In a recent interview with Kotaku, SEGA of America president Simon Jeffery indicated that the iPhone is as powerful as the the SEGA Dreamcast console, the publisher's last foray into the home console market.

Jeffery: Why people play those crappy games on their mobile phones, I'll never understand. I'll never understand it personally... The iPhone changes that completely. You're playing Dreamcast quality games on this tiny little device that you just had.

Kotaku: That's a funny thing that you said that. I heard someone say something about comparing the iPhone's processing power to the Dreamcast.

Jeffery: Yea, it's right there.

Kotaku: It's...so they match?

Jeffery: Yea, it's pretty impressive.

The Dreamcast was the first sixth generation video game console, but was doomed by the looming shadow of Sony's forthcoming Playstation 2.  As anyone who owns a Dreamcast can attest (myself included) it is an amazing console and really, for the first time ever, brought current generation arcade quality video games to the living room.  It was an extremely capable system and its game catalog is every bit as playable today as it was back in 1999.

As we pointed out earlier, the PowerVR MBX chipset is a fourth generation evolution of PowerVR's second generation graphics processor found in the Dreamcast.  While Jeffery called it "a match," we might go even further and point to the iPhone and iPod touch as having more processor power than the Dreamcast ever had.  While the Dreamcast's central processor was a 200MHz Hitachi SH4 RISC CPU, the iPhone sports a 412MHz ARM1176JZ(F)-S that's capable of running at 620MHz.

In the interview, Jeffery indicated that SEGA currently has "quite a few" titles in development for the iPhone and concealed no excitement and optimism for the iPhone as a mobile games platform.

  • Gregz0r

    Interesting...
    If that's the case, then let's hope for Saturn/Dreamcast classic to appear on the iPhone!
    Super Monkey Ball's graphics are supposedly 'scaled up', according to Ethan Einhorn. They didn't look too amazing to be honest, but I haven't seen the conventional console versions to compare.

    I'm looking forward to Sega Rally on the device. :D

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    How about NiGHTS Into Dreams for the iPhone? It was just released (the original version) in Japan for the PS2.

  • Rich

    I'd love to see Sonic Adventure 2 make its way on to the iPhone/iPod Touch. I can imagine it'd be near enough impossible to make a decent way of controlling your characters though, so I highly doubt we'll be seeing it make an appearance.

    There were loads of great games on the Dreamcast, so I can imagine we'll be seeing plenty of remakes from Sega.

  • bob

    how perfect would chu chu rocket be?!?!

  • ankit

    there's one tiny bit of detail we seem to be missing. the dreamcast (i had one, virtua tennis gave me years of adrenaline rush with my cousins) was always plugged-in to a power source. so theoretically, they can make better games, but they would drain the battery. if you look at it this way, the iphone is more powerful than the PS2 as well. the PS2 had a 350Mhz processor. that does not mean we would see a God of War comparable game on the iphone anytime soon.
    though i do have a feeling a few sports games and sonic would make their way to the iphone in due time.
    this platform would certainly offer a lot more than any other mobile phone. who knows, 2-3 years down the line, it might upstage the DS or the PSP too!!

  • macusernick

    If they port Dreamcast games over then they need to port Hydro Thunder!! That game would be more then perfect for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

  • mek

    I would believe with Sonic you could use the accelerometer to move left and right by tilting it (just like the game Chopper Operates) and either tap, or shake/shift up to jump

    i would think the controls would be better than the ipod 5th gen controls/click wheel

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    It seems extremely likely that a Sonic title is in the works right now.

  • http://creativepony.com Jenna Fox

    I would give anything to see Trickstyle ported! I miss that game so much. Though I think it was built on the Windows CE environment of the dreamcast, so might be a tough port to get it going on OpenGL :(

  • TheBird

    I would glady take a bunch of dreamcast titles on the iPhone

  • http://www.blakespot.com blakespot

    @TheBird: As would I. I have more Dreamcast games than PS2, GameCube, and Wii titles combined.

  • TheMan

    Does the iphone have a graphics card? Does that do the 3d transformations/shading? I don't think so... you simply cannot compare the dreamcast with the iphone

  • arn

    @TheMan: The iPhone does have dedicated graphics/3d hardware. In fact, it appears to be a more advanced version of what was found in the Dreamcast:

    See http://toucharcade.com/2008/07/07/under-the-hood-the-iphones-gaming-mettle/

    "This fourth-generation PowerVR chipset is basically an evolution of the second-generation graphics hardware used in the Sega Dreamcast (an amazing console, to those unaware) and which, like its console predecessor, utilizes a unique tile-based rendering system."

  • Finch

    Id love a way to play Jet grind Radio on the go. The graffiti minigame would work great on a touchscreen, not sure about the rest of the game though.

  • arn

    Rez would be amazing.

  • MacTheSpoon

    Wow, surely Sonic is coming to the iPhone, then?

    Seeing Sega put its enthusiasm and effort into iPhone development is really awesome. This is becoming the gamer's phone, isn't it?

  • DanB

    Got to agree with Arn and Bob - Rez and Chu Chu Rocket would be awesome iPhone games

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  • Jonathan

    Any arcade type on-rails shooter would be awesome - House of the Dead, Rez, Ghost Squad- they'd all be perfect for the iPhone

  • macusernick

    @Jonathan - a house of the dead shooter would be awesome too!

  • Uaehoney77

    Hello Mr Kotaku i love segaup to now i'm playing sega games with sega console's? i have all but plzzzzzzzzzzz make new console or handhold or mobile must be made by sega company plzzzzz