After several previous retro consoles released by ATGames, the retro gaming community rejoiced when Sega announced that they were producing their own SEGA Mega Drive Mini console. Many had been disappointed with the quality of the emulation present in ATGames hardware. For several years their rivals had been releasing hardware directly or in conjunction with other manufacturers. But gamers had been longing for an official SEGA release to end the never ending flurry of sub-par systems. SEGA obliged and now we’re a few months away from launch…
The SEGA Mega Drive Mini Hardware
As with its peers, it was too expensive for SEGA to simply put the original console back into production so the Mega Drive Mini is based on emulation. Instead of using an off-the-shelf package, it has been developed in-house by SEGA development team M2 who were responsible for the SEGA AGES and SEGA 3D Classics Collection compilations.
The system itself has a small form factor, approximately 55% of the size of the original Mega Drive Mk 1, and connects to any modern TV via HDMI. Unlike the ATGames units, it doesn’t support the use of additional cartridges.
What’s In The Box
When it is released at retail, it will come complete with two wired 3-button controllers recreating the look and feel of the original Mega Drive joypads. These will be USB rather than the original 9-pin format, presumably to keep production costs down. As well as the controllers is the SEGA Mega Drive Mini itself, a HDMI cable, USB lead for the power and for customers in North America a power adaptor as well.
So that’s the physical content, but what can you actually play on it?
The SEGA Mega Drive Mini will come with 40 games. There has been no word as yet whether additional games can be added. It doesn’t appear that the console has capacity for any form of external media support. But that didn’t stop either of Nintendo’s Mini consoles from being hacked. Certainly depending on the type of internal storage used additional games might be possible but if a custom emulator is being used then the console may well not support standard ROM files.
So far SEGA have only announced 20 out of the 40 games being included. However, this hasn’t put gamers off from wanting the console. SEGA have already teased an incredibly impressive lineup of first party titles, backed up with some third party classics. There are a lot of SEGA classics already announced, and major brand licenses clearly indicating that a lot has been invested in the SEGA Mega Drive Mini in game licensing alone. They are definitely taking it seriously.
So what are we getting so far? A very impressive list with something for everyone:
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Space Harrier 2
- Shining Force
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- ToeJam & Earl
- Comix Zone
- Altered Beast
- Gunstar Heroes
- Castle of Illusion
- World of Illusion
- Thunder Force III
- Super Fantasy Zone
- Shinobi III
- Streets of Rage 2
- Earthworm Jim
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Contra: Hard Corps
The console can be pre-ordered now from most good video game retailers including Amazon prior to its official release on 19th September.