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 Bleem for Dreamcast
A dream finally becoming reality ?
Well, I suppose you've been following the news this week on our main page when you found this article. And I guess you've also already noticed, that bleem, inc. announced their long awaited bleemcast!. And last but not least, you will have noticed that the article we posted, reporting that it'll only include one game per pak wasn't a hoax but reality.

The press release

So what's really new. Although bleem's official page hasn't been updated for ages, a press release has been posted at Swirlvision - not really a way to keep your customers updated, but I guess that's bleem, inc.'s way of handling things. And there're in fact some interesting lines in the press release :

    The new format (1 game / disc) allows us to deliver popular titles with greater enhancements than previously planned to the Dreamcast platform, and at an affordable price, which is what gamers really want." said David Herpolsheimer, president and CEO of bleem, inc.

Makes me personally wonder ... did David ask the gamers ? After last years E3 I got the impression that people were happy to play up to 400 games with all 4 paks - I haven't heard anyone asking if he can buy a pak with only one game though. While this solution is certainly cheaper for people who only have a dreamcast but no PSX games yet, people who bought a DC just to play games from their PSX archive again will be very disapointed with this solution for sure.

And one question remains : Why did they lower the amount of games to one ? The press release simply states the following lines :
    After many months of working on the software and extensive individual game testing, we realized that there was not a single fix across the board sufficient to bring the final product to an acceptable level of compatibility.
So bleem! discovered, what many emulation programmers already told the public before : That the perfect emulation of the PSX console on another console is close to impossible. But did bleem! notice this problem this week ? Haven't they known about it ages ago, like last October, when few people from PSXEmu heard about it for the first time from other sources. What did they fear that it took them over half a year to finally announce this ? Many questions remaining, which we can't answer for sure yet.

Past, present and ... future ?

So what's up in the present ? The online shop we've been looking at mostly during the past months, which pushed the date forward again and again certainly was EBWorld. Now, they finally updated their description and the price for bleemcast! and noticed further down, that GT2 is available for only 19.99$ !

So, in case you've always thought about getting GT2 but disliked the graphics, you can now go to the store with 26$ and walk out with a bleemcast! disc and GT2 - that's at least what it looks like first.
But now, there's a stupid flaw : Playing GT2 without saving is pretty useless, ehh ? So you need a memory card, and according to various good sources, you'll need one FRESH card ... that boosts up the price for your experience by 20$ to 46$ - still payable for hardcore gamers though.

But the decisions have been made by now and can't be changed any more - so what does the future have for us ? After GT2, which games will be released ? The press release contains no further informations but the following lines about it :
    As a follow-up to bleem! for Dreamcast for GT2, bleem is currently evaluating a number of top titles to potentially deliver to retail shelves over the next few months, however plans and timing have not been finalized at this time.
So after I talked with many people who've been excited about bleemcast!, I came to the conclusion that most people would like to see FF9 being released next - but when you take a look at the problems ePSXe already encounters when emulating it, you may easily guess how difficult it is for bleemcast! to run that game - so my guess for the next game goes to Omega Boost, which already ran at last years E3 - we'll have to wait and see though :)

Now what ?

To come to an end : I personally think bleem! still did an amazing work by getting PSX games running on the dreamcast, and taken that it runs bug free (ever thought how you could update bleemcast! ? =P) it's still a product every hardcore gamer should purchase. My only doubt which I have left is, if bleem! will succeed and will be able to provide us with more of these paks in the future - keep in mind that the DC audience and therefor the customers is becoming smaller and smaller, so not only Sony is playing against bleem! but also the time.

So, in case you haven't pre-ordered bleemcast! yet, this will be your last chance to get it at the (current) release date next week - you can order your copy from EBWorld by going to here. We already pre-ordered one copy so make sure to check back shortly after the release date (as no test discs have been shipped to most sites yet according to VERY good sources !) for some independent reviews.

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