As I am slowly cleaning my main game room, I wanted to layout my completed US Dreamcast collection. I completed this years ago piece by piece, and buying all of it in person. What are you pursuing or collecting these days? Do you collect for the Dreamcast?
Guilty Gear X
Jet Grind Radio
– Hey guys, Metal Jesus here, now one of the goals of my game room is to try to connect as many of my old, retro gaming systems using HDMI as possible. Well recently, the company Pound Technology released an HDMI cable for the Dreamcast. Now that if that company sounds familiar, it’s because they are the same company that released the HDMI cable for the Xbox, and that was very well received. So in this video, I’m going to review the HDMI cable for the Dreamcast, as well as talk about some of the gotchas that you need to know about. Let’s take a look. Alright guys, we’re going to start with a quick unboxing. And you’re gonna notice that this was purchased from Amazon. So they sell exclusively from Amazon, which is really nice, if you have any problems and you need to return it. And you’ll notice that it’s a fairly simple cable. One side connects to the Dreamcast through the AV port, and the other goes into your HD television. So let’s go ahead and try out some games. We’re gonna start with the big one – we’re gonna start with Shenmue. And like the other videos that I’ve done, where I review these types of cables, we’re gonna start with what is arguably the most common way of connecting, which is composite. That’s where you have one yellow video cable and it typically looks something like this. Now this is captured through the Elgato, so it looks a little bit worse that it would if you were connecting to an old school CRT, but let’s go ahead and switch over to the HDMI cable. And you’ll notice that it is noticeably sharper. Yeah, it looks definitely better. And then let’s go ahead and go back and forth between composite and the HDMI cable, and as you see here composite is definitely softer, more blurry, where the HDMI cable is pretty much the same colors, maybe a little more contrast, but definitely sharper. It’s at this point I want to mention that I also have one of these dedicated VGA boxes, from a company called Retro-Bit and so what we’re going to do is compare all three of them and I think you’re going to be very surprised in the results. So getting back to composite again, this is the single, yellow cable. Now, here is the Pound HDMI cable – definitely sharper. But check this out, this is the dedicated VGA Box from Retro-Bit, and I gotta say, this looks fantastic. This is definitely the best video quality that I can get from my Dreamcast. And again, keep in mind, this is the same Dreamcast, the same game, I’m just swapping out the cables. Alright, let’s go ahead and check out some other games, including Soul Calibur, this is a fighting game, that’s fantastic on the Dreamcast. Let’s go and see how it looks with composite. Okay, yeah, soft, not impressive. Here is the Pound HDMI cable, definitely better. And then we’re going to switch over to the Retro-Bit VGA. And again, it just looks that much sharper. Now, if you’re not seeing the difference on your screen make sure that you’re not looking at this on a small phone. You’re gonna want to look at this on your television, because the differences can be subtle between the Pound HDMI and also the VGA Box. Now I know what some of you are thinking, “Well why don’t I just go out and buy this dedicated VGA Box?” And you definitely can do that, although, there are some caveats with this. I just want to mention, the biggest one being, is that, well, if you bought an HDMI television like I have, in the past year or so, it may not have a VGA input. Mine definitely doesn’t and so, that provides it’s own challenges. So what I end up having to do, like with this video, is that I actually had to convert the VGA over to HDMI to be able to capture that footage, using it’s own dedicated box, so again, the solution here, while very impressive, definitely has it’s own challenges as well. But it was important for me to mention it because, you are trading a little bit of quality for convenience. But let’s go ahead and move on, and test some more games here. Here is Sega GT and like before we’re gonna show the crappy composite video here, just for, kinda, dramatic effect I guess. And then here is the Pound HDMI cable, definitely better. And then we’re gonna switch over to the Retro-Bit VGA. Now again, look how sharp that is. Notice how when we go back and forth between the HDMI cable and the VGA Box, you can definitely see a difference in contrast and also in colors. Again, not a huge difference, I guess but, just be aware it’s doing that. It’s definitely there and I think it’s kinda noticeable. Now let’s play something a little bit different. This is Mars Matrix which is a really awesome shoot ’em up and this is only using 2D sprites. We’re starting with composite, which of course, is the crappiest way to play it. And then let’s go ahead and move on to the HDMI cable. Definitely an improvement, but then, here is the VGA and again, notice that the number and the text at the top is just really sharp. So this is definitely the best way to play it, but the Pound isn’t bad. Moving on, let’s go ahead a check out one of my favorite shoot ’em ups on the Dreamcast, Gunbird 2. But check it out, when you pop the disk in, it throws up an error message saying it will not work with a VGA cable and there’s nothing you can do about it. Now this is very important because there are a small number of Dreamcast games that just won’t work with this type of cable, no matter what brand it is. Now I was curious if I could get around it, because you can go on the Internet and burn these Dreamcast Boot Discs that will try to trick the system into booting it anyways. And, yeah, sure