Sega has officially revealed a release date for the Genesis Mini, a modern, miniature take on the former console giant’s classic 16-bit era console.
The reimagined system will release on September 19th for $99 CAD.
The Genesis Mini, which takes inspiration from Nintendo’s popular NES and SNES Classic, features 40 built-in games, with only 10 being revealed so far: Altered Beast, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Comix Zone, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, Ecco the Dolphin, Gunstar Heroes, Space Harrier II, Shining Force, ToeJam & Earl and of course, Sonic The Hedgehog.
Sega is also releasing a Japan-specific version of the tiny console called the Mega Drive Mini that features a different game lineup, including games like Madou Monogatari Ichi, Powerball, Puyo Puyo 2 and Rent-a-Hero.
Beyond how the console looks, there are other minor differences between the Genesis and Mega Drive Mini. For example, the Genesis Mini includes a pair of three-button USB controllers, while the Mega Drive Mini features two six button controllers.
To be clear, this isn’t the first time Sega has attempted to capitalize on the video game industry’s rampant nostalgia. AtGames, a manufacturer that makes a variety of retro consoles, released a tiny version of the Genesis a few years ago to mixed reviews.
Now, although ATGames will still manufacturer the Genesis Mini, Sega has enlisted M2 to handle the emulation side of the console. M2 is behind the Sega Ages as well as Sega 3D Classic Collections for the Nintendo 3DS, two well-received collections of retro Genesis titles.
The iconic SEGA Genesis returns September 19, 2019, with our lovingly crafted SEGA Genesis Mini for $79.99!
Simply plug-in and play 40 of the console’s legendary titles, 10 of which we’re announcing today.
— SEGA (@SEGA) March 30, 2019
Further, the Genesis Mini isn’t the only new version of Sega’s classic console out there. Analogue recently announced the Mega SG, a high-end Sega Genesis console emulator that uses the system’s original cartridges.
While the Genesis Mini seems promising at the outset, I’ve always contended that most of the 16-bit classic console’s most significant titles haven’t aged that well both visually and gameplay wise when compared to the NES and SNES. Of course, this is subjective, but it’s worth noting given I grew up with the Genesis as my primary video game console in the mid-90s and still feel this way.
Sega says the Genesis Mini will be available to pre-order soon. Pre-orders for the Genesis Mini are already available on Best Buy’s Canadian website, with the system being listed for $99.