On the many colours of the Dreamcast swirl

I see this every now-and-then. Either the Dreamcast has three coloured swirls (orange, red, and blue) or two (either red or orange, and blue) when it boots up. Even I used to think there were three colours; orange for Japan, blue for Europe, and red for North America. There was some reason that I came across about it being the shifting colour of the sky throughout the day.

Anyway, that isnt the case at all. There are two colours for at least the five regions the Dreamcast development kit supports. Here they are, along with their colours:

Europe (PAL)

Europe's swirl Europe's swirl colour value

North America (NTSC)

North America's swirl North America's swirl colour value

Japan (NTSC-J)

Japan's swirl Japan's swirl colour value

Argentina (PAL-N)

Argentina's swirl Argentina's swirl colour value

Brazil (PAL-M)

Brazil's swirl Brazil's swirl colour value

These images were taken directly from the framebuffer of a Dreamcast development kit booting up in VGA mode. For the keen-eyed, you may notice that there is dithering being applied. I’ve selected the centre of the pattern to get the best colour representation.

Hopefully that ends the argument of the colours of the boot screen for the Dreamcast. For other media, such as marketing material, there may be different colours used. Then again, it could be a colour calibration error of the printing equipment in that case.