SEGA: iPhone is as Powerful as the Dreamcast

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.