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After Over Two Decades, The Sega Dreamcast Is Getting A New Upgrade

Veteran gamers may recall 2001 as one of those rare, historic years when the trajectory of the video game industry well and truly changed forever. It was the year that Nintendo finally followed up the Nintendo 64 with the GameCube, Microsoft made its bold debut into the console market with the very first Xbox, and Sega ended production of the failed Dreamcast and exited the gaming hardware race for good. In many ways, the Dreamcast was an unfortunate casualty of Sega's biggest mistakes and its unique hardware and killer library of games were never given a true chance to shine. However, none of that has stopped Dreamware Enterprises in its bid to create a brand-new accessory for the system nearly 20 years after its discontinuation.

There have been plenty of independent projects centered around creating new Dreamcast accessories and peripherals in the years since its inception. 2019, for instance, notably saw a Kickstarter for a modern-day Dreamcast controller reach its funding goal and enter production. However, Dreamware's new project based around the console may very well result in the largest and most ambitious accessory upgrade for the system yet.

The VMU is getting a souped-up remake

While other consoles in the years following the Dreamcast's demise have played around with the idea of a "smart" controller with its own screen (cough, the Wii U gamepad, cough), nothing since has quite managed to replicate the versatile functionality and unique novelty of the VMU. Though Sega apparently won't be releasing a Dreamcast Mini with VMU support anytime soon, Dreamware Enterprises looks to bring some of that magic back with a successor to the original device: the VM2.

According to project's Indiegogo page, the VM2 is a VMU with a bunch of upgrades to bring it in-line with modern-day technology. While the form factor remains the same, the company notes that the device will feature USB-C charging, micro-SD card storage, a backlight, image streaming to PC, and a whole host of other perks. "Externally, it is upgraded and at the same time keeps the original looks & feels, as a homage to the original VMU," the description reads.

The market appeal of such a device might appear rather niche and it's a fair way out of impulse buy territory at a price tag of roughly 132 USD, but none of that has stopped the project's success. Dreamware blasted through its initial funding goal and is expected to make the product a reality, provided that no unforeseen roadblocks crop up. According to the company, those who have reserved a VM2 for themselves should expect them to begin shipping in August 2023.