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Sega Dreamcast VMU
Sega Dreamcast VMU

The VMU, initialism of Visual Memory Unit (called VMS, Visual Memory System in Japan or Virtual Memory Unit), is a memory card peripheral for the Sega Dreamcast. While its most basic function is as a removable storage device the VMU may also serve as an auxiliary display during normal gameplay and, through use of additional software, act as a handheld game console. Console-like features of the VMU include a small black and white screen, speaker, directional pad, and four buttons. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (853x1393, 1107 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): VMU Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Computer and video games/Archive 17 ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (853x1393, 1107 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): VMU Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Computer and video games/Archive 17 ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Dreamcast , code-named Dural, Dricas and Katana during development) is Segas fifth and final video game console and the successor to the Sega Saturn. ... A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable electronic machine for playing video games. ... The D-pad first came to prominence on the controller for the Famicom. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Button (computing). ...

Contents

Mini-games

Sega Dreamcast VMU with third-party memory card (left).

Several titles for the Dreamcast included mini-games that could be downloaded onto a VMU. The Sonic Adventure series, for instance, included the Chao Adventure mini-game. In the game players could transfer Chao eggs to the VMU and play to increase the stats of their hatched Chao, whereupon they could upload their improved Chao back into the Dreamcast game. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (664x645, 37 KB) Summary Personally created image of visual memory unit with third-party memory card. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (664x645, 37 KB) Summary Personally created image of visual memory unit with third-party memory card. ... Sonic Adventure ) is a video game created by Sonic Team and released on December 23, 1998 in Japan by Sega for the Sega Dreamcast. ... A Chao (pronounced , or chow, singular and plural form Chao) is an artificially intelligent, virtually generated lifeform from the Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. ...

Dreamcast titles that include VMU games and extra features

Shenmue ) is an adventure game for the Sega Dreamcast, produced and directed by Yu Suzuki of Sega-AM2. ... Power Stone is a fully 3D arena fighting game series made by Capcom. ... Power Stone 2 is a multiplayer fighting game that built on the innovative gameplay introduced by its predecessor, Power Stone. ... Quake III Arena or Quake 3, abbreviated as Q3A or Q3, is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer and video game released on December 2, 1999. ... Sega GT, released as Sega GT Homologation Special (SegaGT ホモロゲーションスペシャル) in Japan, the 17th of February 2000, is a semi-simulation oriented racing game for the Dreamcast. ... Skies of Arcadia, released in Japan as Eternal Arcadia ), is a console role-playing game developed by Overworks for the Dreamcast and published by Sega in 2000. ... Sonic Adventure ) is a video game created by Sonic Team and released on December 23, 1998 in Japan by Sega for the Sega Dreamcast. ... Sonic Adventure 2 ) is a video game in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, developed by Sonic Team USA for the Sega Dreamcast, and later ported as an update to the Nintendo Gamecube. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Tech Romancer (Japanese name: Choukou Senki Kikaioh) is a 1998 3D fighting arcade game by Capcom that draws heavily from the various sub-genres of Mecha anime. ... Time Stalkers is a Sega Dreamcast role-playing game, a spin-off of the popular Sega Genesis game Landstalker. ... TrickStyle (AKA, Trick Style, Trickstyle) is a game released for the Sega Dreamcast. ... Zombie Revenge is an arcade and Dreamcast video game released in 1999, one that falls squarely in the beat em up genre. ... Evolution 2: Far Off Promise is a computer role-playing game for the Sega Dreamcast console. ... ESPN NFL Football is an American football video game series formerly known as the NFL2K series. ... ESPN NFL Football is an American football video game series formerly known as the NFL2K series. ... ESPN NFL Football is an American football video game series formerly known as the NFL2K series. ... The Marvel vs. ... Namco Museum refers to the series of compilations released by Namco for various 32-bit and above consoles, containing releases of their games from the 1980s. ... Resident Evil 2 , Biohazard 2) is a survival horror game by Capcom originally released for the PlayStation in 1998 and the second installment in the Resident Evil series. ...

Hardware

The VMU is plugged directly into one of two slots on a Dreamcast controller. Two VMUs may be plugged in each controller. When operated independently of the Dreamcast console, the VMU acts as a file manager with limited game console functionality. VMUs may also connect to each other directly to facilitate file transfer or multiplayer gaming. Multiplayer is a mode of play for computer and video games in which multiple people can play the same game at the same time. ...


Upon initial use the player is prompted to select from a group of simple bitmap images to serve as the default background for the VMU. This image is displayed while the Dreamcast console is in the operating system menu; it is usually replaced by a simplified logo during regular gameplay. Some titles display custom animations on the VMU's screen during gameplay, while some titles also offer new background images for the unit.


