Sega Visual Memory Unit (VMU) (1999 – 2001)

The Sega Visual Memory Unit or VMU was used in the Sega Dreamcast. The Dreamcast was the first sixth-generation video game console, preceding the PlayStation 2, Xbox and GameCube, and was initially successful in the US. However, interest declined as hype around the launch of the PlayStation 2 increased, and Sega suffered significant losses, discontinuing the Dreamcast in 2001 and withdrawing from the video game console market.

The Visual Memory Unit was a 128 KB memory card that plugged into the controller. Unlike other memory cards for game consoles, the Visual Memory Unit contained a small LCD screen, speaker and control buttons so it could be used as a minimal handheld console separately from the Dreamcast. It could also convey secret gameplay information to the player via the controller.

The Visual Memory Unit also had file manager capabilities, a clock and calendar. They could be connected to another Visual Memory Unit for multiplayer gaming or transfer of files.

The standard Visual Memory Unit colour was white, but many other colours were released, and some branded Visual Memory Units were released in Japan, such as Sonic Team and Hello Kitty.

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