Look out, modem users. There's a new breed of player out there on SegaNet, lurking from Quake III server to Quake III server in search of blood. Yes, it's true - the Dreamcast Broadband Adapter, which allows you to hook your Dreamcast up to a LAN, DSL, or cable modem connection has made its way to the GameSpot offices, and we've been using it to destroy 56K modem users for most of the day.
But the real test is Quake III Arena, the only game on the market that currently supports the broadband hardware. With the hardware plugged in, the game's Internet menu changed from a dial-up screen to a set of three simple options: login, password, and IP address. One click of the go button sent us a fast stream of server data, and every single one of the 500-plus Quake III servers on SegaNet came up with the highest possible speed listing.
Once we had picked a deathmatch server in Chicago, the game loaded up and we were tossed into the game with three modem users, each with a speed bar that jumped from empty to 75 percent full. As you might expect, the three modem users on the Chicago server barely stood a chance. The difference in ping times enabled us to clearly dominate, even when using the standard DC controller instead of the mouse and keyboard combo.
For users already spoiled by broadband access, Sega's new adapter is obviously a must-have. Let's hope that Sega considers rereleasing games like NBA 2K1 and NFL 2K1 with broadband access, because a full year is much too long to wait for truly lag-free online gaming.
The Dreamcast Broadband Adapter will retail for US$59.95 and will be released on January 2, 2001.