It has been confirmed, and experienced with our own hands at E3 2010, that classic Dreamcast games are headed to the Xbox Live Arcade.
Out of the hundreds of games in the Dreamcast library, Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi are the only two games currently announced. While a specific release date has not yet been revealed, Live members can expect to be playing these classics sometime in 2010. Price point(s) have not yet been announced but a safe bet will be the 800-1200 MS Point range ($10-$15).
The E3 announcement was not lying; these games play exactly like how you remember them. Beside solid porting code, DC games just work well on the XBLA thanks to the 360 controller. The DC controller had a D-Pad, one analog stick, four face buttons with two triggers, which is easily transferred onto the 360 controller. One thing that still remains a mystery is VMU (virtual memory unit – aka, the Dreamcast's memory card) support. Many games used the VMU as a second screen, like seeing a mini tennis court in Virtua Tennis, picking plays secretly in football titles, and for mini games like in Power Stone or playing with a Chao in Sonic. It is doubtful that the VMU will be emulated with each game but would definitely please fans if it was included.
Crazy Taxi and Sonic Adventure have only been confirmed for the XBLA, not the PSN. But even though these classics are on the way, it is not the first DC game on XBLA. The original Soul Calibur was released to the XBLA back in the summer of 2008, complete with online play and Achievements.
Like other classic games ported/remade for the XBLA, these Sega classics will also support online functionality such as Leaderboards for posting high scores. Unfortunately, the E3 demo locked out the Achievements, so we will have to wait until the games are fully released before specific Achievements are known.
Sonic Adventure and Crazy Taxi (and Soul Calibur) are great games to start with, but fans will surely like to see this library grow. Chu Chu Rocket, Power Stone 1 and 2, Jet Grind Radio are probably near the top of the list for DC fans but none have been confirmed. When asked about these and other titles for future XBLA release, Sega and PR reps gave the typical "we cannot confirm nor deny anything" statement. However, if these titles see success, which they most likely will, you can bet that Sega will take a serious look at releasing other classic DC games. Of course other game publishers, like Capcom (Powerstone, Resident Evil) for example, would also have to get involved.
Not only is there an opportunity for fans to replay their favorite games, but new comers will also be given a chance to experience this blast from the past. Further, each release on XBLA has the potential for being even better than the original. For example, Power Stone 2 is undoubtedly a fan favorite and could very well stand as one of the most entertaining fighting games ever made. But if you wanted to play 4-player Vs Mode, players were limited to local competition only. With the XBLA version, gamers will have the chance to finally prove who is the best brawler around thanks to online gaming. The Dreamcast was the first system to take a serious look at online play, with games like Chu Chu Rocket and Phantasy Star Online, but many games didn't take advantage of online gaming. Zombie Revenge, Hydro Thunder, House of the Dead, Expendable – all these games would only benefit from online play and matchmaking.
There is even potential to get a little crazy with porting over classic Dreamcast games to Microsoft's system. Seaman could work using the standard XBL headset and even Typing of the Dead could be played with a USB keyboard or even the ChatPad. And let's not forget about Japanese games that never made it over to the States (Ikaruga is already on XBLA). This could be a good chance to release Shenmue II in its original format instead of the original Xbox's port.
Having classic DC games on XBLA is something to get excited about. If solid online play, leaderboards, and hopefully VMU emulation is included, then purchasing games for 800 MS Points would be an easy decision. Come on Sega, give us what we want!
Stay with MyGamer as more DC to XBLA news is released.