The Dreamcast is a truly iconic bit of hardware. Wildly innovative for its time, it's no wonder that Sega's last foray into the console market has retained a cult following, with its varied library of games that have long survived the ill-fated platform. It's also no surprise that Sega once hoped to bank on this nostalgia, planning to release a "Dreamcast mini" that came preloaded with a bunch of games.
However, we now know that Sega dropped this idea over concerns about its price tag. According to Sega YouTuber Adam Koralik, the company couldn't find a way to get a Dreamcast mini under a $300 launch price. Sega apparently felt that this was just too high, scrapping its plans altogether.
This comes from Adam Koralik's latest video, shedding some light on why the Dreamcast mini probably isn't happening. Having worked with Sega in the past, he has some insight on the matter, sharing what he heard behind the scenes.
"So what's stopping it? Technology," says Kotalik. "If you want to get [the Dreamcast] into a little mini box like [the Genesis Mini], you really only have two ways to do it. You either build this perfect Dreamcast emulator from the ground up [...] or you do a low-end version that's running PC ports."
Kotalik then recalls a conversation he had with Sega about this very topic, with the company not approving of either option. "The problem is, honestly, that if we want to re-release it as a console, it's going to be 300 bucks [...] Nobody would be happy with a $300 price tag. People would be expecting $100, so people would be mad. [You would] get a high-quality product that just prices too many people out."
He adds that Sega did consider using PC conversions instead to save money, but rejected this idea due to the negative reception of previous ports. Kotalik also says that the Dreamcast mini is looking even more unlikely after the negative reception to the PlayStation Mini - a miniature console based on hardware that was actually a generation behind the Dreamcast. So not only would a Dreamcast re-release be pricey, it might not even reach the quality that fans are expecting.
At the very least, this shows that Sega hasn't forgotten the Dreamcast. The fact that a re-release was even considered is amazing since its initial run saw Sega leave the console business behind. With the Shenmue series still going, and a Samba de Amigo game launching later this month too, its legacy continues through its software, just not its hardware. At least until Sega can find a way to bring that price tag down without compromising quality.
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