The SEGA Mega Drive Mini was initially announced all the way back in April 2018, a sign of SEGA joining Sony on the bandwagon of miniaturised consoles following the phenomenal success Nintendo had been having with its NES Classic and SNES Classic. Neither of these consoles have had a smooth path to market, however, with Sony’s Playstation Classic being derided for its use of PAL versions for multiple of its included games, while SEGA split from its original partner ATGames and delayed the device from its initially-planned 2018 release date. Today, at SEGA FES in Japan, SEGA finally reintroduced the Mega Drive Mini, known as the Genesis Mini in North America, and provided us with the first details on the system’s lineup and release date.
In a step up from the offering’s from Nintendo and Sony, this Mini console will bundle 40 games, more than any of the offerings from either of these companies. Currently a full lineup of titles is unknown, so we can’t say for certain that all 40 of these games will be winners, but we can say that the 10 titles we currently know will be included are certainly some of the best releases from the console’s history. The 10 games currently announced for the Mega Drive Mini are:
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Puyo Puyo 2
- Shining Force
- Castlevania: Bloodlines (known in Japan as Vampire Killer)
- Powerball (known in Japan as Wrestleball)
- Gunstar Heroes
- Comix Zone
- Rent A Hero
- Space Harrier II
- Madou Monogatari I
It should be noted, however, that this is the lineup for the Japanese release of the console, with the Western lineup currently unknown and could be subject to potential changes. However, one rather cool addition to this lineup is that some titles will include the versions sold in other regions as additional bonuses if these versions had regional differences. Castlevania: Bloodlines, for example, will include Japanese, European and US variations on the title. It isn’t known whether the regional variations being included will carry over to the international release, since these announcements were all made at a Japanese event and are therefore aimed at the Japanese market, but it would seem likely that this would be the case.
— セガ公式アカウント (@SEGA_OFFICIAL) March 30, 2019
Perhaps most promising is the news that renowned emulation developer M2 would be in charge of the emulation for the Mega Drive Mini. While Sony’s console was met with scorn for inaccuracies in its open-source emulator which was used for their Playstation Classic, especially when compared to Nintendo’s efforts, M2 have repeatedly succeeded in creating accurate emulation software for rereleased titles and have repeatedly worked with SEGA in the past. They are involved in the SEGA AGES releases and introducing additional features to those titles and handled the SEGA 3D Classics on Nintendo 3DS, and have repeatedly succeeded at creating accurate software for these releases. Their inclusion means that it is highly likely that the emulation of these titles will be to a high standard and could possibly give the system an edge over Nintendo and Sony’s offerings if the company’s talent is directed towards additional emulation options which the aforementioned companies have neglected to include.
If that wasn’t enough, the system will include brand new menu music created by Yuzo Koshiro, composer for the Streets of Rage series.
The Mega Drive Mini will release worldwide on September 19th, and will be sold for 6980yen in Japan with the inclusion of one controller and for 8980yen for an edition that bundles in a second controller. Even without a full list of included games, this mini console is shaping up to be a must-have for fans of SEGA games or even people who have never touched any of these classic titles in the past. You can find out more details for this new hardware on the company’s official website.