Sega of Japan has sheepishly announced a deal with Sammy Japan that will see all remaining DC PowerVF2 graphics chipsets (the processor that powers the Dreamcast) sold to Sammy for use in Pachinco machines.
Pachinco is a Japanese obsession, involving gambling on the descent of ball-barings behind a glass screen. Much better than Dreamcast gaming, we are sure you will agree.
The DC PowerVF2 chipsets will be employed by Sammy to power the little video displays mounted on the front of most modern pachinco games.
As the Japanese love for Pachinco snowballs, the gaming scene suffers. In the way that fruit machines and video golf has a stranglehold on the UK arcade market, Pachinco is taking up the space and money previously enjoyed by non-gambling gaming machines.
SNK was the first company to be swallowed up by the phenomenon and was totally bought out by Pachinco manufacturer Aruze late last year. This involved all remaining Neo Geo MVS hardware being cannibalized for use in Pachinco cabinets and all the companyís developers who didnít jump ship to Capcom being gainfully employed in the design of new and innovative pachinco games.
We should have expected this announcement really. You may remember the R-7, a Dreamcast unit, only released in Japan which was emblazoned with the fact that Aruze had used a modified version of the Dreamcast chipset in several pachinco cabinets. R-7 relates to the Japanese public gambling laws to which pachinco is subject.