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Over the past 2 years, we have reported on a variety of different types of alternate storage methods for a variety of systems. One console that others have been trying to create a replacement disc drive for without a doubt is the Sega Dreamcast. With it’s ISO infrastructure and it’s loud, slow GD-ROM, many have been looking for a modern alternative for years, with a variety of SD card based and hard drive based methods offered, and even a method that replaces the disc drive all together. A new method however comes to us from Russia, where a new modification called “USB-GDROM” offers the chance to plug in any standard USB thumb drive to the Dreamcast, as a way of loading games and programs onto the system.

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This latest advancement in disc drive replacing technology was created by MNEMO, who some people may know as also creating the 3DO USB-Host, which was a device that would give the game capability to the short lived Panasonic offering. The USB-GDROM works practically the same way, and will allow ISO disc game images to be run directly from a USB thumb drive by the means of a selection menu. Whereas some previous offerings were limited severely in the amount of memory that could be used, (when compared to the size of ISO’s for the Dreamcast), thanks to this device using USB technology, the storage capabilities are a more adequate 2TB. In addition to being able to handle USB thumb drives, the device can also support SD cards and hard drives as well.

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Of course, using such a device as this one would help with extremely faster loading times for games, as well as the benefit of the quieter operation of the system itself, as many Dreamcast consoles had drives that were pretty noisy during it’s use. Plus, firmware updates are also possible with the input. Features of USB-GDROM:

  • USB 2.0 Host
  • Supports USB Flash Stick, SATA/IDE HDD, SD up to 2 TB
  • Supports FAT32
  • 100% Dreamcast compatible
  • CDDA supported
  • Region free

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According to the official website, it seems that there are a limited number of these devices available for purchase. A total of 8 of these have currently been made available, for the cost of €130 ($174.28 US). While another batch of these units may be created in the future, it is currently unknown as to when.

Source: Retro Collect
USB-GDROM: Website

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY0lEgptvdI]

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkmqgvjPI2s]