GBAx.com review of the Treamcast
Manufacturer: Sega (insides) Sony (Screen) Trema (New case)
The Treamcast has been doing the rounds for a while now, and we here at GBAX have been eyeing it up until it became just too tempting - so here we are with it in stock and everyone asking the same questions, so fingers crossed this review will help answer them. Firstly, what's included?
So here we can see the Treamcast console, The carry case (includes CD pockets), the car adaptor, the remote control for the MP3/VCD/SVCD player (includes player on CD), 2 Digital Joypads (you can use original DC ones too) & an American power supply.
Now in order to review a portable console we figured we should do it in an apt setting, like oh I dunno... a car. So off outside we went to find a suitable vehicle.
MMmmm the E38 740 BMW, nice car, would it suit the Treamcast review? Well our test game is of course the DC classic 'Crazy Taxi':
So lets have a look in the BMW and see if it all feels right?
Oh god no, this is all wrong, there are so many things going on in there it would probably laugh at the DC's ancient technology - and that would be if we could even find the cigarette lighter to plug it in. Besides it seems to have its own 'Entertainment' console going on in the middle of the dash.
No no, what we need is some class. And we found it. Our very own Crazy Taxi.
Now THIS is what I'm talking about, lets see if this 40 year old muscle car can handle technology almost infinitely more advanced. Now one of two things is going to happen here, either it will somehow work, or the whole thing will burst into flames and destroy the Treamcast.
Ok, well we plugged in the adaptor to one of the 4(!) cigarette lighters in this low riding cruiser and after some adjustments we got a red light on the LED. Looking good!
Now we pop the Crazy Taxi CD in the Treamcast, or the 'Tremacast' as it actually says on the back of the console itself, typical Hong Kong engrish there.
Well here we go, as you can see the TC has video out and serial, it also has a place to attach the sega modem/broadband adaptor, volume control, 2 built in speakers (with volume control + headphones socket), contrast and brightness on the LCD. All you could ask for.
So we plugged in the cable, closed the CD lid, pressed on and...
Bingo readers! The 40 year old Cadillac powers the TC which runs Crazy Taxi - featuring 40 year old cars! Its like looking into a mirror... we would have filled the car with cheerleaders and angry business men too, if we had been able to find any at such short notice. A crazy drive about the hills of Newcastle didn't produce any problems with it crashing or the CD skipping.
So how does the thing play then? Well the supplied digital pads do the job, but analogue games might be tricky, the pads do have a lot of switches and buttons on them but we could not seem to activate the analogue mode. We might just be idiots though.
The LCD screen does indeed appear to just be a PSone screen, as with most systems of this nature it looks good but suffers from slight blur when the action gets fast and frantic , adjusting the contrast/brightness helps on various games.
Inside the console is a genuine sega dreamcast, all that has been done is the new case and screen have been added to it.
Our overall feelings? It does exactly what it says it will - lets you play dreamcast on the move or where ever you like. One thing to note though is it comes with an american PSU - and it was difficult to get it working with a UK adaptor, we had to go to Maplins and have them find one which correctly worked as our 12V one would not work - it needs to be 12V 2.8A.
The Treamcast is from £129 and you can order it here.
-Craig - www.gbax.com