaadbaaaand. -roll the r's-

    Let's get ready to Rumble. :)

    But honestly, what really good online game that the dreamcast has that this will go good with? Q3A yes, but let's try something a bit more, umm not pc derived, but original game console multiplayer. Sadly I expect few (if any) original multiplayer games for the Dreamcast for awhile anyway.

    And if anyone says Chu-Chu Rocket, oooh I'll lose it. How anyone (not from Japan) could like it is beyond my comprehension.

    And now for score 1 redundant.

    You look like you need a monkey.

    --Another quote from No One Lives Forever (game, not movie)
  • by DoorFrame (22108) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @09:12PM (#1860630) Homepage

    According to both the official site [sega.com] and this ConsoleWire.com [consolewire.com] site, games need to explicity acknowledge broadband access as opposed to a standard modem so not all games will work.

    What were they thinking with this? They've been developing this adapter for long enough (how long has it been since they announced it was in development?) that they should have created all their games with the future in mind. What's the point of creating great games with internet access, if you intentionally leave out any sort of high speed upgradeability.

    There's no excuse for not planning for the future, and this is what Sega has done. If this system flops before the XBox and the PS2 and the GameCube, then good. They were slow and they didn't look forward far enough... killer flaws in the video game world.
  • The difference is, it hadn't been released for sale yet. Now you can actually go buy it. -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • Ha! ya I don't acutally listen to him either. Regardless, he is talented and it's better than having the Backstreet Boys (Nintendo generation) in your ears.
  • Quake III and Diablo II both work really well.

    Probably because that's what the Cisco engineers use to debug.

    Debug. Yeah, that's it!

    Yes, boss, I'm working hard. I'm debugging a feature in our router to direct UDP packets to the right place.
  • by Skeptopotamus (303674) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @06:44PM (#1860634)
    Now Dreamcast owners can experience, first hand, the joy of being told they '4r3 4ll p1ng, n0 skiLlz!!! FuX0ring LPB!@# Eye 0Wn j00 on L4N!!!"
  • He was saying NAT would be incompatable with UDP based games.

    I probably should have been more clear. My firewall allows me to forward both TCP and UDP ports. This is how I got Net2Phone working. I can even forward TCP port X and UDP port X to two different places (which means you don't have to tie up the TCP port that you are using for a UDP game). I'm sure that linux firewalls will allow this too.

  • Anyone for a highspeed NFL2K1 game? :) Hacking is a lot easier when you put it off with playing games.
  • First company to produce a modem for a console (with the Saturn NetLink) Actually untrue the sega genesis had xband which was a modem that would allow 2 players over dialup course you could only use the xband service not your existing isp.
  • Uhh no. They were taking pre-orders then now there selling them for real.
  • They have an ominous statement in the description saying "not compatible with all games, check the game package". I suspect it doesn't work with NFL2k1 or NBA2k1 (or Chu Chu Rocket), but I can't be sure. Anyone know?

    ZandramasX
  • between this and the netbsd port to dreamcast, we're a hell of a lot closer to having a beowulf cluster of these things...

    im sure someone will find a way to use these things as firewalls, and when they do, i absolutely need one...

    .brad


    Drink more tea
    organicgreenteas.com [organicgreenteas.com]
  • Which really isn't a big deal... Considering the only three games that are out that support online play (at least as of last time I hit CompUSA) are NFL2K1, Chu Chu Rocket and Q3A... And Q3A supports broadband. I'm sure they will come out with a bb-enabled version of NFL2K1 soon enough... and Chu Chu Rocket? I don't think that game really requires high ping...

    Josh Sisk
  • my guess by the size of the modem (somewhat small) is that it's a soft modem. The software running for the HSP that came with my last premade machine would often crash after 10-20 minutes of use, after which the machine needed to reboot. (needless to say, it wasn't long before I got a real modem and eventually broadband cable)

    ---
  • My Cisco 804 does pretty good about figuring out which system to forward UDP packets to, but only in some applications.

    Quake III and Diablo II both work really well.



