The Dreamcast Zip Drive or the story of a canceled accessory.

Updated: Jun 4

The Zip Drive was designed for the Sega Dreamcast.It was never marketed after the withdrawal of SEGA as a manufacturer.This Zip drive increased the Dreamcast's storage capacity for e-mail and Internet files.It would have allowed to save future DLC to come like those exhumed for "Florigan Bros".

IOMEGA, an American company specializing in data storage, was responsible for the design of this accessory.The system was thought out after a strong demand for more storage space than Sega servers could offer to save e-mail and web pages.

The 100 Mega Drive-Byte drives are almost the same as for PC with slight modifications made to make them DC compatible.Dreamcast memory cards, Visual Memory System (VMU) had capacities of 1 to 4 MB.A 100 MB zip disk would push back the console's backup capabilities and interactivity.

"We chose a Zip drive for its durability and low cost. Durability is essential."said a spokesperson for Sega.

The unit was to be connected to the dreamcast in the same way as the "Dreamcast Karaoke Unit" through the modem expansion port.This would help promote DC as a multimedia station.

Sega announced the product in March 1999, Iomega in April 1999. The drive was to have a retail price of US $ 199 and release in the third quarter of 2000. Iomega planned to sell the drive at a loss but earn on the sale of blank discs..The cost of making a record was $ 1 for a sale price of $ 8-10.

The player was fully functional, ready for production.Only a handful of prototypes would exist without really knowing their exact number.The mechanical part (power supply, output of the disc ect) seems only present.The soft part (Bios ect) never had to exist.

The records were made in-house for the Dreamcast project.There was a whole range of them.I was able to recover some on loan from an Iomega alumnus.As they were taking up space at his house, he had started using them as a shotgun target. "He had started using them as shotgun targets at one point because they were just taking up space at his home".His prototype Zip Drive was in the trash after leaving the company "he had a Dreamcast drive at one point but he thinks he threw it in a dumpster when he left Iomega", frustrating right?

The reader was introduced during a ceremony of the OKAWA Foundation (a non-profit organization that contributes to the growth and development of technology).The device was also shown at the Tokyo Game Show and then nothing !!!

The first appearance of a Zip Drive prototype on the web dates back to 2007.It was offered at $ 10,000.We don't know if the sale was successful ...

In 2018, a second prototype appeared on Ebay Germany for the modest sum of 4000 E.In 1 day it was sold.A San Francisco museum would be its new buyer.The seller had given me the delivery address which is the head office of Twitter.

Would he have lied to me?I have doubts knowing that I had already bought him some items from his shop.

My articles about the cancelled Dreamcast accessories : The Sega Pace VR TV box - The VMU initially planned for the N64 - The Swatch watch connected to the Dreamcast

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