Sega seems to be well aware of the demand for a Dreamcast Mini console, but it turns out the scope of such a project could be beyond the hardware giant’s means.
Classic Sega hardware producer Yosuke Okunari talked about the newly announced Mega Drive Mini 2 in a famitsu (opens in new tab) interview. During this conversation, Okunari states that Sega has considered Mini console versions for Saturn and Dreamcast. However, he admits that such a project would be too expensive.
twitter user gosokkyu (opens in new tab) transcribed this segment of the Famitsu interview. This is where Okunari states that “the MD Mini’s internal components cannot properly handle Saturn’s games, and developing and manufacturing new chipsets during the pandemic is a difficult and expensive process.”
Okunari goes on to joke that while a Saturn or Dreamcast Mini might not be a viable project at the moment, he might like to develop a Mini console that “costs as much as an authentic modern console”. (thanks, Nintendo Life (opens in new tab))
Review: Dreamcast Mini? Keep dreaming…
Obviously, we’d love to see a Dreamcast Mini hit the gaming market eventually. Affectionately remembered as one of Sega’s best consoles, it unfortunately met an untimely end at the hands of the burgeoning sixth generation of consoles. The failure of the Dreamcast caused Sega to exit the hardware market almost entirely.
And that’s a huge shame, as the Dreamcast era saw the release of some of Sega’s most ambitious titles. Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star Online, and Shenmue are just a few of the many that come to mind here. It was also home to some amazing Capcom fighting games, including Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and the definitive version of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.
While many Dreamcast-era games have been re-released on modern storefronts like Steam, ports aren’t always the best. Jet Set Radio’s ports remain locked at 30fps, for example, while Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut introduced new bugs and graphical oddities that weren’t present in the original Dreamcast version.
Still, we can hardly blame Sega or Okunari for their lack of trying. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated component shortages that have driven parts like semiconductors to soar in price. As a result, a possible Dreamcast Mini could have been considerably more expensive than the publisher’s efforts with the Genesis / Mega Drive Mini.
With all that said, we’re still looking forward to the Mega Drive Mini 2 release, even though plans for a worldwide release are currently up in the air. Featuring a whopping 50 games, many being Sega CD titles that are difficult to play outside of emulation, we’re sure it will introduce a small number of fans to a litany of games they’ve probably never heard of.