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SEGA Pluto Prototype (Hands-On Review and Ben Heck Repair)

Greg2600

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Time for a blast from the past. First, SEGA nerd Adam Koralik reviews one of the two known Sega Pluto prototypes....



Then Ben Heck goes ahead and attempts to fix it for the owner, similar to his work on the SNES Playstation!

 

AUSTIN PEYTON

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I personally think him scratching the paint off was fine.
As long as it's a good fix for the unit.
Plus it was on the inside where nobody would see anyway.
 

StevO9389

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I'd love to know what's on that HDD. It's a lot of space for just a browser and cache.
 

davo123

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Interesting but not sure if its in the right hands. Hope it turns out OK. That hard drive is the most interesting part and it needs a proper full dump shared for people to analyse.
 

Tyree_Cooper

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Fixing the SUPER RARE... ah ok... didn't click:rolleyes:
 

Wombat

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Awesome seeing this unit being taken apart. Did not expect to see an actual hard drive hidden in that machine, hopefully something comes out of that.
 

ItsMeMario

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So in 2013 AG user "Super Magnetic" posted about it for the 1st time...saying, "he sat on it for 14 years".
Him and his friend "MonkFish" (R.i.P) beeing former SEGA employees.

And yes, there was a white version (for decoration).

Woah...I guess I missed a lot about the Pluto :D




Now about that HDD...holy moly...reminds me of the SEGA Tera Drive HDD dump...epic times ahead (again) !? :D
What kind of secrets will it reveal...
 

Greg2600

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Well he had to fix the lid. Good video, shame they coudn't read the harddrive but I doubt there's anything special on there.
 

Anthony817

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This must be why the Dreamcast has an IDE pinout on the motherboard that can be tapped into with Dreamshell to load games. They were thinking about giving a HDD early on, along with the implemented built in modem and DVD, but Bernie Stolar said he was forced to pick one of those three things and a modem won out in the end. So it was a cut feature releatively late enough into the Dreamcast's development process that the pinout is still on the retail console. Don't forget there was actually a prototype cable box with built in Dreamcast that also had a HDD hooked up to it for downloading games to. Anyways, Tom Charnock of Dreamcast Junkyard interviewed Bernie Stolar about this like 2 years ago, and he had this to say about the subject.

Tom Charnock; After you left SEGA of America, did you continue to keep an eye on how the Dreamcast was doing? It was effectively your baby, after all!

Bernie Stolar; Yes. More money could have been spent on product. I said this from the beginning. There were three things that I wanted in Dreamcast: an online network (for multi-player and digital downloads), DVD support, and internal storage. I had to argue for everything. At one point, I had to ensure the modem didn’t get dropped from the US version. Online was most important to me, so I chose that over DVD and internal storage because my plan was to add those later. With regards to internal storage, I also began discussions with an early DVR company about releasing a cable box with the ability to download our games, especially Dreamcast titles, as the plan was to deliver Genesis, Master System and even Saturn games as well. Similar to the way LodgeNet worked in hotels.

pacebox.jpg

The infamous PACE Dreamcast set top box

Tom Charnock; In terms of the Dreamcast hardware itself, it was a very innovative system. Are there any features you know of that were planned but abandoned before they could be implemented? We’re aware of the VMU MP3 player and the SEGA/Swatch partnership et al, but were there others?

Bernie Stolar; More online play, DVD support, and internal storage (including the DVR games on-demand discussions). I also pushed hard for a dual joystick controller, similar to what we did at PlayStation. There’s a reason the DualShock is still used to this day. I chose online functionality over DVD playback and internal storage, because I was forced to pick one of the three due to budget limitations. I would have preferred obviously to include all three from the get-go or at the very least, online play with a DVD drive. We were also in talks about Grand Theft Auto III, Warcraft: Online (as it was known at the time), Max Payne, and other titles coming to Dreamcast, and this would have helped tremendously.

Source: http://www.thedreamcastjunkyard.co.uk/2018/03/an-interview-with-bernie-stolar.html

So this seems to me why possibly it has it on a prototype system?
 

Pikkon

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Was excited to see more on this.. until Ben scratched the paint off. just lost respect there. 😒

That and also when he installed the spring:oops:
 
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Greg2600

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So in 2013 AG user "Super Magnetic" posted about it for the 1st time...saying, "he sat on it for 14 years".
Him and his friend "MonkFish" (R.i.P) beeing former SEGA employees.

And yes, there was a white version (for decoration).

Woah...I guess I missed a lot about the Pluto :D

Now about that HDD...holy moly...reminds me of the SEGA Tera Drive HDD dump...epic times ahead (again) !? :D
What kind of secrets will it reveal...

Well the first Pluto wound up in Japan now, and the owner kind of vanished. Thankfully Roger found the 2nd one, and despite trying to sell it a few times, hung onto it. We may never have gotten this kind of look at is, as so much game history has been discarded or hidden. I certainly remember both black ones turning up and the white one. The white one, well I guess they're all white just 2 were painted, was donated to the National Videogame Museum.

 

Getta Robo

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I've been looking for a way to get in contact with Ben in order to find out if he was able to extract the data of that HD, without any luck so far. The only media he's using is twitter, has anyone been able to reach him, or is willing to do so? thanks!
 

FamilyGuy

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This must be why the Dreamcast has an IDE pinout on the motherboard that can be tapped into with Dreamshell to load games. They were thinking about giving a HDD early on, along with the implemented built in modem and DVD, but Bernie Stolar said he was forced to pick one of those three things and a modem won out in the end. So it was a cut feature releatively late enough into the Dreamcast's development process that the pinout is still on the retail console.

I doubt those points are there just because the drive got cut late and they hadn't had time to remove them. Remember, the GD-ROM drive essentially speaks ATAPI so those were definitely used as test points and likely would have been there no matter when they axed the hard drive. It also wouldn't make sense for a hard drive connector to be on the bottom side of the board, or the spread out orientation of the pins (which are located among many other unrelated test points). And the PACE box uses the normal topside connector to access the bus for the hard drive anyway, just like the GD-ROM.
 

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I grabbed a bunch of stills for research purposes

132.png

Eventually I'll get around to cherry picking ones for my website, add ICs and boards to the database and such but I don't have much Saturn hardware knowledge so I need to brush up. Speaking of which whatever happened to the Saturn wizard DruidII?
 

Greg2600

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I've been looking for a way to get in contact with Ben in order to find out if he was able to extract the data of that HD, without any luck so far. The only media he's using is twitter, has anyone been able to reach him, or is willing to do so? thanks!

I think he tried a number of ways; however, I'm fairly sure the owner of the Pluto left with it that night.

I grabbed a bunch of stills for research purposes

Eventually I'll get around to cherry picking ones for my website, add ICs and boards to the database and such but I don't have much Saturn hardware knowledge so I need to brush up. Speaking of which whatever happened to the Saturn wizard DruidII?

Nice idea!
 

EvanSki

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I doubt there would be anything/interesting on the hardrive, it probably wiped some data when they started playing games on it
 
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