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Retro Fighters 'Next Gen Dreamcast Controller' Kickstarter Update

Image from the Retro Fighters Kickstarter update
Retro Fighters have just posted an update on their progress on the Next Gen Dreamcast Controller they are working on (via Kickstarter). While brief, the post does state the analogue stick 'feels great' and that there is a video of it in action is on the way, (we'll link to it once it's up).

In the questions section of the update, they confirm the pad will work with the microphone attachment, which added with the rumble and VMU support, makes the pad as fully featured as possible.

We are always fans of new work Dreamcast related, so I reached out to the Retro Fighters crew and they agreed to answer a few additional questions for us folk here at The Dreamcast Junkyard.

DCJY - Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us, having previously worked on different systems, what made you choose the Dreamcast this time for your project?

Retro Fighters - We chose the Dreamcast because it holds a special place in our retro gaming collection. We at Retro Fighters are avid retro gamers and the Dreamcast has many gems in its library of games. Secondly, we saw that there wasn’t many companies making products for Dreamcast (especially controllers), we felt that there was a need for a new controller for the Dreamcast gaming community.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

The biggest challenge with the Dreamcast controllers has been engineering the ergonomics while maintaining functionality. Everything from the controller shape and analog stick size was put into consideration to make sure we deliver nothing but the best playing experience for the Dreamcast. We started the initial ideas & designs for the Dreamcast controller about 2 years ago, so you can see that we are taking our time on getting everything right for you guys!

How have you found working with the Dreamcast community compared to the fan bases of the other products you have done so far?

Honestly we really haven’t noticed much of a difference between the two different communities. They both have a loyal following, we have gotten a lot of positive feedback, support and comments. We feel that the N64 community has been great with their response on the Brawler64. Both N64 and Dreamcast gamers have been very positive about what we are trying to do for the gaming community, we are trying to make fun and innovative products (that we also want to use) for all gamers.

What are the teams personal experiences with the Dreamcast?

One of the owners personal experience: “The very first game I played on Dreamcast was Sonic Adventure back in 99, the graphics and gameplay were impressive and fun, even the VMUs were innovative, being able to be used for other things besides saving files. Some favorite titles: Sonic Adventure, Power Stone, RE: Code Veronica, Shenmue, Soul Calibur, to name a few!” Another team member expresses her love for the Hello Kitty Edition and hopes that we might consider a future transparent pink color.
The Retro Fighters Brawler64 for Nintendo 64
A big thanks to the team at Retro Fighters for taking the time to answer these questions for us. If you are interested in checking out their previous work for the N64 and the PC and NES, then head over to their site here. Find the Kickstarter here.

If you own any of their products then let us know what you think in the comments, and also let us know your thoughts on their upcoming Dreamcast pad.

Rare Dreamcast-powered SEGA Fish Life preserved and released by Musée Bolo

SEGA Fish Life is a bonafide oddity of the early 2000s SEGA pantheon, and one that we've covered a couple of times in the past here at the Junkyard. It's also one of the rarest, most expensive, and most bizarre variations of the Dreamcast hardware. And by 'variations,' I mean: it's a virtual aquarium which runs on Dreamcast hardware that was intended to be placed in hotel lobbies, restaurants etc.; but which was only sold in small quantities and is barely known about outside of its native Japan.
How the SEGA Fish Life was marketed to businesses (Source)
The whole unit consists of a base (which contains the derivative Dreamcast hardware), along with a touch screen and a microphone. When used in conjunction, those with a passing interest in the serene aquatic panorama playing out on the screen could interact with the various fish by either tapping on them to reveal an info panel, or by speaking into a microphone embedded in the screen.
The unit in its final form with the screen (Source)
Both the software and the hardware that run SEGA Fish Life are amongst the rarest in the whole of the Dreamcast story. But now, thanks to the hard work and dedication of volunteers at the Swiss computer and games museum Musée Bolo, you can experience it yourself for (possibly) the first time.
Tranquility is the name of the game
Before we get the to the meat and potatoes (or should that be cod and chips?) of the SEGA Fish Life unit itself, it's probably worth me reiterating just how big of a deal this whole story is for both the Dreamcast and wider games preservation communities. The various SEGA Fish Life software iterations have never been dumped online, and are considered something of a Holy Grail for fans of esoteric, Japanese oddities - me included. The Dreamcast-derived hardware on which the software runs is even harder to come by, which makes the following story even more incredible...

The Dreamcast sealed games niche






The story of the Dreamcast’s demise has been told countless times, and countless times have fansites and journalists alike, explored the many great and innovate features that have seen the Sega Dreamcast ascension to the cult status that it now holds. However something that I know myself, and others, are fascinated by is the sealed games market that the DC scene seems to support.

Among the many great things about the Dreamcast, the cases, or more specifically the PAL cases, are quite frankly an abhorrent crime against design and manufacturing standards.