Author Topic: Hong Kong Dreamcast - unknown mod  (Read 3153 times)

Offline micro

  • MassiveMember
  • ****
  • Posts: 392
Hong Kong Dreamcast - unknown mod
« on: April 23, 2014, 06:56:49 AM »
I've got a (early?) HK Dreamcast today. While taking apart the Dreamcast for cleaning reasons I noticed that it's modded:







Is it a special (region-free) BIOS? I've only tested one single game so far: Sega Rally 2 (jap), so I don't know yet if it plays all region games.
Also, one wire runs to the LED on the controller board. The LED was green while playing. It seems it's a green-red(?) duo LED.

Right now the DC is completely disassembled so I can't test any more games. But has someone seen that kind of mod before?

Offline kendrick

  • Global Moderator
  • ThrobbingMember
  • *****
  • Posts: 963
Re: Hong Kong Dreamcast - unknown mod
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 10:54:08 AM »
I'm not 100 percent sure about this, but that looks to be an official Sega mod. One of the crazy inefficient things that they did with the Dreamcast hardware was to reallocate consoles as a short-term solution to regional shortages. If the continental Asian region was low on systems, they'd rob from an American shipment and just do a region mod on the fly before repacking and reshipping the consoles. Loss-leading hardware turned into money pits as a result, especially once the CD-R boot trick was discovered and hardware losses weren't buttressed by game sales. I'm sure there's a hardware hacker out there who can confirm or refute my guess.

Offline micro

  • MassiveMember
  • ****
  • Posts: 392
Re: Hong Kong Dreamcast - unknown mod
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 04:30:54 AM »
Kendrick, at the first moment I also thought this might be legit. But why the duo-LED? (The wire's connected to the third leg of the LED)

Ok, the system is cleaned and re-assembled now. I've tried out more games. US and PAL discs won't boot, only japanese ones. The LED also stays green all the time.
Very odd: Sometimes the Dreamcast swirl is black instead of orange. I don't know what triggers this behaviour. But it doesn't seem to have an influence on the region...

I also contacted the seller. He said he had a HK import DC back then. Apparently the video chip died and he got the HK DC exchanged, but of course not by Sega. He got that HK DC as an exchange. He also noticed the black swirl now and then. He wasn't told if there's a modchip inside, he just used a boot disc to play PAL and US discs. Hmm....