A tribute to the Dreamcast VMU

Even after ten years, the Visual Memory Unit is one of our favorite storage devices – here's why

When removed from the controller, the VMU becomes a mobile game device. A few games came with minigames which could be loaded onto the VMU – though only one game could be stored on a unit at a time. The games were obviously unsophisticated, but the concept of having a mobile companion to your console was undeniably cool.

Above: Seaman utilized the VMU as a tool for storing and trading food…wouldn’t want your creepy-ass seamen to go hungry, would you?


Build a device with a screen and some buttons, and someone will put a game on it. The VMU’s tiny screen and tiny processor might be off-putting for some, but there’s a niche following for everything, and VMU games are far from the smallest niche interest out there (I’d guess that nude fly fishing is significantly less popular). One devoted VMU developer has even created a primitive 3D engine for the device:

Above: Yes, it’s practically useless, but it’s an undeniably cool brand of uselessness that we’re glad exists

Blue Swirlhosts a large repository of VMU games, from ports of classics like Tetris, Metroid, Breakout, and Snake, to original ultra-low-res creations. The fine, if a bit pretentious, Dreamcast super-fans at The Dreamcast Junkyard put together a video compilation of some of the most-bestest VMU creations. It’s a seemly final statement on the level of passion Sega inspired when they released the Dreamcast 10 years ago – so much that even their memory deviceachieved a cult following.

Sep 8, 2009

A posthumous salute to the greatest titles for Sega’s doomed console

Nintendo loses the lead and Sony takes over the world as we fill out our console catalog

Each and every one will (not) change the way we play games


Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer
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