Sega Genesis Mini (Mega Drive) release in September 2019
Sega revealed this week that it will release a "mini-console" called the Sega Genesis Mini on September 19, 2019. Sega Genesis was the name of Sega's 16-bit console in the United States; the console's name was Sega Mega Drive in Europe and other regions.
The company plans to release the system as Sega Genesis Mini and as Sega Mega Drive Mini; the release name depends on the region and seems to be the only difference between the two systems.
Nintendo launched the first first-party mini console, the NES Mini, and it was a smash hit. The company launched the SNES Classic which was a success for Nintendo as well even though the company missed an opportunity with the release (in my opinion).
Sony's Playstation Classic console was not as successful which mostly came down to the weak game lineup the console shipped with and how emulation was done.
And Sega? Nintendo's big rival back in the days plans to release the first-party Sega Genesis Mini / Sega Mega Drive Mini in September 2019. Third-party licensed Sega Genesis / Mega Drive consoles have been available for some time but they never managed to meet customer expectations (lots of games, bad emulation).
Sega Genesis Mini / Sega Mega Drive Mini
So, what do we know about the new Sega console?
The console comes with 40 games included, 2 wired control pads that look like the classic Sega Mega Drive / Genesis controller, power and HDMI cables to get started.
Sega revealed all 42 games in the meantime (yes 2 more than expected):
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
- Alisia Dragoon
- Altered Beast
- Beyond Oasis
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
- Castlevania Bloodlines (Genesis) / The New Generation (Mega Drive)
- Comix Zone
- Contra: Hard Cops
- Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
- Dynamite Headdy
- Earthworm Jim
- Ecco The Dolphin
- Eternal Champions
- Ghouls 'n Ghosts
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Kid Chameleon
- Light Crusder
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars
- Monster World IV
- Phantasy Star IV
- Road Rash II
- Space Harrier II
- Shining Force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
- Streets of Rage 2
- Super Fantasy Zone
- Thunder Force III
- Toe Jam & Earl
- Virtua Fighter 2
- Wonder Boy in Monster World
- World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
Games are identical for NTSC and PAL regions so far and include several classic games already. Especially the inclusion of Gunstar Heroes is a welcome sign as it is one of the best games for the system.
The selection includes classics, e.g. Ecco the Dolphin and Sonic the Hedgehog, arcade games like Altered Beast or Space Harrier, and even the strategy game Shining Force.
Sega did not include some of the classic games of the Genesis console but it did add plenty of popular games. I'm a bit disappointed that the device features Shining Force only and not the second part of the series and that shoot em up games are not well represented. There is Darius, a nice surprise, but no game of the Thunder Force series or any other shoot em up game in the Western release versions.
The Japanese version of Sega's Mega Drive is not an exact replica of the European or U.S. game system as it features games such as Thunder Force III, Musha Aleste, or Slap Fight. Other Japanese-exclusive games include Rockman Mega World (MegaMan in the west), Rent A Hero, Wresteleball, Assault Suit Leynos, or Langrisser II.
Let's hope that the emulation will be better and that the controller cables will be long enough. Price will certainly play a role as well with the release.
Sega's first console release since the unfortunate demise of the Sega Dreamcast could certainly get Sega fans exited once again and maybe even lure some die-hard Nintendo or Sony fans to giving the mini console a try.
Game selection looks good so far; I hope Sega adds enough multiplayer titles to the lineup as there are not that many yet in the first ten games the company revealed.
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