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Dreamcast Revision Statistics?

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Hey, gang!

 

So, my wife and I were recently at our local gaming store and I thought to ask if they happened to get any VA0 Dreamcasts in. I've asked a handful of times over the past couple of years, but not, like, every time I stop in. I'm not generally a system hoarder, but especially for disc-based systems, I enjoy picking up a backup console cheap, in case some belt drive konks out and I need my Rez or Border Down fix or something.

 

Now, I wanted one because of the heartier components and I've heard that it might be easier to chip mod (though that's not really a pressing concern for me, but thinking longterm) due to the board layout. Mostly, though, I wanted one based on it's rep as "toughest, most durable revision" for longevity, not really as a hardware fetishist.

 

Anyway, I was delighted to discover they had one in the back and I walked out with it, bare system, for about $30. Some cursory internet information over lunch (nothing official) suggested that only about the first 100,000 units were VA0, with the majority of systems being the commonly found VA1. I know there's also the VA2 that may or may not play CD-R copies, depending on what website you're reading.

 

I crunched the numbers, and if the Dreamcast sold the generally-listed 10.1 million units, that means that less than 1% of Dreamcasts were VA0. I've also read in passing that that number may or may not include VA0 units sold in Japan.

 

We were ASTOUNDED to read that. We tried to consider the likelihood that one of this tiny sample would end up at our local game shop and in our hands. My brain is much more wired for the "squishier" side of life, I'm not great with numbers and stats and probability.

 

So, rather than speculate on which one is preferable (that's a different thread, I'm sure!), I'm just curious as to if anyone can cite me any sources for numbers on those revisions, sales, etc. I may not know numbers, but I like reliable sources.

 

Most of all, we're curious as to whether that 100K estimate of VA0 models produced is roughly accurate, and if so, is there info (or can someone extrapolate the known sales numbers?) on the ratio of US vs Japan models of the VA0 revision sold? Whatever we find out, we're still amazed that one ended up in our laps.

 

(Also, it plays CD-Rs just fine, for what that's worth.)

 

Thanks in advance, Dreamcast experts. I have faith. If anyone knows this stuff, it's you beautiful maniacs.

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This Edge magazine says that Sega and NEC could only provide 150,000 units on launch in Japan, presumably all VA0 models rather than the initial half-million: https://retrocdn.net/images/1/1a/Edge_UK_067.pdf(page 6)

 

So more than 100,000 units had to be VA0. My guess is that 100,000 refers to the number in North America, probably Japanese conversions, and I have no idea if that's even accurate.

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If 1%, that's one out of every hundred.

 

Based purely on probability, if you bought 50 random consoles, you have about a 50/50 chance of having at least one VA0 (and even some chance of having more than one).

 

But also realize that when it comes to used video game consoles in the real world, once you find ONE of the rare variations, it might actually be LIKELY you would find two or more because that particular model may have sold many units at retail in the same general geographic location. These things are not usually randomly distributed.

 

By the way, you probably want hardier hardware, not heartier hardware. I could be wrong of course; you may, in fact, be planning to chow down on those plastic shells...

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