December 8, 2022

You can find all kinds of weird tech on Indiegogo, but this fundraiser for an improved version of the Virtual Memory Unit (VMU) for the Sega Dreamcast is one of the zanier gadgets I’ve heard about this year (through Check the notebook) company, Dreamware Enterprises, is in the process of developing VM2, which it calls “the next-gen VMU for Dreamcast.” It’s a niche accessory made for a failed console—a recreation that it plans to release in summer 2023 in either black or white.

Some of the improvements seem great, such as a high-resolution LCD screen with backlighting, microSD card storage for offloading and saving injections, a rechargeable battery with USB-C charging, and mini-game support. It will ship with its own GUI for Windows, with PC connectivity. The VM2’s firmware and software are being developed by a single person named Chris Daiglo. The Indiegogo page That production will take place in Greece.

An exploded view of the Sega Dreamcast's VM2 memory card, showing the plastic shell, printed circuit board and microSD card slot.

Here’s an exploded view of the VM2, showing the plastic shell, printed circuit board, and microSD card slot.
Image: Dreamware Enterprises

It costs $114 to order for one, and me may be To do it. Why, exactly, do I really want one of these? Because I’m one of those people who still has a Dreamcast in their entertainment system. I guess I have an obsession with dead gaming gadgets

Enough about me. I can see VM2 being very popular among the Dreamcast’s surprisingly active player base. There are people who still play it for the enjoyment of some of the best fighting games. And then there are the more engaged fans who have found ways to host or join dedicated servers for online games that have been officially out of commission for several years. Not to mention, some indie developers are still making games for the Dreamcast. So, yes, there is an audience for this thing. And that audience spoke with his cash. With 18 days left in the campaign, it has already surpassed its $89,119 collection goal.

I might get one because I really dig the original concept. In case you missed the all-too-brief Dreamcast years before it was superseded by the PS2, the VMU stood out because, unlike other memory cards, it had a screen that could display relevant information on a per-game basis through a window on the console. The controller can display your health, your next soccer game, or the game’s logo recreated in pixelated fashion as you play. And remarkably, you can take it out of the controller and link up with another VMU to save the trade. You can also play solitaire with its D-pad and two face buttons, take care of pets Tamagotchi-style, or play other mini-games installed from some Dreamcast titles. See, it was a different time.

I have reached out to Sega for a comment on this product.

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