Sega is hesitant with a Dreamcast mini because it would be expensive to make, but is that really the case?


Ever since Sega introduced the Mega Drive mini a few years ago, many users, myself included, have dreamed of the possibility of the Japanese company launching a Dream cast mini. There has also been speculation about a possible Saturn mini, and the truth is that Sega has always been open and receptive to both projects, but He has never confirmed them.

With the announcement of Mega Drive 2 mini, this issue came back to the fore, and Sega maintained the same attitude as always. What is really stopping the Japanese company, what prevents it from launching a Dreamcast mini? In an interview with the well-known Famitsu magazine the producer of classic Sega hardware, Yosuke Okunari, He explained that the main obstacle is given by the high production costs.

Yes, you read that right, the exec said that due to the impact of COVID-19, the development of new platforms has stalled, and that the total cost of the components needed to create a Dreamcast mini would be “fairly tall”. I understand that we are not in the ideal situation due to the high price that semiconductors and other basic components have reached for the technology industry, but it is a bit difficult for me to understand Okunari’s explanation.

Dreamcast mini would not need very powerful hardware

And the main reason is the one I just gave you. A Dreamcast mini would start from the same model as the Mega Drive mini, that is, it would use an emulator to move the system and games from the original console. If we look at the requirements that emulators have this console for Android, like Reicast, for example, we find ourselves with very modest requirements:

  • Dual Core Cortex-A9 1.2GHz CPU.
  • GPU Mali 400 or equivalent.
  • 512MB of RAM.

Mega Drive mini mounts a ZUIKI Z7213 chip with a CPU of quad-core Cortex-A7 at 1.3 GHz, has a Mali-400 GPU and 256 MB of RAM. As we can see, there is not a particularly big difference between the silicon of this console and what we would need to build a fully functional Dreamcast mini based on the Reicast emulator. It is clear that mounting a CPU based on the Cortex-A9 architecture and doubling the RAM would increase costs, but this should be minimal.

Where there could be a problem is storage, and I think that’s where Okunari’s concern really comes from. You have to think that Dreamcast used CDs of 1 GB capacity, and that some games used several of these discs. It goes without saying that to build an interesting and attractive game catalog, a Dreamcast mini would have to have more than 20 games, at least.

If we start from an average of 1.25 GB of space occupied per game, Sega would need 32 GB of storage to fit 25 games and the console’s operating system, a figure that could represent a considerable increase in manufacturing costs, although again it is worth wondering if it really would be as serious as Sega suggests. Seeing as PS1 mini classic has 16 GB of storage capacity and 1 GB of RAM, I think the question answers itself.

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