Submitted by Gekko 848d ago | opinion piece

GameSci: The Wii U's Unlikely Influence

Colin Lecher:

To most of the world, Sega's Visual Memory Unit has been been dead for the better part of a decade, forgotten as a footnote in the annals of videogame history. It was a memory card, shaped mostly like a Tamagotchi, that slipped into the giant controller of a Sega Dreamcast, with its tiny, 1.5-inch greyscale screen peeking through a little cut-out. If players wanted to, they could pull it out of the controller and, using two buttons and a control pad, play rudimentary mini-games. It was a smallish element of a failed console released 13 years ago from a company that no longer even makes hardware.

But with the release of Nintendo's Wii U, the internet's collective memory began bubbling, and the VMU popped up from the depths. There's a GameFAQs thread entitled, "Is the WiiU controller like an upgraded VMU ?" There are YouTube videos pointing out the connection. Did Nintendo reach back into its past to swipe an idea from a vanquished foe?

The VMU is a not-uncommon topic in certain hobbyist corners of the internet, and the posters are, amazingly, often doing more than talking about the gadget. People make games for the VMU, there are sites for downloading emulations of VMU games, there are recent YouTube reviews with non-negligible hits, and, inexplicably, someone has created a portrait of the gadget done in the oil-painted style of George Washington crossing the Delaware. (Dreamcast, Wii U)

1upgamer99  +   848d ago
I don't really think Nintendo was trying to copy Sega, but rather use some of the DS ideas with two screens. I loved my Dreamcast. The VMU was rarely used though. More for gimmick mini games. Still a great system, that was ahead of its time for sure.
pedroyamato  +   848d ago
Totally different concept...actually VMU is superior to the wii u pad controller itself (not comparing the tech of course) if you imagine you could use it even outside home.

Dreamcast was a wonderful machine, it used a media superior to the CD for the first time, had online for the first time, could interact with pc for the first time, had a screen on the controller for the first time, the tech gap to the old generation was just like the ps3 to the ps2, light years ahead.

Unfortunately all this innovation was not enough since the DVD was already out and was even bigger, the internet was only 56kbps so online play was really poor, the VMU screen resolution was really bad and the developers did not used it wisely...So it was like a wonderful ideas box, that in the end helped the rivalry build their own machines; it (for sure) changed the way all the game system would be release from that day ahead.

I still play crazy taxi on my one. Somethings never gets old, and among them, play dreamcast with friends.
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Starbucks_Fan  +   848d ago
I sometimes still play Crazy Taxi 2 and Hydro Thunder with my friends. Fun games.
yewles1  +   848d ago
Actually, you could upgrade to a BB adapter on the DC for faster speeds.
Pillsbury1  +   848d ago
Dream cast was ahead of its time, I can't help but think where we would be if sega still made hardware...
thecowsaysmoo  +   848d ago
Dream cast was a crappy system, so they will keep making crappy systems. SIMPLE AS THAT.
Sgt_Slaughter  +   848d ago
The Dreamcast was a very well made system... in fact, all the main Sega consoles were very well made. The Genesis is one of the best systems ever made to this day.
MizTv  +   848d ago
I'm still on the fence about the wiiu
I just don't know what to think about it
pedroyamato  +   848d ago
Lets wait :)

one year should be enough to understand better the wii u capabilities

I cant wait, so I just bought my XD
ape007  +   848d ago
ok Awesome one, just wait and see when big Nintendo exclusives hit the market other that the wiiu itself feel like umm.....NOTHING, there is no nextgen\next leap feel to it at all and there's no sense of originality like original wii, the miiverse is nice but the system menu loading is so annoying, xbox360 and ps3 menus are so much faster, i hope they update it, I'll wait and see how Nintendo exclusives be on it, I personally want STAR FOX
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dirthurts  +   848d ago
Nintendo exclusives, just in time for Sony and Microsofts new consoles...
Nintendo doesn't have a chance sadly.
They've mastered the art of super short console cycles. Convenient for them as they profit on hardware.
MizTv  +   847d ago
I would love to play a new metroid prime
But I not going to get it for 1 game
wiiulee  +   848d ago
the dreamcast was a good little system and it was too bad for sega....but wiiu is way beyond that...wiiu is a fantastic system....nintendo had their own plans into place with the gamecube and gameboy advance connects and ds....i think all that influence wiiu not specifically or in any ways the dreamcast....but wiiu will be copied by sony and microsoft now that u expect...miiverse,tvii and gamepad designs to be copy and haters to rejoice over it
ElectricKaibutsu  +   848d ago
That was a great article. What an interesting take on Sega's contribution to gaming. That was pretty darn nostalgic.

I found the problem with the VMU was that it was too expensive for the amount of memory it had. I remember putting one simple Arkanoid style game on it, and that was all it could hold. No more room for even a save game. I ended up getting a memory card sans screen which held a lot more. Still the idea of being able to pick plays in sports games without your friend seeing was a great idea.
wiiulee  +   848d ago
lol vmu is superior to the wiiu gamepad..man get a hold of your silly self....wiiu gamepad is the future and thats coming from a game of videogame and innovation....i love the dreamcast...wiiu is gaming at its best once they take advantage at all it has to offer...wiiu will be nintendo at their best....haters can crawl back in that hole...cause the future is here and sony and microsoft will be copying cause a shade of better texture is not going to help....wiiu is ahead to stay....sega can work on developing great game ideas and great game for the wiiu too, it can only help.
ape007  +   848d ago
um wiiu is disappointing big time, i can't see anyone truly impressed with it except they didn't play xbox 360 and ps3, the console basically the same of what we had 7 years ago, perfect dark zero looks a lot better than zombie u, the system also lacks the initial innovative feel of the wiimote, the wiiu menu is good but very slow, there are no achievements or trophies, the online features are very lacking compared to xbox 360, the miiverse however is nice, the game pad is a mixed bag, it look great, feel slick, analoge position is good, the screen is a thing of beauty but the huge size give a feel of disconnection between buttons, the buttons are very small, the triggers are just plain bad, ps3's triggers are even better, everything about the wiiu at the moment is a let down, i have no interest in getting any multiplatform on the it at all, let's just hope that nintendo classic exclusives deliver, I Want starfox
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