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Bleemcast!

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Bleemcast!
Publisher: Bleem!
Developer:
System(s): Sega Dreamcast
Peripherals supported: Dedicated Visual Memory Unit
Bleemcast!, also known as Bleem! for Dreamcast is a independently developed commercial emulator by Bleem! for use with the Sega Dreamcast. Taking advantage of loopholes within the Mil-CD format, Bleemcast! software allows the user to play Sony PlayStation 1 games through their Dreamcast, often with enhanced graphics.

History

The original Bleem! emulator was released in March of 1999 for the PC, supporting a large chunk of the PlayStation's library. Bleem! on PC lacks many of the features found today on unofficial emulators, but was coded in assembly language by Randy Linden and featured hardware acceleration, leading to higher resolution, smoother graphics. There are many compatibility issues with the Bleem! emulator, however - many games run at varying speeds and some do not boot at all. Bleem! ran an aggressive marketing campaign for their product - not only was it competing directly against Sony during their heyday (most emulators have emerged several console generations after the console they are emulating), but were quick to make light of their legal situations on the box art.

Initially, Bleem!'s plans for the Bleemcast! were very optimistic, and aimed to allow any PlayStation game to be run on Dreamcast hardware, much like the earlier aims of the PC version. However, thanks to technical difficulties this was reduced to just three "Bleempaks" - boot discs for Gran Turismo 2, Tekken 3, and Metal Gear Solid. A prototype version of the software has since been leaked, showing that the technology was capable of running many more PS1 games, though similarly to the PC variant, many games still refuse to boot.

While running under Bleemcast!, PS1 games will adopt anti-aliasing and bilinear filtering and run in a 640x480 resolution (as opposed to the PS1's 320x240). Bleem! had planned to release special branded controllers due to the Dreamcast having less buttons, but this plan was cancelled too. All Bleem games need a dedicated VMU for saving.

Pirates have since used the leaked Bleemcast! software to create single game packs which contain the Bleemcast! emulator and a Sony PlayStation game ISO. These can be burned to a CD-R and run on unmodified Dreamcast systems (models capable of running Mil CDs). Games packaged this way often don't have many game-breaking flaws.

End of Bleem!

Sony took Bleem! to court over the Bleemcast! accessory, and although they didn't manage to block the product, court costs left Bleem! without much cash and the company was shut down in November 2001. Curiously several members of Bleem! including Randy Linden would be hired by Sony Computer Entertainment of America in the months that followed.

Magazine articles

Main article: Bleemcast!/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 132.pdf

Print advert in














Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #132: "July 2000" (2000-06-06)

Physical scans

Dreamcast, Gran Turismo 2
BleemcastGT2 Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngBleemcastGT2 Box Front.jpg
Cover
BleemcastGT2 DC Disc.jpg
Disc
Dreamcast, Metal Gear Solid
BleemcastMGS DC Box Back.jpgBleemcastMGS Box Front.jpg
Cover
BleemcastMGS DC Disc.jpg
Disc
Dreamcast, Tekken 3
BleemcastT3 DC Box Back.jpgBleemcastT3 Box Front.jpg
Cover
BleemcastT3 DC Disc.jpg
Disc

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