Dreamcast cross-platform online play

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Black Squirrel, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Morning,

    [​IMG]

    In 2001 it was fully possible for Capcom vs. SNK 2 Dreamcast players to fight their PlayStation 2 counterparts in Japan. Yes, that means Capcom solved the cross-platform issue 18 years ago.


    This is (mostly) undocumented. I want to fix that.


    My understanding is that Capcom got together with a company called KDDI to create a "matching service". Consoles would connect to the internet, access these KDDI servers, magic would happen, and "low latency" hadoukens ahoy.

    For the Dreamcast, the built-in modem was used. For the PS2...

    [​IMG]

    Capcom bundled in an external USB modem. Unless you didn't need one. I have no idea whether it works with Sony's official network adapter.


    There's also talk that this might have worked with the NAOMI arcade version too, but I don't know. Likewise there's speculation that there was Dreamcast Broadband Adapter support, but I can't confirm that either. What I do know is that all of the servers have been shut down, and there is currently no means of getting any of this old kit to work.

    The Xbox and GameCube "Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO" ports from 2003 are not compatible.


    Kidou Senshi Gundam: Renpou vs. Zeon & DX also appears to have had cross-platform play. Even less has been written down about that.


    Fact check etc.
     
  2. Josh

    Josh

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    Iiiiinteresting! I don't think it was ever done on official servers, but I know for a fact that on fan servers, the original PC release of Phantasy Star Online was fully playable cross-platform with Dreamcast players. My friends and I used to play in the same room that way.

    Also on fan servers, I _believe_ Gamecube players could see and talk to Dreamcast players, but only in server lobbies. You couldn't match up in games together.
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    I think there might be more of a significance to this - Capcom vs. SNK 2 looks like it might be the first to achieve cross-platform online play on the PlayStation 2. Possibly the first to bring rival home consoles together (as opposed to console vs. PC or console vs. arcade).

    The internet currently claims Final Fantasy XI was the first PlayStation 2 game to feature cross-platform online play. But in Japan, FF11 was released in May 2002 on the PS2, and the PC version didn't arrive until July. That's a good ten months after CvS2 (and after Gundam, so it's at least third).

    Trying to work out what is currently listed as the first online-enabled PS2 game - the Guiness World records currently says Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, but that's dated 28 October, 2001 in the US - more than a month after Capcom vs. SNK 2.


    I find it unlikely that no developers offered an online service of sorts for the PS2 between March 2000 and September 2001, but hey - first online PS2 game was cross-platform? That's an interesting tale for Sony's current marketing department.
     
  4. Pirate Dragon

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    Interesting find. I think that the first home console cross-platform online play might be Habitat II for Sega Saturn / FM Towns Marty. There's no source given on the Japanese Habitat Wikipedia page though.
     
  5. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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  6. Cedar J

    Cedar J

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    Habitat II was released on Windows/Mac in March 1996 (which was a Japanese rebranded version of WorldsAway by Fujitsu available on Compuserve on Windows/Mac). The Sega Saturn client came out in July 1996 and was active for a couple of years. I don't know whether it's the first for console cross-platform online play but it was a virtual world where Windows/Mac/Saturn clients occupied the same space.

    I've got some scans of a JP magazine from March 1996 here which mention it: http://www.renoproject.org/imagearchive/index.php?/category/197

    Given that the FM TOWNS Marty is classed as a console, Habitat I released in 1990 and was available on the FM TOWNS, Mac and PC-9801. I don't know if people actually used it on the Marty but they're backwards compatible so there's a good chance.
     
  7. Pirate Dragon

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    According to the Japanese Habitat Wikipedia page Habitat II was supported by FM Towns, but no source, and I haven't seen any evidence that an FM Towns version exists. I guess it's possible that the upgrade was server side and it could be accessed with the original FM Towns Habitat disc.

    Google translation;

     
  8. Cedar J

    Cedar J

    Faguars, come test me I'll kill em Oldbie
    The two services were completely different and it wouldn't have worked to perform a server side upgrade for sure. I'm not 100% convinced Habitat II was ever released for the FM TOWNS Marty at all really. I run a history site for that virtual world technology and haven't come across anything like that online so far. Will ask around though and see if any Japanese members remember that. It's cool to see such early cross platform play happen like this though!
     
  9. Diablohead

    Diablohead

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    There was a 4x4 vehicle game that was cross play on DC and mac (maybe pc too?) which is the first game I think of whenever cross play is bought up. Not too sure if the game even came out on DC in the end, not something I folowed since online in PAL land was fairly different to the US for a bunch of games.

    Quake 3 DC also allowed play with PC players if the PC user had the right setup, might have been a mod or map pack, but I remember it working.

    This is still a thing today, pso lobbies can interact with all console versions but not BB, but can't play in the same rooms.

    I still think this is a really cool thing, most online games nowdays would use completely different registers for online and be flat out incompatible with one another.