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August 26, 1998


By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Co Ltd of Japan has released details of the customized version of the Windows CE operating system to be used with the Sega Enterprise’s Dreamcast video console (CI No 3,416). The main change from the standard implementation of CE is that the user interface has been discarded and the system uses Microsoft’s DirectX 5 application programming interface (API) as a front end instead. The OS has also been optimized for use with the Hitachi SH4 CPU, which the Sega is based on. According to Nikkei Byte, developers can select how many components of the OS they want to use, the only necessary core components being the CE kernel, a CD ROM file system and various device drivers, which use up 400Kb of memory. This means that developers can use their own graphics and sound libraries with the system. The full OS includes the DirectDraw 2D API, Direct3D API, DirectSound audio API, DirectInput outboard controller API and internet related modules; the full OS has a footprint of around 1.2Mb. Prospective Dreamcast developers will require NT 4.0 upgraded with service pack 3. Development tools will include Sega’s Dreamcast OS SDK, Visual C++ 5.0 and Windows CE Toolkit for VC++ 5.0. Microsoft intends to port a version of DirectX 6 to the Dreamcast platform by 1999.

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