Saturday, 10 September 2016

SEGA Should Resurrect the Dreamcast Brand



Yesterday, it was the 17th anniversary of the SEGA Dreamcast in the U.S. and the occasion caused Twitter and Faceback to fill with birthday greetings for the console that refuses to die. If you're reading this you are probably well aware of the stubborn and ever-growing “Dreamcast Scene”, but if this is news to you then I'll give you a quick overview.

After SEGA stopped supporting their last home console, homebrew developers made tools to create games for it, and every year more and more games created by indie developers are released. On top of that, the Dreamcast continues to gain more and more online multiplayer games as aspiring geniuses reverse engineer the old game servers. Just in the past year alone, Chu Chu Rocket, Toy Racer (dial up), PAL Quake 3 and The Next Tetris, have returned from the dead. On the horizon is Alien Front Online, and there are sure to be more to come. There are weekly game nights scheduled for both the U.S. and UK, and well over 100 people now regularly play online. Which is quite some achievement considering you have to actually do some soldering to get the dial-up Dreamcast to connect in a fibre-optic world.

In summary, the Dreamcast isn't dead, it's alive and well. Sure it doesn't compete with current gen consoles but no other console in history has had as much community support. Which brings me onto the main topic of the article; SEGA should bring the Dreamcast back.

Let me get one thing clear here. SEGA should not release a “Dreamcast 2” - at least not in the traditional sense – it just wouldn't succeed and it would cost SEGA lots and lots of pennies. But, SEGA should take a leaf out of Nintendo's book, and resurrect the Dreamcast in a similar way to Nintendo has with the NES mini. Some of you may know that SEGA actually has already attempted something similar to the NES mini with the SEGA Genesis (Mega Drive). You can go to a shop now, and buy a cheap, third-party developed, badly-emulated box of plastic that looks nothing like a Genesis, and use it to play a number of built in games.

This was a terrible idea, it's diluted the SEGA Genesis brand, and it was entirely avoidable. Recreating the original Genesis hardware in modern silicon and components is *cheap* perhaps not as cheap as emulation, but the resulting product would be of far better quality. It would be a Genesis, not a pseudo-Genesis.

SEGA can avoid this mistake with the Dreamcast. And here's how…

Step 1: Recreate the Hardware


This really isn't a lot of work. It would take a small team of proficient electronics engineers to take the original Dreamcast circuit boards, shrink them down just by using modern components, and add an HDMI output and WiFi (the modem can be easily emulated). Adding these two features isn't outside the capabilities of most electrical engineers, we all know an HDMI output for the Dreamcast exists, and I myself have examined the DC modem, and emulating it using a WiFi adapter is certainly doable. In fact, the man behind the HDMI output has already designed a half-size Dreamcast mainboard. If one very talented hobbyist can do it, I'm pretty sure a small team from SEGA's arcade hardware department can!

They should probably add in an additional modern ARM chip to power the system firmware before handing off to the original SH4 processor to allow more flexibility. They could also double the RAM, which would allow the Dreamcast-related NAOMI Arcade games to be played too. It's worth mentioning that the SH4 processor used in the Dreamcast and the counterpart PowerVR graphics chip will both have their patents expiring over the next couple of years. Re-licensing these old chips will be cheap.

The GD-ROM was just essentially a modded CD-ROM drive, so those components are easy enough to acquire, and then you just need a plastic shell around the whole thing. We're talking a small team of engineers a few months to get a prototype together. The controller can literally be a re-issue of the original one. Maybe they could make one with the cable coming from the top (controversial!). Hell, they could make nice rechargeable VMUs with modern screens. 

Step 2: Build a Digital Store


The SEGA Dreamcast has one of the greatest back catalogues in console history. Franchises like Craxy Taxi, Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, Phantasy Star Online, Soul Calibur… the list goes on for a while. These games exist, they don't need to be developed, or ported, or brought up to date, they just need a new platform to be showcased. They're almost free-money for SEGA, if only SEGA had some vehicle to distribute them.

This is why the addition of an ARM chip would make sense. SEGA could use that to power a lobby which connects to an online digital store which would quite literally, download ISOs of the original Dreamcast games. It doesn't have to be extravagant: allow selecting a game, paying by Paypal or similar then an ISO is downloaded to some storage on the Dreamcast. Job done.

Step 3: Open Source the KATANA SDK


This is essentially supporting homebrew on the “Dreamcast Mini” - it would be an extra selling point. Along with the outstanding existing back-catalogue of Dreamcast games, SEGA could take a cut of homebrew games purchased from the store.

The KATANA SDK is the original developer kit for the Dreamcast, and the source code for it is surely just pointlessy bit-rotting somewhere at SEGA's offices. It would cost them nothing to post that code on GitHub and start accepting improvements and updates from a community of developers.

Summary


That's it. A simple 3-step plan for SEGA to make a bunch of money on a load of stuff it basically already has. A new revision of the original Dreamcast hardware, shrunk down a bit in the same style as the NES mini, with modern components and HDMI and WiFI connections. A digital store for selling the existing back catalogue of games, and for taking a cut on new homebrew releases.

Most importantly though it should focus on quality – not cheap crappy third-party emulated rubbish – but a serious, sturdy little machine with the resilience and design of the original.










