Sega Japan creative producer Yosuke Okunari has teased fans that the classic 1998 console could be making a comeback. The Sega Dreamcast has a loyal following and continues to get more and more popular for retro gamers as time goes on. So all in all, the prospect of another shot at life is pretty exciting for those who want to take some classics like Crazy Taxi for one last hurrah.
Mr Okunari was speaking in an interview with Japanese publication Famitsu (spotted by Ryokutya2089 and translated by Siliconera) in which he was talking about the recent launch of the Game Gear Micro earlier this year, then he was asked about future plans for a new mini-console.
He began by stating that the team was “considering everything that has been imagined by everyone” but went on to say that “It doesn’t mean we can realize all of them. We are also thinking about projects that nobody has imagined.” However, he did add “I think for the next one, we may go with a concept close to the Mega Drive Mini. If I have to say some names, it could be an SG-1000 Mini or a Dreamcast Mini…”
The Sega Dreamcast is a pretty unique console, and emulating it is a bit more complex as it was he first foray for Sega into true 3D rendering on this scale. It was Sega’s attempt to compete against both the PS2 and GameCube. The Dreamcast ultimately lost that battle to the more popular consoles, but not without leaving a lasting impression.
Since its launch in 1998, the system that hosted classics like Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, Crazy Taxi, Shenmue and many other beloved games is still beloved by hardcore fans. The Dreamcast is also notable in that it was the first games console to make a push to get into online games and media with a built-in modem. The Dreamcast uses a dial-up connection to connect to SegaNet for online gaming, and even allows for a basic web browsing experience. Though these features will likely be heavily altered or removed in a min-Dreamcast, it will be very interesting to see what happens there.
There will also be fans who are curious to see how the Visual Memory Unit or VMU is used. The VMU could be used as a rudimentary memory card that also included functionality for mini-games and simple animations to be played right on its included screen.
Okunari notes that some roadblocks stand in the way of a Dreamcast-mini. He said that “the projects are moved by a substantial amount of money, so we’re working first on the one that, realistically speaking, has the highest possibility.” He also noted that we may be waiting a little longer for the next one, as the Game Gear Micro is only currently sold in Japan, saying: ” I feel like the project scope will be much bigger as we gaze upon the world. So we won’t be able to release it at this time the next year or two years after the Mega Drive Mini. We can’t make it that quickly.” So the logistics of getting less popular console to market globally will be a production challenge, and there needs to be global demand before the company will commit the funds to development.