Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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We’ve seen numerous mods for the common-or-garden Dreamcast VMU through the years, with modders the world over going to nice lengths so as to add further performance, or repurpose the factor altogether. From the implementation of illuminated screens, to full-on Raspberry Pi-powered gaming programs crammed contained in the unit’s diminutive shell; it appears individuals from throughout the Dreamcast neighborhood have discovered myriad ingenious methods to exploit much more out of the little reminiscence card that might. 

It seems just like the VMU is about to embark on its best transformative journey but although, because the VM2 nears completion. Coming from Chris Diaoglou, the identical genius who introduced us the DreamConn Bluetooth controller again in 2016 (and, by the way the rechargeable backlit VMU linked above), VM2 is a whole technological overhaul for the VMU, and provides such superior new options as:

  • New monochrome LCD with backlight: Which can be turned off to save lots of battery
  • Higher display screen decision: Switchable between unique (48×32), or scaled (96×64)
  • MicroSD slot: Gives the VM2 virtually limitless capability
  • 4x VMU reminiscence capability: If a microSD is just not current, a mix of the Sega 4x Memory and a regular VMU might be accessible. The consumer will have the ability to cycle via 4 128Kb pages, whereas protecting the LCD performance that the official 4x Memory lacked
  • Embedded high-capacity LiPo battery: This will substitute the batteries and supply longer operation time (sadly this may eradicate the beeeeeeep 🙃)
  • External charging: VM2 will cost both from its micro-USB connector, or from the controller whereas taking part in
  • PC connectivity: VM2 will have the ability to hook up with a PC by way of micro-USB
  • Memory administration: Connecting to a PC and utilizing a customized GUI, the consumer will have the ability to backup/restore/handle each the principle (4x) and the extra (mini-game) storage
VM2 will profit from a brand new injection molded shell

We reached out to Chris for touch upon this extremely intriguing venture and requested simply what the hell was occurring in his Dreamcast-powered laboratory:

“The VM2 goals at being a complete replica of the unique – the connector, outer shell, electronics, every part might be manufactured from scratch. For this cause, and relying on the neighborhood curiosity, I plan to begin a marketing campaign so I can elevate the funds to place it into manufacturing.

“This means no low-cost 3D printing or something – every part might be made with high quality injection molds, and so forth. and that is the principle cause {that a} marketing campaign is required.

“Also, as a substitute of the preliminary plan of 4x VMUs (predominant) plus 50+ minigame (further) reminiscence, I carried out the combination of a microSD card slot. This will enable for actually infinite area and digital VMUs / minigames.

“The consumer will have the ability to create/copy/restore VMU recordsdata, both on the root of the SD, or organized in folders (i.e. per recreation). In addition, in case {that a} consumer does not wish to use a microSD card, the VM2 may also assist a default 1x(or 3x)VMU inner reminiscence; and the choice of the present VMU file/reminiscence to make use of, might be chosen from the VM2 consumer menu.”

– Chris Diaoglou, DreamMods

The VM2 has been in growth for a while now, and you’ll find particulars on the assorted phases of its creation over at the DreamMods web site (the place you can even register your curiosity). 

There’s no concrete data on when the VM2 might be out there for buy as but, however as Chris says, a crowdfunding marketing campaign could be on the horizon within the close to future. The projected worth might be across the $100 mark – which can sound steep – however when adjusted for inflation the unique VMU would have price you $75 in 2022 cash. Do the maths. On that observe an Atari Jaguar would have price you lower than £40 in 1999. Swings and roundabouts, innit.

Protoype displaying the brand new hi-res, backlit display screen

Judging from the distinctive high quality of Chris’s earlier Dreamcast-related creations within the DreamConn and the DreamPort PSU (which provides full Bluetooth assist to the Dreamcast with out the necessity for an adapter), the the VM2 is a really thrilling prospect certainly. That, and the small matter that VM2 seems set to supply a riposte to lots of the predominant gripes aimed on the unique VMU – specifically the piss-poor battery life and the restricted area on the cardboard. The added bonus of a backlit, greater decision display screen make the VM2 an much more attractive venture and one we’ll be protecting a really shut eye on.

Watch this area…and whilst you’re doing that go to DreamMods and register your curiosity!

Oh, and because of Derek Pascarella for alerting my colleague Lewis to this. Who then alerted me and made me get my arse in gear and attain out to Chris.


Since we posted this text, Chris has launched some photographs of the redesigned prototype. Sexy, eh?!

We’ll be sure you fill you in on whether or not this can be a worthy buy as quickly as we will!



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