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The last video game console developed by Sega, it was released in Japan on November 27, 1998, in the United States on September 9, 1999, and in Europe on October 14, 1999. In the first two weeks after launch, Sega sold 500,000 consoles and it was one of Sega's most successful hardware units. Over 276 games were released for the Dreamcast.The last American release was "NHL 2K2" in February of 2002.
Physically, the Dreamcast measures 190 mm × 195.8 mm × 75.5 mm (7.48 in × 7.71 in × 2.97 in) and weighs 1.5 kg (3.3 lb). The Dreamcast's main CPU is a two-way 360 MIPS superscalar Hitachi SH-4 32-bit RISC clocked at 200 MHz with an 8 Kbyte instruction cache and 16 Kbyte data cache and a 128-bit graphics-oriented floating-point unit delivering 1.4 GFLOPS. Its 100 MHz NEC PowerVR2 rendering engine, integrated with the system's ASIC, is capable of drawing more than 3 million polygons per second and of deferred shading. Sega estimated that the Dreamcast was theoretically capable of rendering 7 million raw polygons per second, or 6 million with textures and lighting, but noted that "game logic and physics reduce peak graphic performance." Graphics hardware effects include trilinear filtering, gouraud shading, z-buffering, spatial anti-aliasing, per-pixel translucency sorting and bump mapping. The system can output approximately 16.77 million colors simultaneously and displays interlaced or progressive scan video at 640 × 480 video resolution. Its 67 MHz Yamaha AICA sound processor, with a 32-bit ARM7 RISC CPU core, can generate 64 voices with PCM or ADPCM, providing ten times the performance of the Saturn's sound system. The Dreamcast has 16 MB main RAM, along with an additional 8 MB of RAM for graphic textures and 2 MB of RAM for sound. The system reads media using a 12x speed Yamaha GD-ROM Drive. In addition to Windows CE, the Dreamcast supports several Sega and middleware application programming interfaces. In most regions, the Dreamcast included a removable modem for online connectivity, which was modular for future upgrades. The original Japanese model and all PAL models had a transfer rate of 33.6 kbit/s, while consoles sold in the US and in Japan after September 9, 1999 featured a 56 kbit/s dial-up modem.
Sega constructed numerous Dreamcast models, most of which were exclusive to Japan. A refurbished Dreamcast known as the R7 was originally used as a network console in Japanese pachinko parlors. Another model, the Divers 2000 CX-1, possesses a shape similar to Sonic's head and includes a television and software for teleconferencing. A Hello Kitty version, limited to 2000 units produced, was targeted at Japanese female gamers. Special editions were created for Seaman and Resident Evil Code: Veronica. Color variations were sold through a service called "Dreamcast Direct" in Japan. Toyota also offered special edition Dreamcast units at 160 of its dealers in Japan. In North America, a limited edition black Dreamcast was released with a Sega Sports logo on the lid, which included matching Sega Sports-branded black controllers and two games.