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Virtual Console before Virtual Console: The Dream Library

 

Written by VKNIGHT
1/4/2022

 

Virtual Console as we know it launched on the Nintendo Wii in 2006, bringing with it hundreds of NES, Super NES, Neo Geo, and Genesis titles. Nintendo's innovations in the gaming scene didn't end there, however, as it was pushed forward onto other systems like the 3DS and Wii U.

But what if I told you, that a service like this already existed? A service which would allow Japanese Dreamcast owners to enjoy Genesis and Turbo Grafx games right from their Dreamcasts?

 


I would be describing Dream Library.

 


Launching in the year 2000 and lasting until 2003 Dream Library would allow users to do all of the above... for a small fee. Relying on a rental based service, users could pony up 2 dollars to download all available games (Such as Columns and Flicky) for 2 days, with an additional fee required to redownload these games again. Operating off the Sega Smash Pack Genesis emulator means they weren't the highest quality ROMs, but the fact that a modern service like this could exist at all on a late 90s console is insane.



 


Even better? The service's remnants can still be accessed today!

 


To get a glimpse of what Dream Library was capable of, boot up an available copy of Dream Passport 3.- and navigate to the URL "x-avefront://---.dream/proc/launch/" with a number between 1-9 after the final backslash. Each of these numbers will take you to a different ROM to try such as Ghosts 'n Goblins, or Columns. If you want to visit the whole list, click here

While the service was a very cool novelty, its sad it had such a short obscure lifespan. Perhaps a North American release with additions of Game Gear or Master System titles would have boosted this service into legend. Alas, it remains another forgotten remnant of Sega's bizarre history.
 

 

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