It is nearing three years now since Nintendo stunned the gaming world and sent gamers on a nostalgia trip when they introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Classic Edition, and somehow the community has not yet sated in their taste for retro game consoles in small emulation hardware packages with present-day audio-visual options. Other game companies followed suit with a Sony PlayStation Classic and SNK Neo Geo Mini, while Nintendo followed up with an SNES Classic Edition. Old-time game fans originally wondered why Sega had not joined in the bandwagon, only for word of the Sega Genesis Mini to be revealed in 2018. Now, its release date has been revealed.
Rappler reports that the Sega Genesis Mini, a retro console celebrating the most iconic gaming device ever developed by Sega, which was the main rival for Nintendo from 1989 to 1997 before the rise of Sony and Microsoft. As the name implies, the device looks like a miniaturized Genesis console (called Mega Drive in Japan) that plays 42 pre-installed games in emulated 16-bit graphics via HDMI cable. Other updated features are USB controllers and power cable with AC adapter. The system costs about $79.99 and will be released next month.
In comparison, early reviewers opine that the Sega Genesis Mini offers an experience closer to the Nintendo retro consoles than the Sony PlayStation Classic, which is considered a subpar attempt at retro gaming goodness. But even here Sega has gotten a few hits over its old rival. Where the NES Classic needed to press the Reset button on the console to return to its game library, the Genesis Mini can access its library by pressing and holding a controller’s Start button for a few seconds. Granted, the visual representation of the game titles is believed lesser compared to Nintendo’s, but the Sega menu has a retro/new BGM courtesy of legendary game music composer Yuzo Koshiro.
Also notable is the ability to change the “region” of the Sega Genesis Mini to alter the gaming presentation. The regions are the major markets that the console was originally designed for: Japan, the US, and Europe. Of course, 42 games definitely mean more play options than the NES Classic’s 21. Also, depending on the region some of the titles might change in style. An example is the Konami game “Contra: Hard Corps” where the original Japanese had the player characters having life-bars while the US version kept to the original games’ one-hit kill mechanic.
Sega had originally licensed third-party developers to develop dedicated console platforms carrying their classic Genesis games. This time however, Sega decided to take the nostalgia and mold it with its own hands, resulting in this sweet Genesis Mini retro device. Sega fans will soon be able to get their hands on another brand of gaming history when the Genesis Mini releases this coming September 19.
Image courtesy of EB Games