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    Dreamcast Fact Sheet
    (Microsoft, don't you just love them?)

    For licensed developers of games for the Sega Dreamcast home video game system, the Microsoft® Windows® CE Toolkit for Dreamcast™ provides a flexible, optimized development environment supported by Microsoft Visual C++ that eases title development and provides true cross-platform compatibility with Windows-based PCs.
    The Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast brings the benefits of an advanced, powerful, and flexible Windows development environment to the world of console game development for the first time.

    Use the same great Microsoft development tools available for Windows

    The Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast allows Dreamcast developers to create console games utilizing the productivity and convenience features of the same powerful integrated development environment (IDE) used by Windows developers. The development tools provided with the Dreamcast system's Windows CE Software Development Kit (SDK) are built around Microsoft's Visual Studio, with well-tested and refined VC++ based tools that, over the course of their lengthy history, have been extensively tested, documented, enhanced and refined, becoming one of the most powerful and feature rich development environments available.

    Develop in an environment optimized for console performance

    Windows CE for Dreamcast has been hand-tuned to be small and fast to provide superior performance specifically targeted at the Sega Dreamcast hardware architecture. The operating system has been streamlined for size, removing unnecessary services such as GUI and providing only those APIs required for games. All parameter validation has been removed to reduce overhead, all critical loops are coded in assembly, and SH-4 specific features are utilized including vector/matrix instructions. In addition, this version of DirectX for Windows CE has been specifically targeted at, and optimized for, Dreamcast's hardware such as the PowerVR II, Yamaha AICA audio subsystem, and Sega game controllers and modem.

    Take advantage of operating system services and familiar, flexible libraries

    The Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast saves time on game development by providing key services including input, sound, 3D graphics, as well as memory and CD file management, dynamic linked libraries and multithread synchronization. Built-in support for standard Internet protocols, Winsock and DirectPlay facilitate taking advantage of Dreamcast's networking capabilities for Internet access and networked multi-player gaming. Windows CE's modular architecture allows flexibility in use of libraries and services. If a developer wants to use his or her own proprietary set of libraries, a driver development kit is available to allow substitution of custom components.

    Develop games that are cross-platform compatible with the PC

    Windows CE for Dreamcast allows developers to amortize rising development costs by developing Dreamcast games that are source code compatible with the PC. Using Windows CE, developers will be able to create cross-platform titles more efficiently by taking advantage of well-established Win 32 and DirectX APIs that are source code compatible with the Windows operating system on the PC. All Win32 and DirectX APIs are subsets of Windows NT, Windows 95/98 and DirectX 5.0, making it relatively easy to port a Dreamcast game to the Windows desktop platform and vice versa.

    Core Windows CE Operating System Components

    Kernel. Supports pre-emptive multi-tasking and multi-threading with priority based scheduling. Manages system resources such as physical and virtual memory, MMU, provides loader and service interrupts.

    Communications. Supports a subset of the Windows Socket and RAS APIs, providing TCP and UDP sockets and PPP dial-up.

    File System. Provides access to Sega's CD-ROM, and designed for maximum performance. ISO9660 Level 2 Compliant. Supports memory mapped files and asynchronous I/O. Designed to allow the developer to fill the CD-ROM pipeline for better streaming performance.

    Minimal USER and GDI APIs. Support loading and copying bitmaps, rendering text or DirectDraw surfaces, input and message handling, string resource loading, and the Rectangle APIs. Other functions such as window management and cursors have been eliminated.

    Japanese Language Support. IMM/IME support available (game responsible for providing user interface for accessing system level IME support.)

    Persistent Storage API. Very light weight and block oriented new API to manage NVRAM cards. Desktop version is also provided for emulation.

    C-Runtime Library. Provides standard C utility functions, string manipulation, Math, Exception handling, File I/O, and Memory allocation.

    DirectX Components

    DirectDraw. Provides 2D graphics facilities, including video memory management and palette management. Supports full-screen exclusive mode only.

    Direct3D. Direct3D Immediate Mode supports transformation, lighting and rendering of 3D graphics primitives

    DirectSound. Supports digitized sound input and output. Interfaces with Sega sound chip CPU to manage Dreamcast sound memory.

    DirectPlay. Supports Internet and modem communications for multi-player gaming. Provides APIs to enable sending and receiving messages, online chatting and maintaining game state among all players.

    DirectInput. Interfaces to Dreamcast game controllers.

    DirectShow. Supports digital audio and video playback and synchronization. MPEG1 encoded AVI playback is also supported.

    Tools Components

    Visual C++ 5.0. Works within Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) offering the ability to edit, compile, link, execute and debug programs from within a single application.

    Windows CE Toolkit for Visual C++ 5.0. Includes optimized SH-4 compiler and tool set.

    Windows CE-DirectX SDK. Provides libraries, headers, runtimes, samples & docs for building games.

    SH-4 Compiler. Compile & debug within IDE. Optimized to exploit SH-4 features. In-line assembler support and SH-4 assembler also provided.

    Debugging support. Source-level, integrated VC++ debugger that supports emulation on PC or remote debugging on target hardware. Provides GUI and features of VC++ debugger.

    Last Updated: 7/15/99

    © 1999 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

    Page from Microsoft. Used without permission, so don't tell them, not that they would really care anyway

    " "

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