So here we have the Dreamcast. SEGAs final home console, and what a great little console it is.
Firstly it looks great, A nice compact design and the color scheme really makes this stand out from the crowd. I really like its lighter colour scheme and I would say it looks like a modern console to this day. The controllers are comfortable to hold and have some nifty features such as being able to insert the Visual Memory Unit into the controller which not only acted as a memory card, but also had an LCD screen and its own mini gamepad for playing simple games on.
The Dreamcast has some great games on it including a lot of the SEGA arcade titles such as House of the Dead, Daytona USA and Sega Rally 2. These games were pretty much arcade perfect and some of them, such as Craxy Taxi actually used a variation of Dreamcast hardware to run, this was called NAOMI.
Another thing the Dreamcast was famous for was the variety of strange controllers that came out for it such as the fishing wheel controller for Sega Bass Fishing and the maracas for Samba de Amigo. The dreamcast also had a keyboard and mouse which could be used when going online with the console and also for the highly addictive game, The Typing of the Dead. And we had better not forget the Microphone addon which could be used to talk to your weird fishy friend in Seaman
Running games on the Dreamcast was done by using SEGAs proprietary GDROM discs (Designed by Yamaha). These discs could hold 1GB of data rather than the 700MB you would get from a CDROM. Another benefit of the format was you couldn’t just copy it onto a CDROM, so it was used as the copy protection for Dreamcast games. This didn’t quite work out though as it was discovered that you could basically rip the games, strip out some files to make them a bit smaller and then write them to CD using a clever trick. This took advantage of the MIL-CD format that the Dreamcast also supported (Some kind of Music Video format). The end result is that you could just download these rips from the internet, burn them to a CD and boot them in a Dreamcast with no requirement for a mod chip.
So is that my method I use for playing games on the Dreamcast? No, although that does work, laser wear is a very real thing on disc based consoles so preserving them is critical. So instead I chose to go with the GD-Emu. This great little board completely replaces the GDROM drive of the Dreamcast (no soldering required) and allows you to boot games straight from an SD Card. Powering on the Dreamcast now presents me with a menu of the games on the SD which I can load at the click of a button. I have also 3D printed a tray insert that goes inside the Dreamcast to help with airflow around where the GDROM used to sit.
I have got a lot of games to go through on the Dreamcast as I was a Sony person throughout this generation of consoles. But from what I have played so far, the Dreamcast seems a very capable machine and it’s a real shame that SEGA dropped out of the hardware market and really became a shadow of their former selves.
The Dreamcast should be an essential console in anyones collection and is one of my favourites purely because of the variety of titles available for it.
|Number in collection||1|
|Modifications and Accessories||Two original controllers with VMU and Rumble, Keyboard, Mouse, Microphone, Modem, GDEmu SD|