    -=-
  • Well... it does have a serial port. You could hook up an external modem up to that, hook the ethernet port up to your LAN, and have a dialup firewall server.

    Wonder if they can port Gibraltar (that firewall on a single CD) to this. Add in some kind of VMU support and you can use that for configuration storage, like the floppy disk used in the current x86 version. ;)
  • Maybe Iraq will start buying them up????
  • Well, if that is true, why they hell is Hemos 'queue'ing stories? Aren't we good enough to get the stories straight away? Are we on a diet? I mean, it's pretty obvious that things are often posted without even the slightest bit of checking, ref the 'Apple Sues FreeType' post of a week or so ago... The link referenced in the published story had no relation to it, and even a 1/4 second browse of the title of the article on lwn would have verified it. Perhaps there's an 'idiot check' delay? I don't know.
    Another newdot.org suggestion (the domain is available, someone get to it): let people read pending posts. Only let registered people submit stories, but anon accounts can only post, say, 5 a day. If an account trolls the submission queue, disable it from further submissions.

    Comics:
    Sluggy.com [sluggy.com] - Poing!
  • by ResQuad (243184)
    Yea, there have already been hacks etc for it. Some of you people are really spoiled. Its sad to think that we b#tch about not having broad band, and some people would DIE for the net PERIOD.

  • Well...

    It's something to look forward to anyway...

    -=-
  • "#1: How does the new broadband modem really change this? Yeah I know now the IP is no longer changing a la dialup, but still dreamcasts are online as before, I don't see why DoS attacks would be different." It seems to me that the NetBSD port makes this(or something like this) a much more likely prospect to be hacked out by somebody. It could be a significant tool to make that possible.
  • sega doesnt design there games, most games are 3rd party, some companies design em good, quake3 supports the broadband adapter, NFL2k13CF73D945 or whatever it's called does not, go complain to the coders of that game. Hell, PS2 doesn't even have a modem, sony is thinking behind, and it's too late for it to flop, its not a new system, it cant compete with xbox and gamecube (screw ps2), they are next generation consoles..... and even with that said, i still love my dreamcast, it has the best games out right now, and has awesome graphics (see shenmue, and sonic adventure 2 when its released)...
  • Games can be written either in CE or on a propietary, much more memory effiecent SegaOS. Most games, as you might imagine, are written in the SegaOS. Virtually every game written in CE is a quickie PC port with terrible framerates... Or game types that aren't very strenous in terms of graphics (Worms Armegeddon is the only game I have that runs on CE)

    Josh Sisk
  • only complaint is having to reach all the way over to hell-and-be-gone just to switch weapons, or jump, or crouch.

    Huh? First of all, if you play with one hand on the keyboard, one on the mouse, it should be just a simple finger motion to jump or crouch.... Secondly, most newer games have weapon switching bound to the mouse wheel... Which is pretty convienant.

    Josh Sisk
  • So, I'm guessing this thing won't work with the Dreamcast web browser, either. Gee, and I was hoping for my own easy WebTV (tm) solution.
  • However, perhaps ethernet is better supported by the underlying WinCE?

    DCs can run of either WindowsCE or SegaOS. If they run off CE, I believe they have to load the OS off of a disc... it's not, to my knowledge, embedded.

    Josh Sisk
  • I can only think of 3 games with online play (modem or broadband)... NFL2K1, Q3A and Chu Chu Rocket... I believe that many are suppossed to come out this year, though.

    Josh Sisk
  • and now for the totally unnesicery (and misspelled) reply..

    Can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?

    How about a beowulf cluster of redundant answers?

    How about a beowulf cluster of anonymous cowards posting whatifs about beowulf clusters.
    -since when did 'MTV' stand for Real World Television instead of MUSIC television?
  • What were they thinking with this? They've been developing this adapter for long enough (how long has it been since they announced it was in development?) that they should have created all their games with the future in mind. What's the point of creating great games with internet access, if you intentionally leave out any sort of high speed upgradeability.

