In Package: Drikara add-on, Sega Kara software, microphone, connector (for Dreamcast to Drikara connection), instructions.
Misc. Notes: This is a Japanese karaoke add-on for the Sega dreamcast that features inputs for two microphones and volume controls for each. It came with no songs, which you needed to download from Sega’s service, much like Guitar Hero and Rockband’s song stores years later in the West. Unfortunately, getting it to work on a Dreamcast outside of Japan is nigh impossible and the service has likely ended.
The following forum post by Yakumo from Segagaga Domain has a lot of useful on it! I’ve archived it in case the forum ever goes down.
The Drikara to give it it’s proper name is a very good system and much more than a gimmick if you live in Japan. I use mine with my wife and friends quite often. The system is best used with the Dreamcast Broad band adaptor otherwise you’ll be stuck with only having the option to download the music and text since the music videos that play in the back ground would take forever to download. With broad band the first song takes about 5 minutes to download everything (Music, Text and video). Once that is downloaded in to the Dorikara’s memory you can download 3 more songs at the same time. The Dorikara can store up to 4 or 5 songs with videos etc, at once.
The disc that comes with the machine has no music on it. It’s basically like the Dream Passport discs. All it does is allow the Dreamcast to connect to the network. The same network is used by ALL Sega karaoke Studios throughout Japan. That means thousands and thousands of places. So there is no risk of the service going under. There is a wide range of songs that get updated every week. Basically it’s the same range that you get at a real karaoke studio. They have all the Japanese songs plus Chinese, Korean and Western. All songs in English have English text while Japanese are in Japanese, Chinese in Chinese and Korean in Korean. Of course the none Japanese songs have Japanese Katakana over the text for the Japanese to understand. You can buy the latest song catalogues drom Sega each month or just find out the track numbers by going to their online site.
There are many different singing games you can play with the Dorikara as well as many cool sound features. Say you are singing on your own but the song requires a duet. Well the Dorikara can play the part of the woman if you’re a man or a man if you’re a woman thanks to some very clever DSP options.
The fee for Dorikara is very reasonable. 1 day pass (24 hours) only cost 500 yen, about 2pound 50pence. Or a 1 month pass would cost 3000 yen which is about 15 pounds. When you conceder that a normal Karaoke Studio charges from 300 to 500 yen per hour per person, then the Sega service is indeed great value.
Misc. Notes: These are special edition casings commissioned by Sega of Germany to be used in contests. They were all done by Top Airbrush artist T. Rachu. Only 5 of each model were made.
Cases were made for Chu Chu Rocket!, Ferrari F355 Challenge, Jet Set Radio, Quake III Arena, Resident Evil: CODE Veronica, Shenmue, Virtua Tennis, and Walt Disney World Quest: Magical Racing Tour. In addition, a gold colored case with “Simply the best” on it was added to the batch.
In Package: Dreamcast, controller, Web Browser, power adapter, rf cable, instructions.
Misc. Notes: A special edition Dreamcast made to honor Sonic’s 10th anniversary.
An eBay auction from 2012 had a lot of useful information concerning the special edition:
Sega Europe marketing arranged to have 50 consoles specially prepared but only 40 of these bore Yuji Naka’s signature (lead programmer of Sonic the hedgehog), I know this because I was the person that assembled them! The standard European Pal consoles were stripped down and the casings sent off to be sprayed in the bright blue to match the European Dreamcast logo. The GD drive lids were then sent off to Sega Japan for Yuji Naka to sign and then returned for varnishing to seal his signature for ever. You can see a slight difference in colour between the GD lid and top casing, maybe Yuji’s brilliance lightened the paint colour. This was a complaint with the sprayers at the time but I like to think of it as adding character to the console. I then had the task to reassemble and test the consoles. These special consoles were then used by SoE marketing to promote Sonics 10th Anniversary.
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 ;)