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GamesFirst! Magazine

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by Sega

broadband_adapter.gif (6225 bytes)The fun that was first called the "X-Band" and let Super NES and Genesis players enjoy remote gaming against a friend has now reached total fulfillment in the console world. The ability to play a game as complex as Quake III on a dial-up modem will live in my mind for the next few years, but nothing could have filled me with more glee than fragging my fellow Americans over Ethernet.

As we were led to believe, earlier, it is literally as simple as pulling the Dreamcast dial-up modem off and plugging the Broadband adapter in. Put in the IP, Subnet Mask, etc., and you are in console-multiplayer heaven.

With all of this having been said, why does this peripheral of peripherals get only 3 stars? Two reasons: The carton that the adapter comes in was obviously intended to have the new broadband browser packed in. We have heard so many wonderful things about the new high-speeds, better support of Java and MP3 music (playing through Dreamcast itself), but alas it wasn’t to be found. When questioned about this, a Sega rep said that it should come out in a month or so.

And the really big problem with this nifty gadget is found in its lack of true DHCP support. The instructions say that for dynamic IP address assignment, one need only leave the fields blank – this doesn’t work. Gamers using routers might have a very difficult time getting the Dreamcast to interface in this way without disconnecting their hub and connecting directly to their DSL box. Sega’s tech support team and a few network dudes I know suggested simply installing an IP that could serve as a permanent address for the router to send to, but this didn’t help, as those addresses (dynamically assigned) usually contain letters and dashes which the new broadband adapter isn’t able to recognize. Further, an attempt to use the equipment at a local university proved to yield the same results, and the school’s ITS specialists said that the configuration wouldn’t be compatible with their systems in the computer labs and dorm-rooms across campus unless a real IP address were "borrowed" from an existing system computer, which results in problems if someone else attempts to login under that same IP.

In short, this is the best thing to happen to videogaming since electricity, but only if you are not counting on the Dreamcast as your primary web-browser and if you have a Broadband connection with a real numbers-and-periods IP address.

Adam Albrec

Snapshot

Ups: Ethernet connections; incredibly easy to install.

Downs: No software included; troubles with DHCP support; only works with some online DC titles.

System Reqs:
Sega Dreamcast

 

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