We Don’t Need A Dreamcast Mini, We Need Lots Of Awesome Remasters

We Don’t Need A Dreamcast Mini, We Need Lots Of Awesome Remasters

Dreamcast Collection

Credit: Sega

I’ve recently seen some news stories pop up regarding Sega’s long-rumored and now possibly scrapped Dreamcast mini console. A device that, should it have actually released, would have competed with other pre-loaded novelty devices like Nintendo’s SNES Classic Edition and NES Classic Edition. Yes, it would have been exactly that: Another impulse buy that people would play for a day or two before it inevitably gets thrown on a shelf to collect dust.

Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m speaking the truth. When was the last time you booted up your PlayStation Classic? Two years ago? Three? Granted, that thing was a disaster from the get-go, but still. If you’ve modded it, well, that’s a different story altogether. While I’m rather disappointed that a Dreamcast micro never came to fruition (and may never, at this point), I know deep down that it would have been a monumental waste of time and resources, especially for Sega.

I think the company was on the right track when it released Dreamcast Collection on Xbox 360 over a decade ago, a package that brought together classic Dreamcast titles like Sonic Adventure, Crazy Taxi and Sega Bass Fishing. It was a little bare-bones for my liking, to be honest, but promising in terms of re-issuing games that were arguably locked away on a dead console.

A Steam version was released later that included some additional titles like Sonic Adventure 2 and Jet Set Radio, though no more iterations of the collection were ever produced. A real shame, even though some of these Dreamcast favorites are available digitally through the appropriate channels.

When it comes to overall Dreamcast preservation and remastering, though, it’s a largely silent affair, at least on the official Sega front. The retro and homebrew scene is still alive and kicking, and surprisingly so for a console that received offensively little adoration from the gaming masses during its heyday.

Many excellent titles (Alien Front Online, POD Speedzone, Bomberman Online, NBA 2K1, to name a few) have even been brought back online thanks to dedicated fans procuring old server code. Yes, you can jump onto the World Wide Web and play ChuChu Rocket! against other insane Dreamcast fans who just won’t let go. I’m including myself in this unhinged category, naturally.

The thing is, we’re insane for a reason, and that reason is the ongoing recognition of how many really good games were released on the Dreamcast, even if you restrict it to just first-party. It’s a small but mighty library of software that is just begging to be remastered and re-released. Where is our Skies of Arcadia remaster? Where is our Seaman remaster? Toy Commander? Metropolis Street Racer? Or the behemoth remaster that would sell like 56K modem-shaped hot cakes: Phantasy Star Online.

Even if Sega only re-released PSO, say in a complete 4K package with all the Ver.1 and Ver. 2 content (plus some extra bells and whistles for the modern gamers expecting more), that would do wonders for the Dreamcast’s legacy. PSO still has an active online community that’s kept alive through private servers. Imagine if Sega officially revived the original PSO and made it a mainstay on modern consoles, injecting it with new DLC while respecting the core, original gameplay.

I suppose my ultimate point is that I hope the apparent lack of a Dreamcast mini will eventually lead Sega to take its Dreamcast catalog a bit more seriously. We’ve seen other companies really dig into their back catalogs with the likes of, say, the amazing Atari 50. Why not do something similar with first-party Dreamcast releases? Re-up the network code for online multiplayer, refresh the visuals, interview developers who were involved and compile it all into something that could be released serially, kind of like an episodic Dreamcast Collection for today’s gamers.

I know the diehard Dreamcast people are already living that pre-Y2K life on the daily, but for the vast majority of current gamers who won’t (or maybe can’t) set up a jerry-rigged dial-up Raspberry Pi, a handful of top quality Sega 128-bit remasters would do wonders for returning some of these buried classics to their former glory.

Let’s start with Christmas Seaman, shall we?

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