Review of the Treamcast: The Portable Dreamcast
What Is A Treamcast?
The Treamcast is a Dreamcast with a screen attached and a few modifications. Yup, this is another one of those crazy modified systems from China. As you may have figured out, its designed to play Dreamcast games in your car. There are three different variations of the Treamcast, the original (white with a PSone screen), the widescreen (white with a horizontally stretched screen), and the SE (black with a high quality screen).
The original Tremcast has been said to have problems with the screen like dark areas turning completely black, and light areas turning completely white. The widescreen model is mostly useless, it stretches the games horizontally. Though it would be great for shmup games if the fan for the Treamcast wasn’t on the opposite side of a normal Dreamcast.
The SE model is the best by far, it looks identical to the original though with a Samsung TFT. One main thing many people don’t understand about the Treamcast is that it isn’t a clone. It uses original Dreamcast hardware with a few changes. It contains a modchip for booting imports, two speakers, an external power supply (Dreamcast has an internal power supply), a computer fan, a headphone jack, and a screen.
What Comes With The Treamcast?
- Treamcast unit
- Universal power supply
- Car adapter
- An Original Dreamcast Controller
- Treamcast bag
Treamcast Size & Quality
The first thing you will probably notice about the Treamcast if you own or have owned a Dreamcast, is that it is a bit smaller than a Dreamcast due to an external power supply.
One small gripe about the shell design is if you want to use a modem or BBA with it, you have to force it in and risk damaging the plastic. The quality of plastic is just what you would expect from a pirated system, cheap. It has a switch on the back of the system for turning the screen and speakers on and off.
The external power supply on my unit I’ve found either runs very hot or could be overheating after 30 minutes to an hour. The computer sized fan does a great job of keeping the Treamcast cool, and it usually doesn’t make much more noise than the standard Dreamcast fan.
Treamcast Video & Audio Output
You can connect a Treamcast to a TV with a normal (NTSC only) Dreamcast A/V cable, though the power cable is different than a normal Dreamcast. The screen is running in VGA mode on the newer SE model, with an internal VGA box. This means that some games won’t play (see the VGA compatibility list) but most will. The speakers are not the best quality, though alternatively you could hook up your own speakers to the headphone jack.
Where To Buy A Treamcast
The best place to purchase one is divineo.cn, at $170 and just over $200 shipped. The best part about buying from divineo is they offer a 12 month warranty, which comes in handy. After a week with my unit, the GD-ROM drive failed completely and started making a ticking noise, divineo repaired it for free.