Remember the Zeebo? A small console produced by longtime SEGA partner Tectoy released for the Brasilian market over a decade ago, the smartphone-in-a-box was originally planned to have a number of Dreamcast ports launch with the device, including Sonic Adventure. But the blue blur never ended up appearing on the console, and recently we found out why.
Marketed as a digital-only console, the Zeebo enjoyed several ports of big-name mobile games, like Capcom’s Resident Evil 4: Mobile Edition. SEGA had pretty big plans for the device, announcing ports of Crazy Taxi and Virtua Tennis 3 alongside Sonic’s Dreamcast launch classic. But, these games never materialised.
So what happened, then? ResetEra user CyberWolfJV, while doing a LOT of research into the subject, managed to speak with a former Tectoy tester who worked on Zeebo games. While they never tested those specific SEGA titles, this person did have some insight as to why they were all cancelled. Simply put, the Zeebo couldn’t run them – the system just wasn’t capable of running Dreamcast-quality ports.
What’s funny about this story is that I also looked into this right here at The Sonic Stadium over a decade ago, only it was on our humble SSMB Forum (Wayback link to see most of the images). My research led me to believe that Sonic Adventure Zeebo was merely a mislabel and was meant to refer a potential port of the original Sonic Jump, which Tectoy featured in a trailer of their mobile line-up at the time (the video’s long gone now, sadly). CyberWolfJV even saw the thread in his research – small world!
Huge thanks once again to CyberWolfJV for all of his hard work to unravel this long but sadly mostly forgotten mystery!