This is the official bleemcast! FAQ.
When will bleem! for Dreamcast be released?
The first bleem! for Dreamcast pak for Gran Turismo 2 will be available in early May 2001. How much will it cost? The MSRP is $5.95. Where can I buy bleem! for Dreamcast? bleem! should be available at most major game and consumer electronics retailers, as well as at a number of online sites. EBWorld will be carrying the product at retail and online.
You previously announced that bleem! for Dreamcast would be in 100-game paks, now you are launching individual titles, what's the deal?
When we originally announced bleem! for Dreamcast, we expected that the remaining changes to the core code would bring most titles up to near full compatibility, with only minor tweaking to attain full compatibility. After months of working on the software and extensive individual game testing, we realized that there was not a single fix across the board sufficient to bring the final product to a level that console gamers demand -- While PC gamers are used to dealing with compatibility issues and configuration settings, console gamers expect absolute perfection without any hassles right from the moment they hit the start button. While the core bleem! for Dreamcast emulator already ran many titles well enough to be playable, the overriding goal of "glitch-free" emulation meant that any remaining issues would still need to be addressed before release.
The nature of bleem!'s operation, and the differences from typical lower-level system-simulator style emulators, meant that individual code "tweaks" would need to be written and adjusted for each individual title to handle any peculiarities or unusual techniques used by the particular game. The result is hundreds of hours of work towards getting each individual title fully compatible, whether it is a popular bestseller such as Gran Turismo 2, or an obscure unpopular title that most people wouldn't want to play on their Dreamcast. We also received a lot of feedback from users unhappy with the proposed $19.95, 100-game paks. Most users weren't thrilled that there were really only 5-8 titles they that wanted to play on their Dreamcast, and they would potentially need to buy all four paks just to get all of the titles they wanted. It could potentially cost a user $80 just to play a handful of titles with bleemcast!.
The obvious conclusion was to change our focus from trying to get absolutely every game working with all the bleem!-enhancements, to getting those games that mattered most at a much higher level of enhancement than we originally planned - This change in direction means that the entire bleem! core could now be adjusted, tweaked and changed without any impact on any other titles. The results, although far later than we had hoped for, are well worth it as each bleem! for Dreamcast pak results in an experience that's far closer to a typical "port" than we expected could be achieved with our original designs. To complete the experience, we added all the "bells and whistles" that gamers expect to see in a native Dreamcast title, such as VGA box support and compatibility with a huge range of controllers and peripherals including vibration packs, steering wheels and our own bleempod! for using native PlayStation peripherals on your Dreamcast! Finally, since bleem! for Dreamcast supports all international regions of software automatically, we added full PAL-extended support (to remove those ugly NTSC borders) and PAL60Hz support that automatically activates when playing NTSC game software on a PAL Dreamcast! Releasing single game versions of bleemcast! will also allow us to concentrate our resources on the titles gamers really want to play, at prices that make owning each bleemcast! version very attractive. We would also be able to support newer titles closer to their release dates should demand warrant bringing a particular new release to the Dreamcast, and we can focus on best selling and platinum titles that deserve to be played with bleem! enhancement.
What titles do you plan to release as bleem! for Dreamcast paks?
We are looking at a number of potential titles to begin with, however we are not announcing any at this time. I pre-ordered the 100 game pak, but now the product is different.
How do I cancel my pre-order, or change it to receive the GT2 version?
You need to contact the retailer who holds your pre-order reservation for specific details on how they handle pre-order cancellations.
What is the next title?
We have narrowed our list down to a handful of very popular titles and will make an announcement when the coding is finished on future titles. When will the next title come out? There is no expected release date at this time.
How does bleem! for Dreamcast work?
You insert the bleem! for Dreamcast disc into your Dreamcast console and close the lid. bleem! loads into local memory and then prompts you to insert the appropriate PSX disc. You swap discs, close the lid and press the start button.
Does bleem! for Dreamcast work with VMUs?
Yes, you will be able to save your bleem! games on a new or freshly formatted VMU.
Can I store Dreamcast saved games and PlayStation saved games on the same VMU?
No, due to different file management structures, you can't save both types of saved games on the same VMU.
When will the bleempod! and bleempad! be released?
With Sega discontinuing Dreamcast manufacturing, we are re-evaluating whether or not demand is high enough to produce the pod and pad.
Is it possible to play back-ups of PSX games with bleem! for Dreamcast?
We can't prevent it since the technology that verifies that a disc is an original PSX title is patented by Sony and if we used it, we would be in violation of that.
Will I be able to play PAL games?
Will I be able to play NTSC games with a PAL Dreamcast?
Will bleemcast! work with the VGA-box?
bleemcast! requires it's own, dedicated vmu for saving games. Yeah, it kind of sucks, but the two kinds of storage devices are just too different. PlayStation games are written to work with PSX memcards, and they just sort of slap the save data right into various memory addresses. VMUs use FAT tables and different methods of accessing and saving data, and PSX game saves don't happily coexist on a VMU with DC data. Besides which, even though the VMU has the same capacity as a memcard, the directory structure on a VMU doesn't leave enough room for a full 15 blocks of PSX data.
We're still working on it, and may figure out a way around it for future paks. or there's always the bleempod...
you'll need to format the VMU before you can use it. Your VMU is already set up for Dreamcast games - in order for it to work with bleem! and PSX games, it needs to be formatted like a PSX memcard. So DON'T format the VMU from the Sega boot screens, and DO format it from within the game. The first time you try to save to a non-bleem! formatted VMU, the game will ask you if you want to "initialize" or "format" the "memcard".
NOTE: formatting a VMU for use with bleem! ERASES any game saves on the VMU! Make sure you know what you're erasing!
If you're cool with erasing the VMU, tell the game to go ahead and it'll do the rest for you. After you've formatted the VMU for PSX games, it will only work with bleem!ed games. If you want to use it wil Dreamcast games again, you'll have to use the options the Dreamcast boot menu to wipe the VMU and format it back to DC.
bleem! uses Dreamcast controller ports A and B. The PlayStation has two sets of inputs on the front of the console, and each will accept one controller and one memory card. So when the PSX game talks about "Controller Port 2" or "Memory Card Slot 1", this is what it means in bleem!: