As the console’s 30th anniversary approaches, Sega has announced that it will release a mini version of the Mega Drive—which is what the Sega Genesis was called everywhere outside of North America—sometime this year in Japan.
It’s not too surprising to see Sega bring out a mini version of its beloved console, given the success Nintendo had with the Classic Mini NES and SNES, but this won’t be the first time it has entered the retro market. Hardware company AtGames manufactured the almost universally disliked Sega Genesis Flashback that arrived last year, and according to a now-deleted Facebook post and tweet, the same firm will be behind the new Mega Drive Mini.
News that Sega is once again turning to AtGames is a concern for many Mega Drive/Genesis fans, but things could be different this time around. AtGames said the Mega Drive Mini would include a new emulator that will improve gameplay and the audio, along with “additional features” that differentiate it from the Flashback. The company’s post also said the Mini would arrive in “the US and other territories later this year,” following the Japanese launch.
The Mega Drive Mini that was shown off at Sega FES 2018 is smaller than the Flashback. Hopefully, it won't just be a repackaged version of that machine. We still don’t know any details about the hardware or what games to expect, though AtGames did say (via Polygon) it would have a rewind feature and Sonic 3 wouldn’t be included because of “license issues with the music.” The company added that while the Japanese version of the Mini has no cartridge slot, “other territories will have cartridge slots.”
In separate Sega FES announcements, the company said some of its classic games, including Sonic The Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, and Thunder Force 4, would be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Shenmue 1 and 2, meanwhile, are making their way to the PS4, Xbox One and PC later this year.
You've asked, we listened and we're extremely excited to finally announce that Shenmue I & II are coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC in one package! Both games will feature Japanese and English voice overs, the choice of classic or modern controls and more! #ShenmueSaved pic.twitter.com/EvtcEt5pgn— SEGA (@SEGA) April 14, 2018