    Will they have to release 'Quake 3.1', with 'new improved broadband support'? That's the only way they can get around this poor choice in system support.
  • Perhaps this is just wishful thinking on my part but shouldn't SEGA have been able to design in some backwards compatibility into the lan adapter? Surely they could have arranged it so that it looked like a normal modem to older games and just piped packets through.

    Modem emulation doesn't sound like it should be that hard to me but then I don't know much about the DCs architecture so maybe they just weren't thinking ahead when they designed the expansion port originally.

    At anyrate, it isn't as if too many games have net play yet so it could be a moot point.
  • Is anyone working on a hack that could let the DC act as an internet radio... since it runs CE couldn't some port of winamp be put on it, or is there a linux port out there.... I don't know if it is out there, seems like a good idea though
  • what with fiber-optic to the home, and things like that. I mean, why bother timing how long it takes light to travel the forty-thousand miles along optic fiber?

    40000 mi * 5280 ft/mi * 1.5ns/ft (approx speed of light in fiber) * 1 s/ 1e9ns * 2 = 0.63 s (round trip ping time).

    You can't beat the laws of physics. (You may try to change the laws though.)
  • sorry but i just had to reply to this, have you actually played chuchu rocket with a group of four people? this game is party crack. girls love it. non games people love it. everyone loves it! its the best multiplayer at a single console crack to come along since bomberman. the only negative is the pacing; it can be way too fast for some people.
  • "...and that's what Sega has done."

    In no way should Sega be held responsible for any lack of future planning on the part of their 3rd Party software developers.

    UNLESS the 3rd Party Game-Devs had absolutely NO way of knowing how to support the upcoming Brandband Adapter because Sega wouldn't provide the information. If THAT'S the case, then yes, it is Sega's fault.

    But seeing as how Quake 3 was released before the adapater, I'm guessing most developers were well aware and just didn't care. And of course being out for the quick buck, they didn't care to support unavailable hardware, and loved the idea of selling a special version with ethernet support AFTER it's release. That's how the video game companies work these days. Bastards.

    -=-
  • by MrP- (45616)
    2.0 has sort of a media player... an MP3 player, only you are limited to ::checks email from sega:: 3mb... it is stored in memory until you close the window... now they just need to release the zip drive accessory.
  • by drdink (77) <smkelly+slashdot@zombie.org> on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @09:41PM (#1860664) Homepage
    This story is great and all, but it is a bit misinforming. First off, the title should be Sega of America Ships Broadband. The Broadband adapter has been available for months in Japan. Secondly, before you slap a quick title on like that, you need to consider that development is done in Japan, and just because something isn't out in the States yet does not mean it isn't for sale anywhere.

    All that aside, go get your NIC here [sega.com], grab yourself a copy of Quake III: Arena [sega.com] and POD Speedzone [sega.com]. You'll be on your way to blowing up some ass and speeding down the tracks at broadband speeds. Now that is how network play on consoles was supposed to be.

  • by iCEBaLM (34905) <icebalm@@@icebalm...com> on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @09:50PM (#1860665)
    What would be really cool is if the DC Quake3 could play on standard Q3 servers along side its computer cousins.

    -- iCEBaLM
  • Sorry if you think I'm being picky, but arn't they called ethernet adaptors? It seems that whoever was in charge of marketing decided to arbitrarily change the label to something that more average users would asociate with broadband internet connections. Just because most broadband connections currently use ethernet doesn't mean you can call a NIC a broadband card. -end rant-

    --
  • True, but that is not because of the broadband itself. It's the connection type. Is a DSL line with 34kbit really broadband?

    The ping would be good :)

  • Actually, while I like Sega a lot, what I've heard is more that it was a royal pain in the ass to get your hands on an ethernet adapter for testing. The Quake 3 developers probably got it because they're developing one of the games Sega hopes to build their marketing structure around for broadband capabilities.
    --
    Kevin Doherty
    kdoherty+slashdot@jurai.net
  • I am sega boy, and I boycott Sony. If ANY console
    next I would buy it would be XBox, because it
    will probably be hacked to run linux and my
    favorite linux games like heretic II and heavy
    gear II. I already own dreamcast and dozen games.
    Form a design standpoint, it is stupid to require
    game programmers to manipulate the ethernet card.
    Car should be configured on bootup and user must
    enter whatever parameters that will be needed
    in then, which will be saved onto VMU for
    later retrival. If I am the boss I'd let game
    programmers only connect over already setup
    and report errors if it does not, but I would
    certainly not allow programmers confiure my
    ethernet cards.

