Bleemcast! for Sega Dreamcast

August 11, 2013

by — Posted in Dreamcast

Manufacturer: Bleem!

Released: ? (North America)

Initial Price: ?

In Package: Bleemcast CD for each game.

Misc. Notes: Bleemcast was an ambitious PSX emulation project by the Bleem! team. The project’s final goal was to create a Bleemcast! disc for every popular PSX game so that it could run with enhanced graphics on the Dreamcast. The Playstation games that were emulated would run in 640×480 resolution, versus their native 320×240. In addition, anti-aliasing and bilinear filtering were added.

Unfortunately, Sony took Bleem! to court and the company had to eventually shutdown due to being unable to afford the court costs. Before it was abandoned, Bleem! was able to release Bleemcast! discs for Gran Tourismo 2, Tekken 3, and Metal Gear Solid; all very popular games for the PSX.

Later, a beta of the emulator leaked on the internet that offered some playability with more PSX games. You can find a compatibility list here. A statement about the leaked beta from one of the developers on March 13th, 2003 can be found below (for archival purposes) and more responses here.

Hi, I’m Rod and I worked at bleem programming the DC version with Rand. I haven’t posted here before but I thought it was important to clarify a few things about the beta that has been doing the rounds.

The beta is an extremely early version of bleemcast. Nothing has been modified by whoever has distributed the image, this is simply bleemcast at 30% completion.

This beta in fact predates the E3 show where bleemcast was first announced. For those doubters keep in mind we demo’d Ridge Racer 4, Omega Boost and Gran Turismo 2 at E3 in May 2000. These were selected because at this stage of development the ingame graphics were perfect for these games. Certainly there were no texture problems (grey polys), or rearview mirrors drawing crap everywhere. Otherwise you’d have heard it reported by those who attended at the time :)

A full year of development continued on after E3, with the first bleempak released in May 2001. A significant amount was acheived in this time with speed, compatibility and features.

I can understand why people like seeing a whole range of stuff running. It gives you a glimpse of the promise we saw in the emulator, and why we decided to invest the time to push the DC hardware to its limit. It’s a shame however that people are now seeing something that differs so much from the final product. An emu where GT2 chokes as soon as multiple cars are on screen, and where cars run into walls in the replay theatre. MGS doesn’t boot, and Tekken 3 gets nowhere close to the 60fps of the bleempak.

If you haven’t yet seen the GT2, TK3 or MGS paks do us a favour and check them out to see how good emulation can get. I know you can’t buy the bleempaks anymore but maybe you can find a friend who has them and is willing to lend them for a while.

Our definition of perfect is a lot different to those who are posting to the compatibility listings ;)

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