December 8, 2022

You can find all kinds of weird tech on Indiegogo, but this fundraiser for an enhanced version of the Sega Dreamcast’s VMU is one of the zanier tools I’ve heard about this year (Across Diary). Dreamware Enterprises is developing VM2, which it calls “the next generation of VMU for the Dreamcast.” It’s a re-creation of a specialized accessory designed for a failed console that plans to release in black or white in the summer of 2023.

Some of the improvements look great, like a high-resolution backlit LCD display, microSD card storage for emptying and saving injection, a rechargeable battery with USB-C charging, and support for mini-games. It will ship with a PC connection, with its own GUI for Windows. The firmware and software for VM2 is developed by a single person named Chris Daioglou. The Indiegogo صفحة page It states that production will take place in Greece.

Sega Dreamcast VM2 memory card detonator view, showing the plastic casing, printed circuit board and microSD card slot.

Here’s a blown-up rendering of the VM2, showing the plastic casing, printed circuit board, and microSD card slot.
Photo: Dreamware Enterprises

It costs $114 to place one order, and I may be do it. Why, exactly, would I really want one of those? Because I am one of those people who still have Dreamcast in their entertainment system. I guess I have an obsession with dead gaming gadgets.

Enough about me. I could see VM2 being very popular among the surprisingly active player base of the Dreamcast. There are still those who play it to enjoy some of the best fighting games out there. Then there are the more engaged fans who have figured out ways to host or join servers dedicated to online gaming that have been officially out of service for several years. Not to mention that some independent developers are still making games for the Dreamcast. Well, there is an audience for this thing. And this audience spoke with his money. The campaign has 18 days left, but it has exceeded its goal of raising $89,119.

I might get one because I’m also really digging the original concept. In case you missed the Dreamcast’s very short years before it was crushed by PS2, VMU stands out because, unlike other memory cards, it has a screen that can display contextual information on a game-by-game basis through a window on the console’s monitor. It can display your health, next football playing, or display the recreated game logo in a pixelated fashion as you played. In particular, you can take it out of the console and save the trade by linking to another VMU. You can also play a game of solitaire on it using the D-pad and face buttons, take care of tamagotchi-style pets, or play other proven mini-games from some Dreamcast titles. See, it was a different time.

I’ve reached out to Sega for comment on this product.

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