    Imagine this Quake to run on linux must be Setuid
    so it can manipulate your NIC configurations
    realtime, or provide interface for you to
    configure them. NOW thats plain stupid if you ask
    me. By actions of SEGA, thats what they did.
    Don't get me wrong,I am for more open platforms like dreamcast... but if linux was doing stupid
    things and lead by a bunch of pumkin heads,
    I wouldn't used it would you?
  • Heh, i've got a DC, w/ keyboard/mouse and customer config. I can play q3a on my 27" Sony Wega while laying on my bed and owning your ass.. =) All I need now is broadband.. =(
  • Some of us don't have dialup ISPs anymore :)
  • ...or one of the people who have no dialup access (in which case you're semi-screwed anyway since older games don't support the NIC).
  • Too bad games need to explicitly support it, so I can't download new tags for Jet Grind Radio without swapping out the NIC for a modem

    Then you should download the JSR tag to end all tags [min.net].

  • it can... with a patch, which, as far as i know, isnt available yet... reason: pc users would kill most dc users, need time to practice on the DC so we can be ready :)
  • Well, the internal IP stack won't change unless it was embedded in the modem (which I kind of doubt.) However, perhaps ethernet is better supported by the underlying WinCE?

    On your #2 though, if you're not doing NAT, your dreamcast would be a targetable host though. Sure, it would be going through your [cable/dsl] modem, but that's just effectively a router.
  • Surely you could use the broadband browser and download the tags to your VMU that way(hold down B,Y or X and press A, I think)? After all, isn't the internet mode of JSR a browser?
  • But that also includes the connection itself. And how the packets will be routed. Thing is, if I would to play with dialup with someone on the same net, also using dialup with modem, that could have better ping than me using a sucky cable modem with an ISP with a really bad backbone playing with that guy on the dialup.

    you can tell him how you "use your existing Ethernet network, DSL or Cable modem services for smooth, low-ping gameplay"

    Sure the adapter itself is probably faster than a dialup modem.. to the closest router, and there's noone there to play with.

    IF the game requires high bandwidth, ping wouldn't be good on a slow modem, then again, the ping wouldn't be the only problem.

    My ping was better with ISDN than on my ADSL connection.

  • Broaband, or correctly spelled Brabant is a province of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In dialect it's pronounced as Broabant or Braobant. :)
  • That this story was on the front page on over two weeks ago [slashdot.org]. I think the memory of the average Slashdot reader must be decreasing; or was it just that none of its readership was sad enough to be reading Slashdot on Boxing day? Nah, don't pull my leg, you're all at least as sad as me :-)
  • Not really, unless the person who's playing on their DC has the DC keyboard / mouse.

    The keyboard / mouse combination is far superior to the DC's controller for Q3 online play, it is very obvious when you're on sega.net who has a keyboard and mouse and who is using the controller, because the person using the keyboard / mouse is almost always winning, and not constantly staring up at the sky or at the ground like those with the controller.

  • You COULD have a firewall with only one ethernet jack. Just give the dreamcast an internal and external IP, all the other computers internal IPs, and plug everything you can find with an RJ45 jack into the same fully switched hub.


  • I guess the main reason I won't be investing in new DC gadgetry, though, is that it becomes more and more apparent over time that game companies are by and large not neat, creative cottage industries interested in hacking, exploration, or or neat development products. They are evil consumer electronics corporations who want my money are who are all too eager to restrict, dumb down, and hobble their products if it is in the interest of their bottom line.

    Maybe you haven't noticed, but game consoles are already "dumbed down" and "restricted" machines, they always have been and likely always will be. They're not marketed as "open platforms" for anyone to hack away at, which is why there's a big novelty factor when someone actually does.

