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We’ve been looking for a way to answer everybody’s questions about bleem! For Dreamcast, and figured what better way to do so than to go straight to the horse’s mouth, so to speak. The makers of bleem! have been gracious enough to allow us to post their FAQ on GamesFirst! With so many rumors spreading around the Web, it can be hard to get the straight facts about this exciting new version of the "best little emulator ever made." So here you go – the real deal:

bleem! for Dreamcast ("bleemcast!") FAQ – bleem inc.
Comparison between PlayStation and bleemcast! screens:
comparison_small.jpg (11310 bytes)

Click image for larger version.

Q - How does bleem! for Dreamcast work?
A - It's easy - you put the bleem! for Dreamcast disc into your Dreamcast
console and close the lid. bleemcast! loads into local memory and then prompts you to insert a compatible PSX disc. You remove the bleemcast! disc, insert the PSX disc, close the lid and press the start button.

Q - When will bleem! for Dreamcast be available?
A - We do not have a definitive date for when the first bleempak will be
released, but expect it to be available late this summer in the U.S. and
Internationally in the fall.

Q - Where can I buy bleem! for Dreamcast?
A - You will be able to buy it at most gaming stores, as well as online.

Q - Are you taking pre-orders?
A - No. However there are a number of online retailers that are accepting
pre-orders for the first bleempak, as well as the bleempod and bleempad.

Q - What is bleemcast!?
A - bleemcast! is our internal name for bleem! for Dreamcast!

Q - When will the list of titles for the first bleempak be announced?
A - We will announce the list just before bleem! for Dreamcast ships to
retail.

Q - Will game (insert title here) be compatible with bleem! for Dreamcast?
A - Although we are in the process of extensively testing hundreds of games,
there is no way to tell if a title will be fully compatible and supported in
the release versions of bleem! for Dreamcast at this time. When this list is available it will be prominently posted on the front page of our website.

Q - How much will bleem! for Dreamcast cost?
A - The suggested retail price is $19.99 U.S. for each bleempak. International
pricing has not been finalized, but we expect the paks to be comparably
priced in Europe and Asia.

Q - Will titles be released alphabetically?
A - No. A mix of titles across the genres will be supported by each bleempak.

Q - Will each bleempak feature a variety of genres or be genre specific?
A - Each pak will include support for games across the different genres.

Q - I've already seen a list of the 100 titles for the first bleempak, is it
real?
A - No. There is a rumor that we released a list of titles in alphabetical
order. Unfortunately, someone wasted their time copying the titles from the
back of our mock-ups at E3. If you look closely at the list, you can see
it's actually the bleem! 1.5 compatibility list (in alphabetical order) that
was used for the mock-ups.

Q - If I buy the first bleem! for Dreamcast pak and a game isn't listed on it, will it play?
A - No. Each pak will play only the 100 titles listed on the back of the
package.

Q - What about games that are not in any of the bleempaks, will they just not
play?
A - We may create more than four paks, however that is the number we have planned for the initial launch.

Q - Is it possible to play back-ups of PSX games with bleem! for Dreamcast?
A - We can't prevent it since the technology that verifies that a disc is an
original PSX title, is patented by Sony and if we used it, we would be in
violation of that.

You're allowed by law to make a backup "archival" copy of any software you
own. But the PlayStation hardware isn't designed to play anything but their
specially-mastered CDs. So even if you make a backup, you can't use it. And
since you only get a 30-day warranty, if your original CD is ever damaged,
you're out of luck.

For these reasons (and others that are not-so-legal), you can buy "mod
chips" and "game enhancers" just about anywhere -- some require soldering 4
wires, others just plug right into the back of the console. For as little as
$4.00, your PlayStation can play CD-Rs and imports, too.

So if Sony can't stop people from playing CD-backups on the PlayStation
HARDWARE, how can we do it in SOFTWARE? bleem! is designed to play
legitimately-owned PlayStation games, and we detest piracy in all its forms.

It's ridiculous to blame the makers of a program that simply PLAYS recorded
media. It would make more sense to go after the devices that make the copies
in the first place - the company that created the CD format (Sony), makes
the recorders (Sony), and sells the media (you guessed it, Sony).

It doesn't make any more sense than this: Say some criminal uses a Sony VCR
to make bootleg copies of "I Know What You Did Last Summer" (a Sony release) on hundreds of Sony-manufactured video cassettes. He then sells one of these tapes to another fellow who takes it home to play on his RCA player.

Sony gets wind of this activity - what do they do? If their response to
bleem! is any indication, Sony would sue RCA for "contributing to piracy!"
Doesn't make any sense, does it?

However, we do not condone the use of our products with "pirated" copies of
any PlayStation game. We firmly believe that developers deserve the
royalties they are due for creating every game and piracy is both wrong and
illegal.

Q - Will I be able to play PAL games?
A - The bleempaks will include PAL support, however in the future we may create versions specifically for Europe and Asia that support the most popular
titles in each region.

Q - Will bleemcast! work with the VGA-box?
A - Yes.

bleempad_S_RGB-01.jpg (2947 bytes)Q - The Dreamcast Controller has less buttons than the PSX one, how will I be able to play games that require those extra buttons?
A - We're mapping multiple button combinations for the Dreamcast controller to make up for the fewer buttons. The bleempod, PSX to Dreamcast controller adapter will also allow you to use a PSX controller with the Dreamcast. We are also launching the bleempad, a PSX style controller that plugs directly into the Dreamcast.

bleempod_S_RGB-01.jpg (2888 bytes)Q - Who is for bleemcast! primarily aimed at, PlayStation or Dreamcast
owners?
A - Both. Dreamcast owners that want access to more games on the system now have it, and PlayStation owners that may be on the fence waiting for the PS2 to come out now have 400 more reasons to upgrade to a Dreamcast with bleem! for Dreamcast.

Q - Will support continue as PlayStation games are released?
A - We are looking at possibly incorporating newer titles into later bleempaks as they are introduced.

Q- How does bleemcast! compare to PlayStation 2's backwards compatibility?
A - bleem! for Dreamcast uses the Dreamcast hardware's processing power,
along with full-scene anti-aliasing and bi-linear filtering, to enhance the
resolution of PlayStation games up to 640x480. PlayStation 2 does some
filtering effects, as part of its backwards compatibility, but PlayStation
games still play at 320x240 resolution, one quarter that of games running
with bleem! for Dreamcast.

YES - People Have Asked These Questions:

Q - Does it make Dreamcast games look better too?
A - No. It doesn't work with Dreamcast titles.

Q - Do I get all 100 PSX games with each bleempak?
A - No. PlayStation titles are sold separately.


Reprinted with permission from bleem inc.