Bleemcast!

From Sega Retro

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Bleemcast!
Made for: Sega Dreamcast
Manufacturer: Bleem!
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Dreamcast
US
(Gran Turismo 2)
$5.995.99[1]
Sega Dreamcast
US
(Metal Gear Solid)
Sega Dreamcast
US
(Tekken 3)
Sega Dreamcast
UK
(Gran Turismo 2)
£5.955.95[2]

Bleemcast!, also known as Bleem! for Dreamcast, is an unlicensed commercial emulator developed and published by Bleem! for use with the Sega Dreamcast. By taking advantage of loopholes within the Dreamcast's Mil-CD format, Bleemcast! software allows the system to run select PlayStation games, often with enhanced graphics. Each Bleemcast! disc is intended for a single PlayStation game only, and is utilized by first booting the Dreamcast with the Bleemcast! disc, and then later swapping in the PlayStation game at a specific time.

Features

While running under Bleemcast!, PlayStation games adopt anti-aliasing and bilinear filtering, as well as an increased resolution of 640x480 (double the PlayStation's 320x240). All released Bleemcast! games require a dedicated VMU to play and save progress, while also supporting the Jump Pack for vibration.

List of Bleemcast! discs

  • Gran Turismo 2 (2000)
  • Metal Gear Solid (2001)
  • Tekken 3 (2001)
  • Final Fantasy IX (unreleased)
  • WWF Smackdown! (unreleased)

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 hundreds of PlayStation games to be run on Dreamcast hardware, much like the earlier aims of the PC version[1]. However, thanks to technical difficulties this was reduced to just three "Bleempaks" - boot discs for Gran Turismo 2, Tekken 3, and Metal Gear Solid. Reportedly, discs were in the works for WWF Smackdown![3] and Final Fantasy IX[3], though neither materialised.

The company had planned to release specially-branded controllers to address the Dreamcast controller featuring less buttons than the PlayStation's controller, but this plan was cancelled too.

Decline

The image which was temporarily pictured on the closed Bleem! website.

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[4], with some of the company's possessions auctioned off on eBay soon after including an enormous, multi-region library of PlayStation games used for testing. Curiously, several members of Bleem! including Randy Linden would be hired by Sony Computer Entertainment of America in the months that followed[5].

The official website was shut down and replaced with a temporary image of Sonic sorrowfully holding a flower next to Bleem!'s gravestone (pictured on the right). He was later removed from the image to avoid a lawsuit by Sega[5].

Legacy

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.

Pirates have since used the leaked Bleemcast! software to create single game packs which contain the Bleemcast! emulator and a 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.

Magazine articles

Main article: Bleemcast!/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Logo-pdf.svg
Print advert in Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #132: "July 2000" (2000-06-06)
also published in:

Physical scans

Dreamcast, Gran Turismo 2
BleemcastGT2 Box Back.jpgBleemcastGT2 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

External links

References


Sega Dreamcast
Topics Technical Specifications (Hardware Comparison) | History (Development | Release | Decline and Legacy | Internet) | List of Games
Hardware Japan (Special) | Europe | North America | Asia | Other regions
Add-ons Dreamcast Karaoke | Dreameye
Controllers Controller | Arcade Stick | Fishing Controller | Gun (Dream Blaster) | Race Controller | Maracas Controller (Third-party) | Twin Stick | Keyboard | Mouse | Third-party
Controller Add-ons Jump Pack (Third-party) | Microphone | VMU (4x Memory Card | Third-party)
Development Hardware Dev.Box | Controller Box | Controller Function Checker | Sound Box | GD-Writer | C1/C2 Checker | Dev.Cas | GD-ROM Duplicator
Online Services/Add-ons Dreamarena | SegaNet | WebTV for Dreamcast | Modem | Modular Cable | Modular Extension Cable | Broadband Adapter | Dreamphone
Connector Cables Onsei Setsuzoku Cable | RF Adapter | Scart Cable | S Tanshi Cable | Stereo AV Cable | VGA Box

Dreamcast MIDI Interface Cable | Neo Geo Pocket/Dreamcast Setsuzoku Cable | Taisen Cable

Misc. Hardware Action Replay CDX | Code Breaker | Kiosk | MP3 DC | MP3 DC Audio Player | Treamcast
Third-party accessories Controllers | Controller converters | Miscellaneous
Unreleased Accessories DVD Player | Zip Drive | Swatch Access for Dreamcast | VMU MP3 Player
Arcade Variants NAOMI | Atomiswave | Sega Aurora