At Sega Fes 2019, Sega announced that it will finally release a retro version of its Sega Genesis console later this year: the Sega Genesis Mini (in the US) and the Mega Drive Mini (in Japan). The device will come with 40 built-in games, and will hit stores on September 19th, 2019.
According to Kotaku, the Genesis Mini / Mega Drive will have slightly different game lineups when released. The Japanese version will include Castlevania Bloodlines, Comix Zone, Gunstar Heroes, Madou Monogatari Ichi, Powerball, Puyo Puyo 2, Rent-a-Hero, Shining Force, Sonic 2, and Space Harrier II, while the US version will include Altered Beast, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Comix Zone, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco the Dolphin, Gunstar Heroes, Shining Force, Sonic The Hedgehog, Space Harrier II, and ToeJam & Earl. Additional games will be announced.
There are some other minor differences: the Genesis Mini will come with a pair of four-button USB controllers and will retail for $79.99, while the Japanese Mega Drive Mini will come with a six-button controller, and will sell for ¥6,980 ($60), or with an additional controller for ¥8,980 yen ($80). Sega says that pre-order links are coming soon.
There’s been a booming market for nostalgic consoles in recent years. In 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic and followed up with the SNES Classic a year later, although both have since left production. Sony followed with its own version, the Play Station Classic last year. The miniature consoles plug into a modern television and allow gamers to play right off the bat.
This isn’t Sega’s first attempt in the retro gaming market. It’s licensed its name out to emulator console before to companies like AtGames, although it has had a mixed track record with quality. The company originally announced the Mega Drive Mini a year ago to coincide with the original device’s 30th anniversary. But late in 2018, the company announced that it was delaying that release, seemingly over the quality issues that plagued the earlier consoles. At Sega Fes, the company revealed that developer M2 will replace AtGames to produce the games for the device.