In my opinion, the SEGA Dreamcast was an excellent console that was sadly short-lived, featuring some stellar games and technology far ahead of its time. Especially with SEGA planning a big comeback, now’s a perfect time to showcase some sleek Dreamcast mods that take the console to the next level. Between a beautiful metal shell and a fight stick that provides both precise control and innovative functionality, this pair of Dreamcast mods are simply stunning.
Dreamcast Mods Offer Fight Stick Support and Style
Giving you a one-two punch of SEGA fun, I’m covering two Dreamcast mods today, both of which have been lovingly crafted by the folks at TR Fight Stick. First, there’s the Dreamcase all-metal case mod, which adds a definite visual upgrade to the console, along with extra ports and an SD card reader. For a dreamy dessert, I also got to tinker with the upcoming Octopus Arcade Stick, which offers VMU support along with an OLED display.
If you’re thinking of performing the Dreamcase mod, be aware that there are many parts included and additional parts required. In addition to the beautiful shell itself, you’ll also receive two boxes of parts. These parts include a powerboard and an SD Card extension kit. You’ll also need to buy an additional GDEmu mod board, as it is required for this shell. The powerboard will also require a universal 12-volt power supply, so be sure to pick up a high-quality option if possible. If you want to go that extra mile, I also recommend picking up a 40mm Noctua fan, as the original Dreamcast fan can be pretty noisy.
How to Install the Dreamcase Mod
To give you an idea of the complexity of the task at hand, I’ll explain the basic installation guidelines on how to transform your console with a Dreamcase. That said, I highly recommend you watch my full Dreamcase mod installation tutorial video, as this will provide clearer, step-by-step instructions. You don’t want to miss any details, especially when working with the innards of any piece of technology.
First things first, you’ll need to fully dismantle your Dreamcast down to the motherboard, removing all screws and other parts where needed. Once again, refer to my video for clear visuals, or look up other resources online to prevent damage. With that done, it’s time for more unscrewing, as you must now dismantle the Dreamcase itself, removing the front and rear panels in order to access the base plate. From here, you’ll have to insert the various stand-offs and screws before you drop in and secure the motherboard.
After installing the controller board, you can prepare the rear plastic panel, adding the required parts for the GDEmu, as well as the power button. You can now loosely attach the rear and front panel to the base panel, before moving onto the GDEmu, which requires a quick bit of soldering to the reset button before it can be dropped into the build and connected to the reset switch. Next, you’re ready to install the powerboard and 12-volt supply, as well as the SD card extension, which connects to the GDEmu via a ribbon cable. Now is a good time to install your Noctua fan or you can opt to stick with the original. Finally, connect the cable for the illuminated logo to the powerboard, and your mod is complete!
The Pros and Cons of the Dreamcase and Octopus Arcade Stick
When it comes to the Dreamcase, I can’t speak highly enough about the finished product. In addition to adding a premium look and feel, the extra ports are smartly integrated, while the illuminated SEGA logo provides a perfect finish. When compared to the metal shells that I’ve built over the past few years (and I’ve built many), the Dreamcase is a top-notch contender.
Moving onto the Octopus Arcade Stick, I was a little hesitant at first, as I’m more likely to build a fight stick rather than buy a premade one, but I was pleasantly surprised. Besides the solid weight and feel of the build, the stick uses high-quality Sanwa parts, which is my favorite custom arcade part company by far. One of the coolest features of the Octopus is its OLED VMU screen, which allows for up to 10 virtual VMUs at a time. Best of all, it’s far from a Dreamcast-only accessory, as the Octopus Arcade Stick supports several other popular systems, including the PlayStation 5, Xbox 360, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Overall, I had a great time installing the Dreamcase and trying out the Octopus Arcade Stick, with both products earning my recommendation. In my opinion, the minimalist style of the Dreamcase and generally simple installation make it an absolutely stellar shell. When it comes to the Octopus Arcade Stick, I think it’s a clear winner as the best fight stick for the Dreamcast. Between the Sanwa parts, excellent build quality, and VMU integration, there’s not much else you could want. So, if you’re eager to upgrade your Dreamcast or you’re in the market for a new arcade stick, I can safely say that TR Fight Sticks knows their stuff.