It's been a very hectic few hours. Early this morning our time, Gamers.com ran a story reporting the unconfirmed news that Bill Gates and Microsoft will soon be announcing Dreamcast game support as the Xbox's latest feature. From the podium of this spring's Tokyo Game Show, no less. The news has naturally come as a titanic shock to most, and it is therefore hardly surprising that when we contacted Microsoft to find out what was going on, we were batted away with "no comments". The Gamers.com story quotes two "credible sources, who prefer to remain anonymous," and claims that the Xbox will be capable of playing "all Dreamcast titles." The compatibility is apparently achieved by the inclusion of a "Dreamcast chipset." Sega have not only denied this report but also laughed off claims that such technology could be provided for the venture. This is in spite of their own announcements of support for the Dreamcast in several set-top boxes earlier this week. It's no secret that Microsoft have something big planned for the Tokyo Game Show - the Japanese press has been going wild over the prospects for several weeks now, after Microsoft claimed that Bill Gates would announce from the podium that an "incredibly huge developer" has plans to develop for the Xbox. Many have suggested that Sega will be the developer, but no-one has yet considered the possibility of Dreamcast emulation. The other big question mark is, why would Microsoft suddenly contradict themselves so vehemently by using competitive technology to attract customers? For as long as the Xbox has been in the news, they have been telling us how they needed no gimmicks to attract people, how their product would speak for itself, yet the addition of an officially-backed Dreamcast emulation chipset would seem to grossly contradict that. For the moment, both companies involved are trying to stifle the already spreading rumours, and at the risk of editorialising, perhaps this is a good thing. If the rumours turn out to be false after a lot of hype, it could do Microsoft more damage than good. It looks like the Tokyo Game Show will be an interesting time though, nonetheless. You can read the full Gamers.com report here. Related Feature - Thinking About The Box
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