Big, beefy, and just now getting appreciated the Sega Dreamcast is a hot item and getting hotter.
It was the end of an era. Sega’s last stand after trying to proverbially invade Russia in the winter by making two add-ons to the Genesis. Before releasing a massive in size but low on power Sega Saturn just to not support it at all when they should have. No they saw the writing on the wall and ran right for the development table. Bringing us the end all, be all, system that brings the slam home with arcade quality graphics and movie quality sound (just not voice acting am I right) the Dreamcast came in hot.
Luckily it’s fairly new to the collecting scene. Largely because they couldn’t give them away at the end of it’s lifecycle. So a brand new to refurbished Dreamcast can cost you about $65 to $100 at the time of writing this. Same price you’d see them at Walden’s Software when they died out. Cheap enough you could buy them on a child’s allowance.
Now this is changing fast as with any discontinued product it is limited stock, especially with VMU modding being hot right now, so definitely act fast. The main thing is that Sega kinda sucked for awhile. Dreamcast tanked, the dreamcast games ported to other systems ended up being worse, and the new Sega games were… well… Sonic 06, Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Unleased, Sonic and the Black Night, Jet Set Radio Future, something something dragoon I think. It wasn’t looking good. Recent successes in games and even a passable Sonic movie has brought them back into our good graces.
Modding communities actively fixing the bad ports to be more like the Dreamcast versions has definitely renewed interest in the system as well. Bringing us to our biggest selling point.
SD card mods to the system to just boot your games! Or likewise you could do classic piracy. The Dreamcast was laughably easy to pirate games on so you will have no difficulty actually having something to play. That said the game prices can be a bit ridiculous because of how limited the market was for the last half of it’s life. So in that regard I do recommend piracy to try. After all none of this is money would even be going to Sega or the game devs anyway so don’t feel to bad about it, eh matey.
Arcadia is a game about air pirates, I won’t belittle it with a pin that game rocks. So first step is get an old cheap Sega Dreamcast and pirate some games. See if you like it first. Obviously you will want atleast one VMU and possibly one standard Memory Card to start with.
A VMU will set you back between $12 to $40 which is a great value as the VMU will have mini games or menus for the current games you will be playing, but they also have their own modding community. So I am gonna say they will be pretty hard to find in a few years, more so than the rest of the Dreamcast bits. So let’s just say grab two. Just to be safe.
Controllers are also in a wide price range between $12 and no lie $200 dollars. I personally prefer the default big round monstrosity ones, but there are options. So why not be adventurous and try some 3rd party controllers if for nothing else to have some neat looking shelf garnish. I haven’t personally had to much use for all four controller ports. I guess Sonic Shuffle was 4 player? But that’s neither here nor there. The main thing is I assume you are wondering is why the dramatically different prices in every category here.
That’s because in a desperate bid for relevancy they made a metric shit ton of limited edition systems, controllers, and VMUs. One if them is a TV actually.
So that’s why I suggest getting a cheap plain Dreamcast and pirate some games to feel out if you like it. If you do spend the money you saved on games to pick up a collector’s edition console first. Then you can go ahead and grab some games you actually enjoy on disk. The Dreamcast wasn’t for everyone. That hasn’t changed. It is however the last time a system had a unique feel to it. The Dreamcast is dripping with Sega style and stays as the last remnant of 90s radness. A bitter sweet swansong of 90’s console wars and the time before new systems being largely less useful PCs and whatever weirdness Nintendo is getting into this year. So let’s hit that rundown shall we?