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Dreamcast emulator Reicast discontinued by developer

The SEGA Dreamcast represents one of the most undeserved failures in the history of video game hardware. Despite a stellar lineup of titles and processing power, the plucky console was sunk by spotty marketing and the arrival of the PlayStation.

To this day, I’ve never gotten over some of its more innovative aspects. Such as its screen-within-the-controller (years before the Wii U was doing it, the copycat) and its rudimentary internet adoption. No word of a lie: I have some serious memories with the thing. Too bad it led to SEGA bowing out of the hardware market cold turkey. Who knows what they might have come up with next?

What modern trend would it have prognosticated next? NFT integration?

What’s so special?

I’m not alone in championing the virtues of the Dreamcast. For years, dedicated fans online have done the same. Some going so far as to develop proprietary emulators that can run its games near-flawlessly. Such is the case with Reicast, maintained by keen gamer Stefanos Kornilios Mitsis Poiitidis (screen name ‘skmp’) since 2013.

Reicast is an open source application that can run on essentially any system you care to boot it on. It’s based on the source code of nullDC and nullDCe, smartphone Dreamcast emulators. It’s commonly cited as one of the best emulators available for the Dreamcast, and is regularly updated. Or, sadly, perhaps I should now say ‘was regularly updated.’ That took a turn for the depressing.

And to think we were inches from the perfect 60 FPS Big the Cat experience on Android.

The end of Reicast

Yes, unfortunately, Stefanos has announced he’s discontinuing support for Reicast, permanently. Visitors to the Reicast site, which ordinarily greets you with an enticing splash page and various download links/graphics, are now met with a basic, abrupt message. It reads as follows:

Reicast is now discontinued, due in large part to the Libretro drama/fork of 2019, general community toxicity around emudev and open source, lack of interested developers and a wish on skmp’s part to move on with other projects in his life.

We hope we brought you back fond memories, and/or that you got to experience the magic of the Dreamcast through this project.

There are several other actively developed Dreamcast Emulation projects, with at least one of them a derivative of Reicast, which you can use. Cheers.~skmp.”

A brief, but undoubtedly heartfelt farewell. It’s tough to narrow down what “the drama of 2019” was, but it surely had a profound effect on him if he’s walking away . We, of course, wish him well in his new endeavours, gaming or otherwise.

As he notes, it isn’t as if there aren’t any other choices for folks looking to emulate the Dreamcast. However, it’s still sad to see such a major part of the community jettisoned. In the meantime, prior versions of Reicast can still be downloaded – just don’t expect to see any further revisions. However it is now? That’s as good as it’s gonna get.

And for the Dreamcast? It’s oddly appropriate. Abandoned console with great potential, abandoned emulator with great potential. Poetic.

Are you saddened by this news? Any fond memories with the Dreamcast? Let us know!

Bobby Mills

Motor-mouthed Brit with a decades long - well, two decades, at least - passion for gaming. Writer, filmmaker, avid lover of birthdays. Still remembers the glory days of ONM. May it rest in peace.
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