    The console industry raked in $9 billion last year; any similarity between console makers and a "creative cottage industry" is purely coincidental. But to those truly interested in hacking these specialized little boxes to do things they were never built for, the booting restriction is only one more small hurdle for the determined hacker to leap.

  • Actually untrue.

    The Atari 2600 had GameLink which was a service that let you download games via a modem, also custom GameLink hardware. Of course, it didn't catch on as well as some hoped, but it was enough for GameLink to evolve into AOL.

    Hey, as long as we're being anal retentive about video game history, let's at least add some oneupmanship! :-)


    Raptor
  • Sorry, I didn't mean any offense. Just joking around, I have my own Dreamcast (and I love it for Sports games and the like) but I'd much rather play DC games on my PC.

    I suppose you just interpreted that post as an attack on the DC when it was really just a lighthearted poke. Sorry for not being so clear.

  • It will be on a game-by-game basis in the sense that the driver software is located on the game GD-ROM. Quake 3 does support NAT and i'd imagine that Sega-developed TCP/IP stack it uses would be available to other developers as well.

    From the dc-dev mailing list by one of the TCP/IP stack developers:
    Q3A supports static IP, DHCP, and PPPoE (in that order) via the Ethernet peripheral. It also works over NAT.
  • Oh, my mistake. I thought that both of the DC and PC versions were compatible. But there will be other games coming out, right? Right.
  • Assuming you are not playing a DC game against someone on the moon anytime soon, the bandwidth CAN be a significant percentage of latency to the average dialup connection.

    While the previous post implied this, I'll spell it out:
    * 28.8k modem b/w: 1 byte every 0.3ms
    * ping packet ~= 64 bytes (real data packets are probably larger which will make a bigger difference!)
    64 byte packet will take 0.3 * 64 ~= 20ms to send. Ping is round trip so that is 40ms.

    That is already MUCH higher than my average ping over a cable modem... if 2 users are playing a game w/ 2 modems that's 80ms JUST due to B/W (and even higher in real use w/ say several hundred byte packets). So if a ping to a server on a fast connection is 120ms, then 1/3 of that is due to BANDWIDTH. Not the only factor, but a significant one.
  • Phantasy Star Online......It has broadband support and as soon as my pre-ordered copy arrives I'll be one happy mofo. :~)

    I can't speak for everyone, but I personally don't mind if previous DC titles are not capable of using the broadband adapter. Hell, most of the earlier "online" titles for the platform don't do much anyway (i.e. downloading and uploading high scores, etc.) The only real losses here are NFL2k1 and NBA2k1 (let's hope Sega stays around long enough to get the 2k2 series games out with door _with_ broadband support.)

  • My phone lines restrict me from anything above 14.4. No broadband for me. No online gaming for me. No fun for me =(
  • Well those are reasonable assumptions to make, but they are wrong. The most skilled gamepad player in an FPS will have a difficult time beating mid-level mouse/keyboarders.

    I know all of you gamepad types have a hard time beleiving this, but it's extremely true.

    You wont believe me without seeing it for yourself, so download some demos from one of the many online FPS fan sites and watch them. You will wonder how doing those things is possible with a gamepad.

    It's not the keybaord that makes the difference, it's the mouse. Being able to instantly move your crosshair over any target on the screen with pinpoint accuracy in a few milliseconds is a huge advantage.

    The comparison between a gamepad and mouse is so far gone it's ridiculous. It's like comparing a firecracker to a grenade.
  • (FLAMEBAIT ALERT!!!!) I have two words for your non-believing ass... Soooooooul Caaaaaaaalibur. If you think that Sega can't design things properly, then you need to go get yourself a little PS2, run over to your little TV, plug it in, pick up a fresh copy of ANY ONE OF THEIR FUCKING USELESS ASS GAMES, and shut THE HELL up. My brother came in from CALI and bought me a Dreamcast... I now owe him a Wookie life-debt. I can't believe I am hearing someone say that Sega doesn't know what it is doing!!! I actually gave away my N64 to my sister so she could play Bust-a-move, and then someone disses Chu-Chu rocket?!?! Blasphemy!!! String his ass up!!!! BOIL HIM IN OIL!!!
  • And what would ping have to do with broadband? Not much...
  • by Rostis (797)
    And what exactly has "low-ping gameplay" to do with broadband? We measure in bandwidth, not the speed of one packet. My ping won't get better to a guy in the US just because I have broadband, but I could get better bandwidth.
  • by Greg@RageNet (39860) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @10:47PM (#1860695) Homepage
    Haven't seen the ebonics-over-IP RFC yet, is that part of the IP-V6 spec?

    -- Greg
  • Many games that work with linux now initiate the port on the client side first (send through it and start to recieve) so that the masq server knows where to send the packets, so I don't think you will have any problems..
  • by Fervent (178271) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @10:50PM (#1860697)
    Carmack said they actually rewrote a custom stack for Quake III Arena for Dreamcast. Apparently the one that shipped with the machine wasn't up to his standards.
  • It's coming out in a few months, and every review I've read for it has called it "revolutionary". Famitsu (a venerable Japanese gaming mag that's notorious for giving out harsh reviews) gave it a total score of 37 out of 40. Apparently anything above 35 is incredible.
  • Here in Europe cable access is a lot cheaper than keeping your phoneline busy for hours. For my cable access I papy a fix amount per month, my phoneline is payed per second I use it. SO the adaptor will be a good investment.
  • Actually, you could get better ping because ping isn't just a measure of the speed between 2 computers, but the speed by which 2 computers process the information between these distances. Example: the Dreamcast uses a software dialup modem. In theory, this may slow down pings in relation to the software.

    The broadband adapter, as far as I know, runs solely in hardware.

  • So why only 3 games support it?
    I'm pretty sure there are more than 3 games
    that take advantage of SEGAnet...
  • Isn't it Broadband? (the topic of the article isn't right) FIX IT!!
  • Connectionless doesn't mean that your network address translating can't find out the origin and destination for the packets. NAT is just the forwarder, it can also forward UDP packets. It can only become a problem when you want to put firewalling rules on that traffic. But if you put a simple rule that for your Dreamcast all packets should freely move theres no game per game configuration needed. Except your paranoiac your dreamcast gets hacked ;-)
  • by slim (1652) <john.hartnup@net> on Thursday January 11, 2001 @01:50AM (#1860704) Homepage
    There's no excuse for not planning for the future, and this is what Sega has done. If this system flops before the XBox and the PS2 and the GameCube, then good. They were slow and they didn't look forward far enough... killer flaws in the video game world.

    First company to produce a modem for a console (with the Saturn NetLink); first console with online functions as standard (Dreamcast with its built-in modem); first console with broadband -- and you're saying Sega are slow? I guess you're going to argue next that PS2 was quick to market (coming a year later than Dreamcast, with online functioned vaguely promised for some time in the coming year), or that XBox and GameCube show better timeliness (XBox's launch date is bound to slip again, while GameCube doesn't even *have* a launch date AFAIK).
    --
  • Low Ping time is just another way of saying lower latency. And, YES, it is true.

    The ping/latency/round-trip time is the sum total of how long it takes to cross each hop in your network path and back.

    If your modem sends 28,800 bits per second ( = 3600 Bytes per second ) you can invert that and say it sends one byte in 1/3600 of a second. So, a 1.5Mbps connection would send the same amount of data much quicker (1/187,500 of a sec.)

    Last time I used a 56K modem, I was getting ping times around 130-150ms. With my current DSL service, I ping my ISP's router in 25ms.

    In many applications, like voice, video, or gaming, the amount of data being sent is less important than the latency involved in the transmission (i.e. if the data isn't received fast enough, it's useless).

  • Aside: I dislike the use of the term "broadband" to apply to fast Net access. Broadband basically means analog, while baseband basically means digital. Cable Modems *are* broadband, but DSL is not. A 56K modem, on the other *is* broadband.

    For Quake (PC-based) over NAT, or RealPlayer, both of which use UDP, you need a special kernel module to support it. I'm guessing that for some games, this will be the case...

