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4. Playing Classic Console Games > Retro-Hack the Dreamcast

Retro-Hack the Dreamcast

Use your Dreamcast to relive your childhood or play homebrewed games.

Can it be a coincidence that the current explosion of emulator popularity didn’t take off until a few years after the Sega Dreamcast hit the market? Sure, you could run Nintendo games on your PC for a long time, but there was something even more appealing about playing old-school console games on an actual gaming console. Though the Xbox is the modern console gamer’s choice for emulation [Hack #23] , the first console to be blown open by hackers was the venerable (though not especially impregnable) Sega Dreamcast.

A Brief History of DC Hacking

So, why did emulation take off along with the Dreamcast? It was all a matter of timing. There were a few emulators for consoles prior to the Dreamcast, but they usually required special equipment and were thus only popular among a few hackers. With the release of the Dreamcast, hobbyists were handed a game console that was not only incredibly powerful, but was also produced with off-the-shelf parts that were well-documented. All that was needed was a way to test the game code on an actual system.


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