enough it actually launched the game. So again, here is the original composite video for Gunbird. And then here is the HDMI cable version, again using that third party funky boot disc thing. So I was actually pretty pleased, I was like, “Oh okay well this is awesome!” However, when I got to level two it was struggling. It was actually getting massive amounts of slow down. It was very disappointing because I thought I was gonna be able to trick the system. I even tried my copy of Hydro Thunder. Now, Hydro Thunder there are a couple different release versions on the Dreamcast and this one won’t display anything. It boots up, it acts like it’s gonna play but nothing showed up on the screen. So again, you just need to be aware that this is something that collectors of the Dreamcast have to kinda deal with. Next I was kind of curious if it was going to work with a Japanese Dreamcast. And here, of course, is my Hello Kitty Dreamcast. And let’s go ahead and pop in the Japanese version of Power Stone. We’re gonna start with composite which of course is our base and then move on to the Pound HDMI cable. And yes, it looks great, definitely an improvement. Also I didn’t notice any lag, it played just fine. Actually I was finally starting to kick some butt in this round, and I was feeling pretty good about it, love this game. Let’s go ahead and move on to a 2D fighter. And again, I’m trying to mix up the genres here and the style of games to give people a good idea of what it looks like when you buy this thing. Here is the composite and then we’re gonna move over to of course the HDMI cable. Yeah, looks and feels fantastic. So again, I’m not feeling any lag and I wouldn’t really expect to because this is not upscaling, it’s simply just converting the VGA signal over to the HDMI, so it works as expected. Let’s go ahead and check out a couple more Dreamcast games. This is Jet Grind Radio and it’s really funny because doing these videos I just have a stack of games and I just get sucked into playing all these again. I absolutely love this game, so much fun. And so, this of course is the Pound HDMI cable. Again running and looking as you would expect. And because the Dreamcast has so many awesome racing games and you guys know that I do love my racing games, so I had to check out Speed Devils. So I’m playing that here, again using the Pound HDMI cable. Looking for any noticeable lag or slow down, or anything like that and I definitely didn’t feel it, very fun game. As I mentioned in the video overall I’m pretty happy with this cable. I mean it’s very convenient and it only costs 30 bucks. But there are a couple caveats, and the first one being not every game supports VGA. And that’s a real bummer but if you know that going into it, you won’t be surprised and it’s certainly not the fault of this cable. The second one being, of course, as I mentioned that, it’s just not quite as sharp as the Retro-Bit adaptor which is a little bit of a bummer. But again, because it’s so convenient I’ll let that slide. And the third caveat being that something I actually ran into myself with an older HD television. See a couple years ago when I first took my Dreamcast and tried to connect it via VGA, using this Retro-Bit right here to an older HD television the TV itself didn’t know what to do with that signal and actually skewed the display way over to the right. And there was nothing that I could do about it. So, it’s something that you need to be familiar with or at least aware of, if you have an HD television that is older because again, you are sending a VGA signal to a TV that may not know what to do with that. And it may just skew it way over to the right. So if you read reviews of either the Retro-Bit, or this Pound technology, HDMI cable, and they’re claiming that, it’s not the fault of the cable itself, it’s actually the HD television. And as you can see my newer HD television right here, and also the one I have upstairs, had no problems whatsoever. Again you just need to be aware of it. Now if your interested in checking out this cable, I’ll put a link down in the video description below to Amazon. The nice thing about Amazon is, is that if you buy it and you happen to have that problem, or really any other, well you can always return it. That’s very, very nice. Love to know what you guys think about this, please let me know down in the comments below. As always I want to thank you for watching my channel. Thank you for subscribing, take care. Thanks for joining me on my endless quest to get all of my consols upgraded to HDMI. Although I have to be honest, I would like to see these cables also include upscaling, if posisble. Now I know that adds a level of complexity, also lag and expense but I do feel like the Dreamcast kind of needs it and it would be cool to see. So maybe in the future, I don’t know. I don’t know how complicated that is.
The Sega Dreamcast may have sold poorly, but it had many great games still worth playing today. Plus those VMUs were so cool! This Dreamcast buying guide is perfect for new collectors wanting to know about the hardware, accessories and games you should buy day 1!
In episode 87 of Bullet Heaven HD, we took a look at Giga Wing and its sequel, Giga Wing 2 for the Sega Dreamcast. We came away slightly disappointed, mostly because of some crippling input lag, especially in the first game. Developer Takumi makes a return to the Dreamcast with 2001’s Mars Matrix… but how does it fare?
Sega may have struggled against Nintendo’s console dominance during the late 80’s and 90’s, but that doesn’t mean the games aren’t highly sought after and loved by Sega fans world wide. This week the Metal Jesus & Drunken Master Paul ask John Hancock to show us some of the most rare and hard to find Sega games on 5 different consoles. Continue reading Rare Sega Games – A Collector’s Guide→