  • by crt (44106) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @06:49PM (#1860707)
    It doesn't work with NFL2k1, or several other multiplayer games (but Q3 works). Support has to be built in by the developer.
  • there was also a version of xband out for the super nintendo
    i forget the company (i don't think it was xband, xband was the product?)
    but anyways, that was a great addon... :)
  • The whole "lameness filter" is pretty ironic considering how taco and crew like to scream about any hint of "censorship."

    Apparently, just like the Slashdotters who believe others work shoudl be free but not theirs, Slashdot managemetn believs that other media should be censorship free, but not theirs.

    Welcome to /. , the web's first stop for hypocracy.

  • by GeorgeH (5469) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @06:51PM (#1860711) Homepage Journal
    http://www.sega.com/pc/segastore/SegaProduct.jhtml ?PRODID=447&CATID=39 [sega.com]

    Too bad games need to explicitly support it, so I can't download new tags for Jet Grind Radio [sega.com] without swapping out the NIC for a modem
    --
  • by Rew190 (138940)
    I can't wait to start kicking the asses of all the Dreamcasters when they attempt to beat me at Quake 3 (that's the one that's out for DC, right?) with their little gamepad toy. Mouse and keyboard all the way, baby!

    I wonder how much money the casual DC player is going to spend just so they can play games via broadband, though? You can't really download anything on this right? And I don't THINK the DC has any sort of media player for downloading pr0n, which we ALL know is the main reason for broadband.

  • Actually Bill, im a windows user. But since you assumed i'm a linux user i guess ill go to linux and say gates recommended it. thanks bill! :)
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot@keirstea d . o rg> on Thursday January 11, 2001 @03:08AM (#1860729) Homepage

    Forget the fact that this is awesome for console gamers for the moment, consider the news about a week ago that someone has released a Dreamcast NetBSD ISO. With Broadband, a whole new bunch of possibilities open up (remote boot, remote X Terms) that would make the dreamcast an EXTRMEELY small, powerful, and usefull device, once the correct modules and drivers have been hacked for it.
  • by Fizgig (16368) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @08:42PM (#1860732)
    I don't have any video game systems, but as soon as I have some free time I'll be all over them :)

    My question is how well all of these broadband adapters (I guess this is the first) will deal with NAT (IP Masquerade in Linux). It's becoming increasingly popular, with all those hub-router broadband boxes that people are buying. But games tend to use UDP, which has problems with NAT, being connectionless and all. I can't imagine anyone wanting to unplug their computer from the broadband connection and plug their Dreamcast in instead very often, so NAT seems like the best option. Will it all be painful or smooth? Or will it all be on a game-by-game basis?
  • by Fjord (99230) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @08:50PM (#1860734) Homepage Journal
    My NAT router (linksys) allows me to forward ports to chosen IPs in the private network. I have port 80 point to my linux box, for example. I would imagine that these games have standard ports they will use for communication, so you can set up port X to point at your dreamcast. If they are reasonably unused ports, you can just keep the setting that way since you probably only have one dreamcast.
  • by JFMulder (59706) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @08:54PM (#1860737)
    I wonder is we could launch a DoS attack on a DreamCast and bring it down to it's knee's. :-)
  • I've played the Japanese release. It's essentially the same as the US since the English, French, and Japanese language translations are all there. Graphics-wise, it's not impressive. Gameplay is similar to Asheron's call. Where the game does shine is its online/offline continuity, with a complete offline quest. Unfortunately, I was unable to test the online portion; however there are "downloadable quests," that can be retrieved, which adds the unknown element. I just can't wait to see how it handles lag and dead reckoning. I hate moonwalking characters and popping from place to place!

    PSO is supposed to support the broadband adapter, so I guess the biggest hurdle now is getting the US servers online and synched with the rest of the world.

    ----------------------

  • by slim (1652)
    I can't wait to start kicking the asses of all the Dreamcasters when they attempt to beat me at Quake 3 (that's the one that's out for DC, right?) with their little gamepad toy. Mouse and keyboard all the way, baby!

