Sega seems to be keenly aware of the demand for a Dreamcast Mini console, but it turns out the scope of such a project might just be beyond the hardware giant's means.
Sega's classic hardware producer Yosuke Okunari spoke about the recently announced Mega Drive Mini 2 in a Famitsu interview. During this talk, Okunari states that Sega has considered Mini console versions for both the Saturn and the Dreamcast. However, he admits that such a project would be far too expensive.
Twitter user gosokkyu transcribed that segment of the Famitsu interview. It's here which Okunari states that "the MD Mini's internals can't adequately handle Saturn games, and both developing and manufacturing new chipsets during the pandemic is a difficult & expensive process."
Okunari goes on to joke that while a Saturn or Dreamcast Mini may not be a feasible project at present, he may like to develop a Mini console that "costs as much as an authentic modern console." (thanks, Nintendo Life)
Analysis: Dreamcast Mini? Dream on...
Obviously, we'd love to see a Dreamcast Mini hit the gaming market eventually. Fondly remembered as one of Sega's best consoles, it unfortunately met an untimely demise at the hands of the burgeoning sixth console generation. The Dreamcast's failure caused Sega to bow out of the hardware market almost entirely.
And that's kind of a huge shame, as the Dreamcast era saw the release of some of Sega's most ambitious titles. Sonic Adventure, Jet Set Radio, Phantasy Star Online and Shenmue are just some of many that come to mind here. It was also the home of some incredible Capcom fighting games, including Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and the definitive port of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.
While many Dreamcast era games have been re-released on modern storefronts such as Steam, the ports aren't always the best. Jet Set Radio's ports remain locked at 30fps, for example, while Sonic Adventure DX: Director's Cut introduced new bugs and graphical oddities that weren't present in the original Dreamcast release.
Still, we can hardly blame Sega or Okunari for a lack of trying. The Covid-19 pandemic worsened a components shortage that led to parts like semiconductors to skyrocket in price. As a result, a prospective Dreamcast Mini could have been considerably more expensive than the publisher's efforts with the Genesis / Mega Drive Mini.
With all that said, we're still looking forward to the Mega Drive Mini 2 releasing, even if plans for a worldwide release are up in the air at present. Featuring a whopping 50 games, many being Sega CD titles that are difficult to play outside of emulation, we're sure it'll introduce no small number of fans to a litany of games they've probably never heard of.