The VMU runs on two CR-2032 lithium batteries which are inserted into the rear of the VMU under a screw-secured lid. Without battery power, the VMU still works as a memory card and auxiliary display, but cannot play downloaded mini-games. // This article refers to common battery types and sizes in household and light industrial use. ... CR2032 lithium battery Lithium batteries are primary batteries that have lithium metal anodes. ...


Technical specifications

Handheld game consoles
Early units
See Microvision and Handheld electronic games
Nintendo handhelds
Game & Watch | Game Boy (Pocket) (Light) | Game Boy Color | Game Boy Advance (SP) | Game Boy Micro | Pokémon Pikachu | Pokémon mini | Nintendo DS (Lite)
Bandai handhelds
WonderSwan | WonderSwan Color | SwanCrystal
GamePark/Holdings handhelds
GP32 | GP2X | XGP | XGP Mini | XGP Kids
SNK handhelds
Neo Geo Pocket | Neo Geo Pocket Color
Sega handhelds
Game Gear | Nomad | Mega Jet | VMU
Sony handhelds
PocketStation | PlayStation Portable (Slim)
Other handhelds
Atari Lynx | Gamate | Watara Supervision | Mega Duck | Game.com | Gizmondo | N-Gage | TurboExpress | Pepper Pad | GameKing | iRiver G10 | Ez MINI | OQO Model 2
Comparison
  • CPU: 8-bit (Sanyo LC8670 "Potato")
  • Memory: 128 KiB (200 blocks of 512 bytes each)
  • Display: 48 dot width × 32 dot height, LCD
  • Display size (width×height): 37 mm × 26 mm (1.46 in × 1.02 in)
  • Case dimensions (width×height×depth): 47 mm × 80 mm × 16 mm (1.85 in × 3.15 in × 0.63 in)
  • Power source: 2 × CR2032 batteries with auto-off function
  • Sound: 1-channel PWM sound source
  • Weight: 45 g (1.6 oz)

A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable electronic machine for playing video games. ... Microvision The Microvision was a hand-held game console released by Milton Bradley Company in 1979. ... Handheld electronic games are very small, portable devices for playing interactive games, often miniaturized versions of video games. ... Nintendo Company, Limited (任天堂 or ニンテンドー Nintendō; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 usually referred to as simply Nintendo, or Big N ) is a multinational corporation founded on September 23, 1889[1] in Kyoto, Japan by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards. ... Ball (Silver), 1980. ... For the entire Game Boy series of handheld consoles, see Game Boy line. ... The Game Boy ) line is a line of battery-powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. ... The Game Boy ) line is a line of battery-powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. ... The Game Boy Color , shortened to GBC) is Nintendos successor to the Game Boy and was released on October 21, 1998 in Japan and in November of 1998 in the United States and 1999 in Europe. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Game Boy Advance SP ), released in February 2003, is an upgraded version of Nintendos Game Boy Advance. ... Game Boy Micro , trademarked Game Boy micro) is a handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... “NDS” redirects here. ... The Nintendo DS Lite ) (sometimes abbreviated DSLite, or simply Lite, sold as the iQue DS Lite in China) is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. ... This article is about the Japanese toy manufacturer. ... WonderSwan is a handheld game console released in Japan by Bandai in 1999. ... The WonderSwan Color is a handheld game console designed by Bandai. ... The SwanCrystal ) is the third (and likely final) version of Bandais WonderSwan handheld game console brand, succeeding the WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color. ... Game Park is a Korean company responsible for creating the GP32 and XGP. GP32 Hardware and Design // History Foundation Founded in 1996 in Korea, Game Park entered the industry through government money. ... GamePark Holdings is a Korean company responsible for creating the GP2X that was founded by former employees of the game maker GamePark. ... The GP32 (GamePark 32) is a hand held console built by the Korean company Game Park. ... The GP2X is an open-source, Linux-based handheld video game console and media player created and sold by GamePark Holdings of South Korea. ... The XGP (Extreme Game Player) is a portable video game system created by the Korean company GamePark as the follow-up to its GP32 handheld. ... The XGP is a portable video game system created by the Korean company GamePark as the follow-up to its GP32 handheld. ... The XGP is a portable video game system created by the Korean company GamePark as the follow-up to its GP32 handheld. ... SNK Playmore (formerly SNK) is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. ... Neo Geo Pocket (Monochrome) The Neo Geo Pocket was SNKs original hand held system. ... The Neo-Geo Pocket Color (or NGPC) was released on March 16, 1999 in Japan. ... Sega Corporation ) is a multinational Japanese video game software and hardware development company, and a former home computer and console manufacturer. ... The Sega Game Gear is a handheld game console which was Segas response to Nintendos Game Boy. ... The Sega Nomad was a handheld game console sold in North America and South America, mainly in Brazil, essentially a mini-Genesis console, based on the Japanese Mega Jet and featuring a built-in color screen. ... The Sega Mega Jet The Sega Mega Jet was a handheld version of the Mega Drive video game console. ... Sony Corporation ) is a Japanese multinational corporation and one of the worlds largest media conglomerates with revenue of $66. ... The PocketStation is a miniature game console created by Sony as a peripheral for the PlayStation. ... The PlayStation Portable , officially abbreviated as PSP) is a handheld game console released and currently manufactured by Sony Computer Entertainment. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into PlayStation Portable. ... The Atari Lynx is Ataris only handheld game console, and the worlds first handheld portable gaming system with a color display. ... Gamate and 3 games The Gamate, known as 超級小子 (chaoji xiaozi, literally Super Boy) in Chinese-speaking countries, is a handheld game console manufactured by Bit Corporation in the early 1990s, and released in Australia, parts of Europe and Asia, and possibly other regions. ... The Watara Supervision and a cartridge. ... The Mega Duck and Cougar Boy with identical games for both systems. ... The Game. ... The Gizmondo handheld video game unit. ... This article is about the hand-held telephone. ... TurboExpress handheld, TV tuner, games The TurboExpress or (PC Engine GT in Japan) was a portable version of the TurboGrafx, released in 1990 for $249. ... The Pepper Pad is a mobile computer with Internet capability and doubles as a handheld game console. ... The GameKing is an 8-bit handheld game console produced by the Chinese company TimeTop since 2003. ... The iRiver G10 is a portable media player with 3D gaming capabilities currently in development by iriver. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Shanda. ... The OQO Model 2 is a pocket computer with Windows Vista and an x86 processor. ... This is a comparison of the features of various handheld game consoles. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to... In computing (specifically data transmission and data storage), block size indicates a nominal size, usually expressed in bytes or bits, of a block of data. ... In computer science a byte (pronounced bite) is a unit of measurement of information storage, most often consisting of eight bits. ...

