Treamcast Review

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This review was written by Wraggster on 4th December of 2004.

Buying the Treamcast

I live in England so buying from Hong Kong was a risky move for me but I decided to take the risk, I had already bought several items from Success HK and was quite happy to go ahead with buying one off them, the price for the Treamcast was $173 which is around £85 in my money so a very good price, infact the best i could find. The cost of delivery was in my opinion decent, $47 dollars (£23) for UPS to deliver it so not too bad so far and the 3/4 day delivery time made me very happy. Sad for me but customs got a hold of the parcel and i got charged £31 extra for taxes/handling so the first downer so far but overall the price was still decent and cheaper than anyone else.

Important Update

A company in the UK called GBAX also sell the Treamcast for a great price of £129 which is fantastic and they have a great name too, for those of you who are after a Treamcast.

The Treamcast was wrapped in a good sturdy box and inside lots of bubble wrap so in case of heavy handling it should be fine.

The Treamcast (pictures and small descriptions)

Here's the picture of the unopened Treamcast Bag.

Treamcastbag.jpg

As you can see the bag is quite compact but fits everything in quite well and is made rather well.

Treamcast Bag Opened

Treamcastbagopen.jpg

As you can see everything is all snugly fitted in, let's see what we have.

Treamcast Joypad

Treamcastjoy.jpg

The joypad looks like a white version of the old Sega Megadrive joypads, complete with turbo buttons.

Power Supply

Treamcastpower.jpg

The power supply can be used on 110/220v supplys.

VCD/MP3 Player

Treamcastplayer.jpg

Video CD and MP3 Player with remote control.

Car adapter

Treamcastcar.jpg

Well made adapter but shortish lead.

2 Pin Travel Adapter

Treamcast2pin.jpg

2 Pin travel adapter. Nice, eh? :)

Empty Treamcast Bag

Treamcastbagempty.jpg

The Treamcast bag itself has the main compartment which the Treamcast fits in with 2 smaller side compartments for the other items and on the left hand side of the picture it has sleeves for games/cds to sit in.

Pictures of the Treamcast

Picture of the Top

Tctop.jpg

Nothing much to see here.

Left Side Photo

Tcleft.jpg

On the left you can see the Colour and brightness controls.

Full Frontal

Tcfront.jpg

Similiar in looks to a normal Dreamcast but with an headphone port.

Right Side photo

Tcright.jpg

Volume Control, Speaker (one on both sides) but an empty modem slot.

Photo of the Bottom

Tcbottom.jpg

Nothing of interest there.

Treamcast with Lid Open

Tcopen.jpg

Totally flat design compared to the normal Dreamcast.

Lid Open Picture

Tclidopen.jpg

There you go, that's enough pictures, let's get down to buisness, onto the review.

The Review Itself

The accessories bit

When opening the package I was impressed with the bag and the quality of it, everything was very well packaged inside. First thing I had to check was the power supply adapter and thankfully it works in the UK with the addition of a Shaver adapter (around 50p).

I got the system set up very quickly and then tried the power button, the power adapter itself had a fan built into it which wasn't too noisy although you could hear it.

The Joypad

The Treamcast joypad is a throwback to the old Sega Megadrive/Genesis style joypad and while it was ok to use I did find the directional control a bit clicky, so for me the original joypads are much more preferable and to that there's no place where to put your VMU.

The VCD/MP3 Player

Well, I read the packaging and it said it also supported S-VCDs too so I was quite excited to try this, but it didn't work, the player kept on saying the controller (the IR receiver) wasn't there, so thats one bad tick from me and I will be emailing the supplier for a new Set ASAP, the remote control was ok and had the words Dream Movie on it and was good enough for the purpose, but until I can get a hold of a replacement unit, I cant say if it does play VCD 2.0/MP3/ SVCD disks.

I would presume it plays VCD/MP3, the SVCD is doubtful, but let's wait and see.

The Treamcast

The Treamcast sounds just like the Original Dreamcast when using either CDs or GD Roms, it played everything I threw at it and that includes Commercial Games, Homebrew, Emulators, MP3 Players. The reading time was no less or more than on an original Dreamcast.

The speakers played perfect throughout no crackling whatsoever, I was also surprised to see an AV port on the back of the Treamcast, so if you want, you can connect the Treamcast to your fancy big screen, but that is just an option.

The Screen

The main reason to purchase the Treamcast was the reason to use it in a car or anywhere that has a power supply. (For example: When you are on holiday)

The TFT screen has a great picture and even on fast games it played very well, the one area i felt that it struggled on was games that were very Dark. It did play them but certainly not as good as i would have liked.

Treamcast Good or Bad

I'll do a Pro/Con thing then give my final viewpoint.

Pros

  • Portable Dreamcast (that itself is the great thing)
  • Playability in Car.
  • Price
  • TFT Screen (great for bright/normal light games)
  • Accesories/Bag/Adapters
  • Good Sturdy Design

Cons

  • Clicky Joypads (might be a personal preference) and nowhere to install the VMU.
  • VCD/MP3/SVCD Player (didnt work)
  • TFT Screen (very dark games it struggles on)
  • Customs charges(bleh)

Conclusion

Would I recommend one?

The answer is a massive yes, apart from the commercial games there are loads of great emulators that you can play on this machine, as well as VCD players, MP3 Players and a multitude of Homebrew game ports, applications and self written games & demos. The problems are far outweighed by the good things and I'm looking forward to giving my Treamcast a lot of quality time. One thing I'll say is, that it is important who you buy from, I got mine from Success HK and they have a good reputation but others do not, so be careful.

Important Update

A company in the UK called GBAX also sell the Treamcast for a great price of £129 which is fantastic and they have a great name too, for those of you who are after a Treamcast.

Thanks for reading

-wraggster