Microsoft announced today that its Windows CE Toolkit for the Sega Dreamcast console, which should launch this autumn, is now available to licensed developers.
The Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast provides a full-featured development environment including DirectX libraries for 3-D graphics, sound and input, as well as built-in communications support for Internet access and networked multiplayer gaming, Microsoft said.
Ted Kummert, general manager for Windows CE home products group said that the Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast will provide ?creative and technical advances in video games to entirely new levels?.
?Sega Rally 2 in Japan proves that Windows CE is delivering on our promise to enable compelling new console gaming experiences,? added Kummert.
Sega Rally 2, which was created by Sega Enterprises with Windows CE and DirectX API has been the number one Dreamcast title in Japan since it was released at the end of January this year.
Much of Sega Rally 2?s success can be put down to its networked multiplayer functionality, which analysts believe will play a major part in driving retail games sales in the future.
Games companies are welcoming the release of the toolkit, because it will help them speed up games development.
"Konami has made the decision to standardize Dreamcast development on Windows CE," said Kazumi Kitaue, managing director at Konami Japan. "The Windows CE Toolkit delivers high-performance libraries and support for networking, and allows our internal teams to share technology easily without compatibility issues."
The number of titles available for Dreamcast when it launches outside Japan later this year will be crucial to the console?s success, maintain analysts. Sega claims to have 200 games currently in development for Dreamcast and hopes to have at least 20 titles on the shelves when it launches in September.
The Windows CE Toolkit for Dreamcast is designed to work with Dreamcast hardware development systems, which are available to developers under license from Sega Enterprises.
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