Sega has launched a game for its Dreamcast console in which players can hold in-depth and real-time conversations with on-screen characters.
Called Seaman, after the game's half-human, half-aquatic hero, the game is the first in the US and Europe to use voice recognition technology. Users talk with the Seaman character using a microphone peripheral for Sega's Dreamcast console.
The game is narrated by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame and features 12,000 lines of dialogue. It can recall previous conversations and hold different types of discussions depending on a player's age, gender and occupation.
However, Seaman is a high-maintenance friend. Users are advised to talk with him for at least 10 minutes a day for almost a month to 'train' him. Nimoy's voice serves as a guide for users, providing daily tips about the character's evolution and clues to solving his mystery. Each day, gamers prepare a tank for Seaman by adjusting levels of oxygen, heating and lighting.
The game will not be available in high street shops in Europe but can be bought from Sega online at ebworld.com. It costs $49.95 and includes the microphone peripheral.
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