Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NNN: Turning Japanese Part 1

Welcome to another Not Nomad News! Forgive me for the posting title, but "Used Japanese Dreamcast" just wasn't as catchy.

As mentioned in my previous post, I won a used Japanese Dreamcast on ebay complete with a Eiichi Yukawa box and all inserts (to be seen in Part 2) as well as three games: Rez, King of Fighters '99 and Virtua Fighter 3tb. What was insanely awesome about the purchase was that it totaled to what one would usually spend on a NTSC/J copy of Rez alone. Total epic win.

Upon unboxing my newest Dreamcast (the unboxing is in Part 3) I was surprised to see that while it's simply a standard white Dreamcast, there are still a number of visual differences between it and my NTSC/U model. The biggest "wow" moment was when I noticed that the top portion of the triangle on the lid is a clear plastic with a rough silver texture beneath it. Subtle but sleek. Compared to the US model, the clear plastic is beautiful! Just compare the flat gray US triangle to Japan's sexy clear silver:

The next difference I spotted was in the Windows CE logo. While the US says "Compatible with", the Japanese say "Designed for". I'm not sure why this change was made, both say the same thing but still are confusing to the consumer. "So... uh, does it run Windows? Or..."

The third difference came when I unplugged my old system to swap with the new one. The A/V cable fit fine, but the AC cord just wouldn't fit. Turning the system around I saw the problem, the US has a square-round size while the Japanese have round-round size. Also, the Japanese cable is much thinner (not pictured).

Finally, and most obviously, we have the bottom of the system. The US loves their stickers as you can see, while the Japanese took the minimal approach (surprise, surprise).

These were the aesthetic differences I have found, though I'm sure there are a few more. I do know my Japanese system is an HKT-3000 model*, the earliest model produced, and from what I've read this model has a metal cooling fan while the US model has a plastic fan.

Join me next time for part 2 of this article, in which we take a look at all the inserts found inside the Dreamcast box. They have a drawing of a Dreamcast hitting itself with a hammer, if that entices you to return.

*More information of Dreamcast serial numbers can be found here:


  1. Very nice post on a very promising blog! I look forward to more! Oh and we'll get a link up and running on the DCJY ASAP! Good work dear Barry!

  2. My Japanese Dreamcast is like this too, gotta love the shiny triangle bit!

  3. Haha, the confirmation code for that last comment was 'pucker'!

  4. Thanks guys! I just sent GagaMan(n) a load of box and insert scans and included a link to this posting. Looks like you beat me to it!

    ...pucker is not a generated word, some sicko programmer planned for that.

  5. YES! thew japanise dreamcast has the same AC connector as the PAL dreamcasts

  6. To add to Benni's comment, the Japanese AC cable fits an American Dreamcast with no problem. So long square-round power cord!