The SEGA Dreamcast: Frankenstein's Console

A talk from EMF 2022 by Alex Rea

On Saturday June 4, 2022 at in Stage B

The SEGA Dreamcast was released nearly 25 years ago, but was discontinued after only 18 months on sale in the west, and was such a commercial failure that SEGA never made another console. Despite this short lifetime, a homebrew community formed, has not gone away, and has only become more passionate since.

The most tangible demonstrations of this passion are the extensive hardware modifications that have been developed by hobbyists to drag the Dreamcast kicking and screaming in to the 21st century. Users can restore internet connectivity, replace the PSU or the commonly-failing disk drive (originally based on bespoke optical media), and even enable true digital video output.

I will talk about the origins of the Dreamcast homebrew scene, and the development and implementation of the most popular of these mods that ensure the Dreamcast will live on for many years to come.