How To: Running Old Sega Games On Your Desktop

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John Corpuz

John Corpuz flip-flopped between computer science and creative writing courses in school. As a contributor to Tom's Guide he's found a happy middle ground writing about apps, mobile gaming and other geekery.

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  • Nice!
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  • Seems someone didn't do their research regarding Dreamcast games. Dreamcast used a proprietary disc format called GD-ROM; It is NOT POSSIBLE to rip the disc directly as the Dreamcast is the only thing that can read a GD-ROM (aside from some select arcade hardware). To copy a DC game you must use other means (coder serial cable or broadband adapter).

    On the topic of Dreamcast emulation, it has come a long way, but is still far less than desirable. Alot of games that do work will have graphical errors/glitches. Many games simply won't run at all.

    DC Emulation is just not that simple.
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  • I wonder how nVidia's Project Shield would work with emulators.
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  • Q: How to play old Sega games on your desktop?
    A: Buy

    Easier than hassles with emulators.
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  • Just thought it worth warning people as this article shows up on the UK site, the legal information applies to America not us, some of what this article says is OK is actually a criminal offence this side of the pond!
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  • I thought everyone knew how to do this...
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  • If you cant figure out how to use a genesis emulator on your own, or where to find roms to use with it, then you need to end yourself right now.
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  • Emulators have been around for so long. I actually wondered if Tom's just couldn't find something to write about. And it shouldn't be just about Sega. The procedure for emulating other consoles is pretty much the same. Why the focus on Sega? Dubious article.
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  • jamesedgeuk2000Just thought it worth warning people as this article shows up on the UK site, the legal information applies to America not us, some of what this article says is OK is actually a criminal offence this side of the pond!

    Might be worth a refresher; I'm a little unclear as to what we can and cannot do here in the UK.

    I'm a little disappointed to not see Saturn emulation covered here, to which I would say look for SSF. It's a Japanese emulator which can run with or without a Saturn BIOS, and plays games directly from CD. It runs perfectly smoothly on even a single core of my PII X3 710 (2.6GHz) and, as it employs software rendering, doesn't require more than a modest graphics card even if you do opt for more advanced graphics. However, due to the lack of clarity as regards emulation law, I cannot/will not provide a link. I imagine emulators themselves aren't illegal, but that's it.
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  • This might help with some UK-related questions:

    http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=29927&p=263207
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  • I like how the article goes on about how you should dump your own roms since downloading them is illegal, only to suggest searching online for a dreamcast bios, which are technically just as illegal as downloading roms. Oh, the irony!
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  • ALANMANSeems someone didn't do their research regarding Dreamcast games. Dreamcast used a proprietary disc format called GD-ROM; It is NOT POSSIBLE to rip the disc directly as the Dreamcast is the only thing that can read a GD-ROM (aside from some select arcade hardware). To copy a DC game you must use other means (coder serial cable or broadband adapter). On the topic of Dreamcast emulation, it has come a long way, but is still far less than desirable. Alot of games that do work will have graphical errors/glitches. Many games simply won't run at all.DC Emulation is just not that simple.



    While quite rare, there are technically GD-Rom drives out there for PCs. Just saying.
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  • As has been mentioned, you cannot "read" Dreamcast games on a PC cd drive without great difficulty due to the GD-ROM technology, some drives can read them, but you have to remove the lid and manually slow the spindle down, else it won't work. You will have better luck using some homebrew programs on your dreamcast which give you the ability to "dump" your games via network card or serial port. The serial method takes about 24 hours per disc however (took me ages to do my games with the DC Coders Cable :( )

    Also this article says you can get the Dreamcast BIOS with a quick internet search, really? I don't think toms should be promoting piracy as this is completely illegal. Again there are homebrew tools available to help you dump your own BIOS from your Dreamcast.
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  • refraction)Also this article says you can get the Dreamcast BIOS with a quick internet search, really? I don't think toms should be promoting piracy as this is completely illegal. Again there are homebrew tools available to help you dump your own BIOS from your Dreamcast.



    I know for as hard as the mod's are in the forums closing any thread asking for password help, windows keys, etc, they push the anti-piracy part hard. If the BIOS was legal, all the emulator people would include it with their software. There is a reason they don't.
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  • DarkersonWhile quite rare, there are technically GD-Rom drives out there for PCs. Just saying.


    Source please.
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  • silverblueI'm a little disappointed to not see Saturn emulation covered here, to which I would say look for SSF. It's a Japanese emulator which can run with or without a Saturn BIOS, and plays games directly from CD.
    I'm also very disappointed that the article made no mention of Saturn emulation, which is much easier to do LEGALLY than DC emulation in many cases. As you mentioned, you can run games off Saturn CDs directly just like you can with the Sega CD. However, I must respectfully disagree on your emulator choice. Having tested and used all the major Saturn emulators over the years, I've come to the conclusion that (since ~2011) the best Saturn emulator out there is Yabause. They just released a new version just a few days ago.

    http://yabause.org/
    ALANMANSeems someone didn't do their research regarding Dreamcast games. Dreamcast used a proprietary disc format called GD-ROM; It is NOT POSSIBLE to rip the disc directly as the Dreamcast is the only thing that can read a GD-ROM (aside from some select arcade hardware). To copy a DC game you must use other means (coder serial cable or broadband adapter).
    Technically you CAN dump them with a CD/DVD drive (at least some of them), but it is a complete PITA. Like... it's bad enough that I'd rather use a serial cable and just let it take forever. If you're lucky enough to have the BBA or the other DC ethernet adapter you're in much better shape.
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  • Another way to rip Dreamcast games is to use some of the new SD card adapters that plug into the Dreamcasts link cable port. They seem to work at 650kb/s. You can find them on ebay.
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