Extra blocks

The VMU has 44 blocks of unused space meant for the system, with programs like Dream Explorer (aka VMU Tool) users are able to unlock the extra space increasing the overall capacity to 244 blocks. However it has been said that a handful of games might be unable to detect the memory card if this is done, although none has been reported apart from DreamKey/DreamPassport.
Dream Explorer official site
Dream Explorer 0.8.5 hosted image


Nexus Memory Card

The Nexus Memory Card is a third party version of the Visual Memory Unit that features four times the memory (4 mebibits / 800 blocks). The Nexus Memory Card is physically larger than the normal VMU and can be connected to a personal computer by USB, Parallel or Serial cable. A 16 mebibit (3200 block) version of the Nexus is also available, but this model has been known to be unstable. A mebibit (a contraction of mega binary binary digit) is a unit of information or computer storage, abbreviated Mibit or sometimes Mib. ... Note: USB may also mean upper sideband in radio. ... It has been suggested that DE-9 be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that DE-9 be merged into this article or section. ...


See also

The PocketStation is a miniature game console created by Sony as a peripheral for the PlayStation. ...

External links

  • Marcus Comstedt VMS - Marcus Comstedt's page on the structure of VMS filesystem.
  • VMU Development Tools - John Maushammer's reverse-engineering of the CPU registers, BIOS, and communication protocol.
  • The (unofficial) VMU FAQ - answers to most important questions you might ask about the VMU.

  Results from FactBites:
 
VMU - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (607 words)
The VMU (short for Visual Memory Unit, not Virtual Memory Unit) is the "memory card" for the Sega Dreamcast.
Players could load the VMU with chao eggs and newborn chao and playing with them on the VMU, one could increase stats of their Chao on the move and redownload their improved Chao back into the Dreamcast game.
A VMU would plug into the top of a Dreamcast controller as opposed to plugging into the main console itself the main reason for this being that a hole within the controller allows the inverted VMU screen to be seen while playing a game.
Sega dreamcast VMU development tools (816 words)
The VMU seems to be tolerant of faster clocks -- I got away with 8 uS but not 2.3 -- but probably isn't tolerant of faster thoroughput (the VMU must still process an interupt for each character and this must complete before another one can be received).
Alexander said that the VMU could run at 5 MHz when connected to the dreamcast (which is fast enough to sample the data), but I don't see how this clock is generated (originally I had assumed the clock came over the connector, but I didn't see it).
When the dreamcast reads or writes to the VMU another format is used(!) Pins 3 and 12 go high and data is transfer on pins 5 and 11 (as opposed to pins 4 and 10 for the periodic communications).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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