We love a good nostalgic throwback here at Retro Dodo, and the Upgraded VM2 New Dreamcast VMU that we’ve come across on Indiegogo has seriously grabbed our attention.
Just as with many aspects of the Dreamcast, the Visual Memory Unit was a peripheral that felt ahead of its time. Not only was it a memory card for saving game progress on, but it could also be used for an amazingly wide range of applications and mini-games.
Researching and writing the article on Dreamcast VMU games made me keen to re-acquaint myself with Sega’s amazing memory card peripheral.
However, it soon became apparent that VMUs have a few issues that make them feel a lot less forward thinking than they used to. This shouldn’t really be a surprise, 23 years after they were originally released!.
Perhaps most notably the VMU struggled with its power source. The batteries were expensive, fiddly and drained easily, and a few other issues reared their head too.
Somewhat unbelievably – given that the Dreamcast was released before the turn of the millennium – a company has designed an upgraded VMU to ease the frustrations of Dreamcast fans across the globe and bring the humble Visual Memory Unit bang up to date.
That company, Dreamware Enterprises, has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for the VM2 on Indiegogo.
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What is the VM2?
The VM2 is a revised, upgraded and modernised VMU for the Sega Dreamcast.
Though currently in its prototype stage, the VM2 crowdfunding campaign is intended to raise the necessary funds to put the peripheral into production; the final design on components and software is 99% complete right now.
What Can The VM2 Do?
The VM2 has many upgraded features over the original VMU. The most immediately apparent – and exciting – features include a backlit LCD screen, internal storage of 200 memory blocks, Micro-SD memory expansion and USB-C charging (of the high-capacity internal battery).
That’s not all though. You’ll also be able to stream the VMU’s display to a PC and it even supports the Dreamcast camera, the DreamEye.
How cool is that!
How Much Will A VM2 Cost?
There’s just one caveat, but it’s a big one: VM2 units are definitely on the pricey side.
Buying a single VM2 – in either White or Black versions – will set you back €115/£101, which is still a 15% discount on its intended RRP.
Buying a pair – again, in your choice of the two colours, mixing or matching as you see fit – nets you a reasonable discount. It’ll cost you a total of €217/£190. If you want and can afford three units, you’re looking at €320/£280.
When Will The VM2 New Dreamcast VMU Be released?
The release date is currently estimated to be August 2023, but do be aware that issues outside of Dreamware’s control – such as recent shortages of electrical components, which could of course happen again – could delay this.
With the crowdfunding campaign at 98% fully funded at the time of writing, and with 19 days of the campaign remaining, the VM2 should have no problem in reaching its funding goal.
Is It Worth Buying A VM2?
Despite the high cost of entry, if you’re a Dreamcast fan and you still regularly use your original hardware, the VM2 new Dreamcast VMU does seem like a no-brainer.
With so many thoughtfully implemented features and benefits over using an original VMU, it’s definitely a peripheral that you’ll make good use of.
That high price doesn’t even seem so bad when you factor in the original cost of a VMU and the batteries to keep it running over the last 23 years.
How Can I Pledge Funds To Get Myself A VM2?
If you want to check out and pledge for one or more VM2 new Dreamcast VMU units yourself, head on over to the Indiegogo campaign page.
You can also check out more Dreamcast articles right here on Retro Dodo – we’re big fans of Sega’s underrated, underappreciated final console.
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.