A short while ago, the Reicast folks teased their Dreamcast emulator on the Nintendo Switch and now, a release has unexpectedly descended upon us! In this article, we’ll be looking at the recently-released build of this 6th-generation console emulator for Horizon OS
Alpha version of Reicast released for the Nintendo Switch
If you’re a Crazy Taxi fan, you’ll be pleased to know that you can play the Dreamcast version on your Switch!
Yesterday, Reicast Developer David G.F., released an alpha version of Reicast for the Switch in NRO format so that Dreamcast fans could enjoy their favourite games on Nintendo’s latest home console/portable. He went on to state that this version of Reicast was rushed to completion and as result, it has many issues although a proper release should be coming in the future. One of these major issues is that there’s no exception handling so texture invalidation isn’t working right now which may lead to some games having odd graphical issues.
On the bright side, this Reicast port has JIT (Just-In-Time compiler) support thanks to flyinghead which means that it performs quite well and some games can even run at twice the speed. This is pretty substantial considering that the Dreamcast is a console of the same generation as the PlayStation 2 and GameCube, consoles which were still pretty popular even up to half a decade ago.
How do I use it? Which games can be played?
To use Reicast, you need a copy of the Dreamcast’s BIOS because without it, you won’t be playing any games
Getting Reicast to work on your Switch is pretty simple and only requires you to:
Install the NRO file provided in the link below
Reicast needs a fair amount of memory (512MB+) so it’s not recommended you override the gallery/album application when launching it
Create a directory named “reicast” on the root of your SD Card
Copy the Dreamcast BIOS files (dc_boot.bin and dc_flash.bin) to /reicast/data on your SD card
Copy any ROMs (i.e games) you want to run to the /reicast/ directory mentioned above
You may also edit /reicast/emu.cfg if you want to change the emulator’s settings
While there’s no official compatibility list, the following games run pretty well as per user reports in the release thread (below):
Jet Set/Grind Radio
Chu Chu Rocket (there are issues in the Settings menu but the game itself is fine)
Metropolis Street Racer
Sonic Adventure 1 till Windy Valley
If you’re a Jet Set Radio fan, then your Switch has just gained a whole lot of value 😉
House of the Dead 2
Shadowman (menu issues)
Spawn in Demon’s Hand
Dead Or Alive 2
Virtua Fighter 3
On the other hand, these games are said to not be functioning properly
Sega Rally 2
Sonic Adventure 2
Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes (major texture issues)
Phantasy Star Online 1
All Windows CE-based games as they aren’t supported by Reicast itself
All in all, Reicast on the Switch will make numerous people happy even if they aren’t die-hard SEGA fans and gives you yet another reason to jump on the Switch hacking bandwagon if you own a fusee-gelee vulnerable model. That being said, hacking your Switch means that you’ll have a pretty high chance of having it and your Nintendo account banned if you connect to the internet so think twice before doing it.
As stated above, an update will come in the near future so stay tuned for that if playing Dreamcast games on your Switch is something you’re into!
I'm a girl that's liked technology from day 1. Mostly interested in the PSVita/PSP scene but I've always modded my stuff when it's possible, that is :)Contact me via DM at @KawaiiAuroraA on Twitter if you have any questions/concerns about my articles or if you have any article requests.