    So few words, so many holes to pick. First of all, as many people have already pointed out, DC mouse and keyboard are available. Secondly, why on earth would you be so eager to thrash gamers with inferior control methods, instead of having a decent game against a well matched opponent? Thirdly, are you aware that there are many games besides Quake, some of which aren't even first-person shooters!. I expect games such as Phantasy Star Online to play much better with a pad than with a keyboard+mouse. Fourth, "little gamepad toy"... um, you are aware that the Dreamcast is sold as a toy; the intention is to have fun. In this context "toy" is not a great way of demeaning the Dreamcast. Incidentally I rate the Dreamcast pad as being among the best console controllers ever made. I know there are those who disagree, but it fits beautifully in my hands, the analogue control is great and the analoge shoulder triggers are inspired. On games like Jet Set Radio you forget the controller's there.

    I wonder how much money the casual DC player is going to spend just so they can play games via broadband, though?

    Well, the short answer is:
    • Dreamcast $150
    • Game $40 (? no sure about US prices)
    • Broadband adapter $60
    • Cable modem service $20/month (?)


    ... but I imagine the main market for broadband adapters will be people who have broadband for their computer, but prefer to play their games on a console. My lowly Cyrix 200 PC is perfectly good for email, web browsing, MP3, but hopeless for the current batch of games. I could spend £300 or more upgrading to the point where it's gaming-ready, but it's cheaper and easier to just buy a console, not to mention the better (IMO) games available. With the broadband adapter a person can use the one broadband account for both console gaming *and* PC internet use.

    Unfortunately, there are some games I just can't let myself miss out on -- and Monkey Island 4 means I'm going to have to bite the bullet and upgrade that PC anyway (but Crazy Taxi, Jet Set Radio, Sonic Adventure meant I equally had to own a Dreamcast).
    --
  • While I think the DC ethernet adapter is a step in the nice direction, I'm still not in a rush to go out and order one. For one thing, it only works with a small, select group of games. And while some people are going to be excited at the prospect of being able to play low-ping 4-player games of Quake III Arena (that's all the DC version supports) at 640x480 resolution, that's going to strike a lot of people as old news. Of course, one can expect there to be more broadband-enabled games in the future.

    Up until recently, I would have been more excited about the ethernet adapter, what with the fact that progress has been made porting Linux to the DC, as well as lots of emulators and other projects [boob.co.uk] (VCD and MP3 players and like). But alas, the rumors I'm hearing more and more frequently are that Sega is going to start shipping new Dreamcasts that won't boot CD-ROMS (only the proprietary GD-ROM), in an effort to keep people from copying games. That'll work real well for all two weeks until a mod chip comes out, but could really cramp the efforts of people doing independent development on the system, if their project won't work on new Dreamcasts without a hardware modification.

    I guess the main reason I won't be investing in new DC gadgetry, though, is that it becomes more and more apparent over time that game companies are by and large not neat, creative cottage industries interested in hacking, exploration, or or neat development products. They are evil consumer electronics corporations who want my money are who are all too eager to restrict, dumb down, and hobble their products if it is in the interest of their bottom line.

    My bottom line is that I think I'll use that $90 to buy some art supplies and used CDs, and do something with my spare time other than point and drool for a change.

  • by Boone^ (151057) on Wednesday January 10, 2001 @09:05PM (#1860753)
    Nope, sorry... Only new games will support it. Games will be labeled "BB Ready" or something. From this link: http://www.consolewire.com/news/item.asp?nid=538 [consolewire.com]
    Q. Will NBA and NFL, Quake III and other games that are already out support broadband adaptor? What are the games that will support it?

    A. At this time, the "Dreamcast Broadband Adapter" supports "Quake III(TM) Arena," "Pod(TM) 2," and "Unreal Tournament(TM)." More great games shipping in 2001 will support the "Dreamcast Broadband Adapter." All games supporting the BB Adapter will be labeled as such at retail.

    I guess we wait until NFL 2k2. :(
  • The thing is that older Dreamcast online games don't recognise the ethernet thingy. They only have the drivers necessary to dial out with the modem.

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