Sega isn’t known for its consoles, but once upon a time, it did produce its own. In this article, we spotlight Sega Dreamcast, the last console Sega released to the world before pulling the plug on console development in 2001. While you can’t get your hands on a Dreamcast today, Android emulators exist to let you play on the go.
What Is the Sega Dreamcast?
Following the unsuccessful release of Sega Saturn, Sega designed the Sega Dreamcast with cheaper components. The lower-cost components did not impact the quality of the console’s performance, however, as it was able to run content-heavy games like Shenmue, Skies of Arcadia, and Resident Evil – Code: Veronica well. The Dreamcast is also credited as the first-ever console that could support the Internet and online play.
Unfortunately, the Dreamcast was released at the wrong time: shortly before the release of Sony’s PlayStation 2. Sega eventually discontinued the Dreamcast in 2001—a mere four years after its initial launch. The Dreamcast would be the last console Sega ever made, as the company shifted its focus entirely to video and arcade games.
Best Dreamcast Emulator Apps for Android
While Sega Dreamcast was an ill-fated console, this doesn’t mean that it had no fan support. The Dreamcast was home to some of the best games of the late ’90s era, and it managed to amass a small but dedicated fanbase. It is this fanbase that worked on developing emulators to keep the Dreamcast alive today.
There are just three Dreamcast emulators available for Android, and we take a look at the choices you have below:
Redream is relatively new at emulating Dreamcast games, but it shows great promise. Capable of supporting a huge selection of games, Redream can display your games at 1080p or even 4K resolution for true-blue HD emulation.
Redream is still in active development, so you can expect plenty of updates to keep rolling in. This includes bug fixes and new features to further improve your experience.
Reicast is another emulator that brings Dreamcast into the 21st century. It sports a simple, user-friendly interface that makes gameplay smoother and more enjoyable, alongside seamless audio and graphics to optimize the performance of your games.
Later updates of the app have been reported to be unstable, with many reviewers complaining that it is prone to crashing and running games choppily. Future updates may fix these issues, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled if you wish to download Reicast over the other options.
RetroArch is probably the best Dreamcast emulator for Android, as it is optimized for use with this platform. For starters, RetroArch doesn’t face any lags frame drops, and crashes—this is especially true if you use phones that are designed for gaming, such as those built with Snapdragon technology.
Apart from this, RetroArch also has controller support, allowing you to play your games with a Bluetooth controller—no more fiddling with finicky touch controls.
RetroArch is not just limited to running Dreamcast games, capable of emulating games for other consoles, including GameBoy Advance, GameBoy Color, NES, SNES, Nintendo 64, PlayStation 1, and Sega Saturn.
The Bottom Line
Emulation has been around for decades and it’s one of the best ways to preserve old software. As new hardware rolls out every year, we greatly rely on emulation to fill the gap. Thankfully, the emulation community is alive and well for all kinds of old software and hardware. Thus, it doesn’t take much to find the best Dreamcast emulator software for your needs.