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   PlanetDreamcast | Features | Dreamcast: The Afterlife

Dreamcast: The Afterlife
"The Dreamcast is alive and kicking in the emulation and home development scene." - by Retrovertigo

Nearly every classic console under the sun is at least partially supported for play on the Dreamcast.

The most famous emulator for the Dreamcast is Bleemcast!, the PlayStation emulator, which originated on the PC. Bleem's original plan for PlayStation emulation on the Dreamcast was to include support for over 400 of the PlayStation's best games. However, due to legal battles with the Sony over the emulation, as well as Sega's announcement to discontinue the Dreamcast console in 2002, the number of supported PlayStation titles dwindled drastically to only three officially supported games: Gran Turismo 2, Metal Gear Solid, and Tekken 3. Electronics Boutique is currently the only retailer who stocks these products.

In order to play Bleemcast!, games, you must first buy the Bleemcast! loader disc, as well as an original PlayStation game. Fortunately, it should not run you very much, as all three of the supported PlayStation games are available for $20 or less, and the Bleemcast! loader discs shouldn't run you more than $10 a piece.

Bleemcast! offers smoother graphics at a higher resolution, and controls are optimized for the Dreamcast controller. For more information regarding Bleemcast!, you can check out our reviews for these three products right here at PlanetDreamcast.

PlayStation isn't the only supported emulator for the Dreamcast. Several other classic console emulators are in development for the Dreamcast, as well. Including handheld consoles like the GameBoy and Neo Geo Pocket, the 8-bit systems Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Master System, and their 16-bit brothers the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo. None of these emulators are 100% perfect, but it is still impressive to see a classic game reproduced on the Dreamcast.

The popular arcade emulator, M.A.M.E., which has been in development for the PCs for many years, has also been ported to the Dreamcast. Although the emulation is not perfect, it's still possible to play a classic arcade game today that you might have pumped your weekly allowance into many, many years ago.

As mentioned before, acquiring most ROM files for emulators is not always legal, and putting together an emulator for use on the Dreamcast isn't very easy, and requires a lot of computer know-how, including access to a variety of CD-R burning software and a CD-burner. However, there are some Public Domain ROM files that are available for free download, which usually consist of clones of popular games, and don't generally include any commercial games. Check out a site like DC Evolution, for some free, Public Domain ROM files to try out on your Dreamcast.

Other software available for the Dreamcast range from ports of popular classic PC games like Quake, Doom, and Wolfenstein 3D, as well as many other user-created games and programs - Check out this complete list.

The Dreamcast may be technically dead now that the last game, Sega Sports NHL 2K2, has been released, but it continues to live on in the development community because of the ability for people to use the console to create a variety of software programs - something that no other video game console can do right now!

For more information on Dreamcast emulation and where you can purchase VCD and MP3 players for the Dreamcast, or to download the free versions of other programs, visit DC Emulation and Console Vision. For Bleemcast! products visit your local Electronics Boutique.

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