30 comments:

  1. AMEN !!! Very well preached $EGA must behold !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. CrownQQ | Agen Domino QQ | BandarQ | Domino99 Online Terbesar
    Susah cari Situs judi online yang bisa di percaya...?
    Mari gabung di AGEN BANDARQ CROWNQQ
    Bonus Refferal 20%
    Bonus Turn Over 0,5%
    Agen Judi Online Terbesar dan Terpercaya se asia
    Daftar dan buktikan sendiri sekarang juga..
    WHATSAPP : +855967646513
    PIN BB : 2B382398

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete

  4. Cari Situs Judi AGEN BANDARQ Online yang aman dan terpercaya ?
    Solusinya hanya di NAGAQQ
    Bonus Refferal 20%
    Bonus Turn Over 0,5%
    Hanya dengan minimal deposit 15ribu sudah bisa bermain 4 game sekaligus lohh..
    Ayo daftar dan gabung sekarang juga,,
    WHATSAPP : +855967014811
    PIN BB : 2B209F68

    ReplyDelete
  5. Susah cari Situs judi online yang bisa di percaya...?
    Mari gabung di AGEN BANDARQ NAGAQQ
    Bonus Refferal 20%
    Bonus Turn Over 0,5%
    Agen Judi Online Terbesar dan Terpercaya se asia
    Daftar dan buktikan sendiri sekarang juga..
    WHATSAPP : +855967014811
    PIN BB : 2B209F68

    ReplyDelete


  6. Cari Situs Judi Online yang fair ?
    No BOT - No ADMIN dan murni PLAYER vs PLAYER
    Solusinya hnya di NAGAQQ AGEN BANDARQ TERPERCAYA
    Bonus Refferal 20%
    Bonus Turn Over 0,5%
    Hanya dengan nominal deposit 15ribu sudah bisa bermain 5 game
    Dan raih jackpot puluhan sampai ratusan juta setiap harinya..
    WHATSAPP : +855967014811
    PIN BB : 2B209F68

    ReplyDelete
  7. Yes! Amazing Brand boxes provider in Australia the custom boxes is a brand site for every packaging boxes.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We always heard good words regarding Dremacast Brand, But the Custom Design Boxes also has leading Name in Packaging in Australia

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good sharing place. So, let's go for it and get all types of services related to custom boxes,Custom Box Packaging Design, printing, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  10. On the off chance that you notice that some weight loss motivation tips is melting away, offer yourself a reprieve from your eating routine or exercise plan for one to three days,

    ReplyDelete
  11. Online health & safety essay writing services are very difficult to complete and many students are always searching for Health & Safety Writing Services to help them complete their health & safety research paper writing services and health & safety coursework writing services.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very useful information shared in this article, nicely written! I will be reading your articles and using the informative tips. Looking forward to read such knowledgeable articles.

    Custom Boxes With Logo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello!
    This is really informative and wonderful post..
    Nice to read your post and then sharing it..
    Custom Cone Sleeves

    ReplyDelete
  14. The Dreamcast is not dead; it's still going strong. Sure, it can't compete with current-gen consoles, but no other platform in history has received as much support from the community. This gets me to the article's major point: Sega should bring the Dreamcast back. For more information visit cheap writing essays blog section.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such amazing post explain every thing very essay way thanks for sharing waiting for your other post custom boxes

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for sharing this blog, I read and found it interesting. I also have a blogging website, please visit for interesting information and share your valuable views.
    recycled a4 copy paper

    ReplyDelete
  17. I was also there and I attended this anniversary. The writers of also there and I feel pleasure to meet with them. Next year, I will attend this anniversary once again. Cheap dissertation writing services.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Very useful post i really appreciate thanks for sharing such a nice post. I am also wanted to write blog kindly guide me if my topic is Laser Screed Machine Manufacturers then what should I do first and how will I create new and unique content on this topic

    ReplyDelete
  19. Information article, it was very helpful! I simply began in this and I’m attractive more familiar with it better! Thanks, keep doing amazing.. Waterjet Mosaic supplier

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thank you very much for creating such an excellent blog. I'm always on the search for high-quality products to sell on my website. Your work is also something I admire. I hope to be as good a blogger as you, and I enjoy reading your articles because they are full of important information as a student I also get from https://paytotakemyclassonline.com/. You do an outstanding job.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm so happy to see this Informative content, There is also something to share with you guys, Garage Door Cable Repair Surprise AZ

    you guys try it for best garage services.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Information article, it was very helpful! I simply began in this and I’m attractive more familiar with it better! And Buy the coin info Thanks, keep doing amazing..

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have read it completely and got really impressed. Love to read more about similar types of articles Like Dissertation Writing Services . Thanks a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Great Information sharing .. I am very happy to read this article .. thanks for giving us go through info. Fantastic nice. I appreciate this post. 야한동영상

    Also feel free to visit may webpage check this link
    야설

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! 일본야동

    Also feel free to visit may webpage check this link
    한국야동

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hey very cool site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds also…I’m happy to find numerous useful information here in the post, we need work out more techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. 한국야동닷컴

    Also feel free to visit may webpage check this link
    국산야동

    ReplyDelete
  27. I like this site because so much useful stuff on here. Enjoyed reading through this, very good thankyou . 국산야동

    Also feel free to visit may webpage check this link
    야설

    ReplyDelete
  28. I like this website its a master peace ! Glad I found this on google . Interesting, will come back here again. 중국야동넷

    Also feel free to visit may webpage check this link
    야설

    ReplyDelete


  29. Hey friend, it is very well written article, thank you for the valuable and useful information you provide in this post. Keep up the good work! FYI, please check these depression, stress and anxiety related articles.
    Can you pay for Lowes credit card online?, Don't Lose Your Mind Lose Your Weight Book Pdf, Advantages and Disadvantages of Mobile Phones Essay

    ReplyDelete