As reported previously in WinInfo, Microsoft and Sega Enterprises are collaborating on a next-generation video game console called Dreamcast that will use Windows CE and DirectX technologies. Dreamcast will be released in Japan this November, while the rest of the world will receive the device in 1999. Dreamcast will include hardware-based 3-D graphics, sound and input devices, as well as an on-board modem to support Internet play network gaming. A specially-tuned version of Windows CE with DirectX will provide a flexible and versatile development environment that is supported by Microsoft development tools. This will also make is easy for developers to create games that run on Windows-based PCs as well as Dreamcast.

"We have worked very closely with Sega for nearly two years to optimize Windows CE to provide the services and level of performance necessary for the exacting development requirements of video games," said Harel Kodesh, general manager of the consumer appliances group at Microsoft. "We are tremendously excited by the opportunities the Dreamcast system offers to traditional video game developers and the PC gaming community."

Dreamcast game development tools will be provided by Microsoft and include special versions of Visual Studio and the Windows CE SDK that will be available to Sega-licensed developers late this month.