The statement “everything old is new again” got an additional context a few years ago with a trend that is sweeping the home videogame console market. It started when Nintendo, one of the current three pillars of the console gaming industry, released a “Classic Mini” version of its legendary NES console in 2016, loaded with a selection of popular 8-bit titles for nostalgic gamers. Since then it has followed up with a Mini take on its SNES console, which other companies like Sony and SNK have tried to replicate. And then there is Sega, taking the plunge to relive its console-making glory days with the Sega Genesis Mini, released Thursday.
CNN tells us that Sega is all systems go with the September 19 release of the Sega Genesis Mini retro console, their first slice in the pie that is a wave of throwback “dedicated” game consoles. These machines use emulation hardware and software to replicate the audiovisual experience of these hot gaming platforms from years and even decades past, but with provisions for modern tech and gaming conventions like HD display and game-save function. The Genesis Mini is no different with the expected USB connectors for the controllers, HDMI video cable and USB-to-micro-B power cable.
Where the Genesis Mini has a leg up on its competition would be the availability of the regional variations on some of its 42 pre-loaded game titles from the 16-bit Genesis era. And many of the games inside this dedicated console are among the most definitive examples of Sega development ever done in the days when they had their own hardware lineup competing with Nintendo, before becoming a software-only developer. Early reviews of the Sega Genesis Mini have been good, and hailed as another high point in the retro gaming craze gripping videogame companies today.
The base Genesis Mini console is priced at $79.99 in the US, though there are additional accessories available for a few extra cash to spend. As the included controllers for the console package is the classic Genesis 3-button set, there are separate purchasable controllers with the later 6-button setup (the Japanese version goes with six by default).
Speaking of Japan, that country has its own exclusive accessories for the Sega Mini, such as non-functioning scale mock-ups of the original Genesis’ add-on hardware. These include the Sega CD, Sega 32X, connecting cartridge lock for “Sonic & Knuckles,” and various prop Genesis cartridges. All these items could be attached to the Genesis Mini to form its “optimal” tower configuration, though as stated they are just for show. While most major markets can buy this retro console in stores or online this Friday, the EU and Middle East must wait until October 4.
Images: Best Buy, Geek Culture