Dreamcast third-party Visual Memory Units

From Sega Retro

The Sega Dreamcast's Visual Memory Units are an interesting peripheral, but as memory cards they have several flaws. The built in-screen made them comparitively more expensive than memory cards found on rival consoles such as the PlayStation, and because of its design, a VMU is limited to about 128kB (1Mb) of storage - 200 "blocks" in Dreamcast terms.

Considering the original PlayStation matched this storage space in 1994, and the PlayStation 2 could offer a whopping 4MB (32 times more memory than a VMU) for less money, it was often considered a wiser idea to go down the third-party route, investing in memory cards which lack the VMU's exclusive features, but are significantly cheaper as a result. There are other reasons for this too - having a memory unit with a screen in the second controller port in a Dreamcast controller is a pointless exercise, as you'll not be able to see it, and cards without screens don't require their own batteries.

Dozens of memory cards were produced for the Dreamcast, usually 128kB (1Mb; 200 blocks), 256kB (2Mb; 400 blocks) or 512kB (4Mb; 800 blocks) in size. For cards larger than 128kB there is usually a switch to toggle between blocks of 200. Sega later produced their own Dreamcast 4x Memory Card in response to these ideas but these were not as widely released. The most notable card is the Massive Memory Card Plus, which contains 1MB (8Mb; 800 blocks) of save game storage.

This page lists all of the memory cards we know about. It is likely incomplete.

Box Name Brand Date & Price Images Documentation
MemoryCard3AGames4Mb DC Box Front Green.jpg
4 Mega (512kB; green) 3A Games (>=1999)

4 Mega (512kB; blue) 3A Games (>=1999)
MemoryCard3AGames4Mb DC Box Front Blue.jpg

MemoryCardNexus4Mb DC Box Front Green.jpg
Nexus 4 Meg (512kB; green) EMS (>=1999)

Nexus 4 Meg (512kB; blue) EMS (>=1999)
MemoryCardNexus4Mb DC Blue.jpg

DC Memory 4 (DCメモリーフォー4) (512kB) Gametech (>=1999)

2 Mega (256kB; blue) Innovation (>=1999)

4 Mega (512kB; orange) Innovation (>=1999)

MemoryCardIntec DC Box Front.jpg
Memory Card (128kB) Intec (>=1999)

1MbMemory Joytech Black Box Front.jpg
1Mb Memory Card (128kB; black) Joytech (>=1999)

1Mb Memory Card (128kB; orange) Joytech (>=1999)
1MbMemoryCard DC Joytech Orange.jpg

1MbMemory Joytech Blue Box Front.jpg
1Mb Memory Card (128kB; blue) Joytech (>=1999)

4MbMemory Joytech Black Box Front.jpg
4Mb Memory Card (512kB; black) Joytech (>=1999)

4MbMemory Joytech Orange Box Front.jpg
4Mb Memory Card (512kB; orange) Joytech (>=1999)
4MbMemoryCard DC Joytech Orange.jpg

4MbMemory Joytech Blue Box Front.jpg
4Mb Memory Card (512kB; blue) Joytech (>=1999)

MemoryUnit DC Box Front MadCatz White128.jpg
Memory Unit (128kB) Mad Catz (>=1999)

MadCatzMemoryUnitRed Box Front.JPG
Memory Unit (512kB; red) Mad Catz (>=1999)

MadCatzMemoryUnitBlue Box Front.JPG
Memory Unit (512kB; blue) Mad Catz (>=1999)
Memory MadCatz Blue.jpg

MadCatzMemoryUnitPurple Box Front.JPG
Memory Unit (512kB; purple) Mad Catz (>=1999)

Memory Card (256kB; blue) Naki (>=1999)

Memory Card (256kB; orange) Naki (>=1999)
MemoryCardNaki DC Orange.jpg

Memory Card (512kB) Nuby (>=1999)

Jumbo Memory Pack x2 (256kB) Nyko (>=1999)

MemoryCardNyko2Mb DC Box Front Blue.jpg
Jumbo Memory Pack x2 (256kB) Nyko (>=1999)

4 Meg Genuine DC Memory Card (512kB; white) Pelican (>=1999)

4 Meg Genuine DC Memory Card (512kB; blue) Pelican (>=1999)

MemoryCardPerformance Box Front.jpg
Memory Card (128kB) Performance (>=1999)
MemoryCardPerformance1Mb DC.jpg

Memory Card (128kB) Performance (>=1999)
MemoryCardPerformance1Mb DC Alt.jpg

MemoryCardPerformance1Mb DC Box Front Blue.jpg
Memory Card (128kB; blue) Performance (>=1999)
MemoryCardPerformance1Mb DC Blue.jpg

MegaMemoryCard DC Box Front.jpg
Mega Memory Card (512kB) Performance (>=1999)

Mega Memory Card (512kB; red) Performance (>=1999)
MegaMemoryCard DC Red.jpg

Mega Memory Card (512kB; green) Performance (>=1999)
MemoryCardPerformance4Mb DC Green.jpg

DC 2M Memory (256kB; white) Skillz (>=1999)

DC 2M Memory (256kB; yellow) Skillz (>=1999)

(256kB; black) Topmax (>=1999)

Game Mak DC 2MB (256kB) ?? (>=1999)

Game Mak DC 4MB (512kB; blue) ?? (>=1999)

Game Mak DC 4MB (512kB; black) ?? (>=1999)

Sega Dreamcast
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