While everyone is oohing and aahing over the Nintendo Switch Lite today, I’d rather throw $200 at YouTube’s GmanModz to build me this fully functional Sega Dreamcast that’s been cut down and miniaturized to squeeze inside of a portable housing that’s about the size of the 2DS.
When it comes to designing video game consoles that sit in a TV cabinet for years, the hardware engineers tend to focus more on performance and longevity than trying to make a box with the smallest footprint imaginable. As a result, hardware hackers found that consoles like the Nintendo Wii could be drastically miniaturized by simply trimming away parts of the system’s motherboard that weren’t 100 percent necessary. That’s what makes hacks like this playable Wii in an Altoids tin possible, and it turns out the Sega Dreamcast is similarly shrinkable.
By emulating the size and shape of the 2DS, GmanModz was able to fit all of the necessary components required to keep this Dreamcast running inside, including a modified power management chip he had originally designed for portable Wii systems. This handheld is quite a bit thicker and chunkier than Nintendo’s dual-screen portable, but it does manage to include a second display as well—although, in this instance, it’s a tiny OLED meant to emulate the Dreamcast’s Visual Memory Unit cartridges that originally plugged into its controllers. That feature isn’t working quite yet, but the rest of the handheld looks perfectly functional and will run for about two hours on its rechargeable battery.
The balls in your court, Sega, have you given any thought to resurrecting the Game Gear?