Finally, the age of the ATgames woeful Mega Drive Classic will soon be over. Yes, the real deal, the first official Sega Mini, the aptly named Sega Mega Drive Mini will launch September 19th this year worldwide.
Sega first announced their intention to produce the Mega Mini at Segafes last year, fast forward to Segafes 2019 and Sega took to their stage to reveal further information about the upcoming console and what gamers can expect come September.
The Sega Mega Drive Mini is about half the size of the original, obviously cartridges cant be inserted however, strangely, the cartridge slot door can be opened and closed with the volume slider on the console which is a neat trick. It will feature 40 games (which tops the list as far as official minis go) that will differ between Japan and the West.
Interestingly/inexplicably in another classic Sega move, apparently whilst Japan will receive the 6 Button Controller, the rest of the world will receive the original 3 button controller. It will feature the now standard save states and HDMI output.
Ten games have been confirmed so far, aside from the usual suspects such as Sonic the Hedgehog it will also feature Castlevania Bloodlines and Ecco the Dolphin, which are two titles that were absent from the recent Mega Drive Classics release. Given that the recent current gen Mega Drive Collection featured around 50 games and there have been multiple releases in years gone by.
I really hope Sega mix up the selection this time around, in that sense the inclusion of Castlevania is a good sign. Now let’s have some Eternal Champions, maybe some third party titles such as Road Rash 2, X Men Clone Wars… heck the Lawnmower Man or Aladdin would be welcome at this point. Something to differentiate it to the set we can all play on our PS4 or Xbox One.
Sega have said on their official page that the set will include numerous third party games with the co operation of the licensee, so let’s hope for a varied set that truly conveys the wide range of titles that put the Sega Mega Drive on the map in the first place. Thankfully, this time around M2 Co. are handling the software development, M2 are well versed in emulation as they handle the majority of the Sega Ages titles currently as well as Mega Drive and Master System titles for the now gone but not forgotten Nintendo Wii Virtual Store.
They have been handling Sega titles since back in the days of the PlayStation 2 Sega Ages series of titles. So the hardware is in the hands of Sega and the software is in the hands of M2. Whilst the games list will ultimately determine the quality of this as a package, things are definitely looking up.
The original Sega Mega Drive was released in Japan in 1988 and it took 12-18 months to make it across the great divide. Its truly hard to believe that the system is celebrating its 30th Anniversary, the first real challenger to Nintendo’s 80’s market domination.
The success of the Sega Mega Drive for a moment in time made Sega the market leader in the console game, the 16 bit console war is the stuff of gaming legend. Of course things like the Mega CD add on (a future mini add on perhaps?) then the 32x add on somewhat changed the course of the Mega Drive and Sega. But thats a story for another time.
The Mega Drive turns 30 and its fitting that it finally gets a mini worthy of its heritage for its birthday.