Dreamcast VGA Box

The Official Dreamcast VGA Box is a peripheral which allows the system to connect to a monitor supporting the VGA video standard. The Dreamcast outputs most games in 480i, with some supporting 240p and 480p. All 480p Dreamcast games look great through VGA and if you have a display that supports a VGA input, then that's by far the best output method (although S-video/Scart is still considered superior for 2D titles).

The Dreamcast VGA box was a Japanese exclusive

The VGA support has been a feature of the Dreamcast since 1998, the standard was at the time, but was somewhat impractical, as most televisions lacked a VGA port to interface with the console. This means all Dreamcasts shipped with RF or composite video cables, which, although functional in sending a picture to a screen, are unable to deliver the clearest possible picture. Today televisions and computer monitors have converged, meaning the use of VGA is no longer as uncommon. The Dreamcast's support for VGA is often considered ahead of its time, as many models of the PlayStation 2 and GameCube could not output a comparable video signal (even the Wii only delivered composite).

Your all in one visual connectivity box

Not all Dreamcast games are compatible with the VGA Adapter, (please see our incompatibility list) namely SNK ports such as King of Fighters 99 although the majority of games can be forced to use the VGA box by using software such as the DC-X.

When in use the VGA box lights up with a similar red to that of the system

The Official VGA Box produced by Sega launched in 2000 for 7,000 yen ($75/£47) is very sturdily made, and feels infinetly better than most other third party units out there. It also has extra ports, doubling up as a way of displaying composite audio/video, and s-video should you need to change display methods (such as when wishing to play 2D titles which can appear slightly jaggy through the clarity of VGA). These days, VGA is really the only way to play Dreamcast, and helps the console keep a relevant and modern display; just test check out this comparison of Shenmue through composite and VGA!

Unfortunately, as Sega only released its official Dreamcast VGA Box in Japan (although the device is compatible with all versions of the Dreamcast worldwide), the unit has become highly sought after by gamers and collectors alike, and boxed units are becoming increasingly rare and demand a very high price.

Comments

  1. Correction. The localization of Garou (Fatal Fury) does support a VGA signal by default.

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  2. It does, oh good. I read in a few places that it wasn't.

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  3. No. I'm pretty darn certain that it does work. I own that version and played extensively in VGA mode without any sort of work around. As a matter of fact, here in the west nearly no games lost their VGA compatability during localization. That fate only befell to a nice chunk of the PAL library of Dreamcast titles.

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  4. That's where my confusion came from. Geography tip though, Europe is still "the West". ;)

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  5. Ah! True lol! But yeah, Sega VGA box is perhaps the single most invaluable piece of hardware to a DC gamer in this day in age. And the official model is well built and good quality. Only a few other other 3rd party variations of this device can outshine the original in build quality and additional features not present on the original. Great write up as always.

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  6. That is true. Like I said in the review, the quality is undeniable and after some bad experiences with flaky third-party efforts (although I understand there are some good ones like you mention) I decided to plump for the official version.

    Sega - ahead of its time, again!

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