Sega considered making a Saturn and Dreamcast mini, but component constraints made it...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,327   +163
Staff member
In brief: Miniature retro game consoles were all the rage just a few short years ago and had it not been for the pandemic, we likely would have seen even more variants hit the market from companies like Sega.

During a recent interview with Famitsu, Sega creative producer Yosuke Okunari said the company explored the possibility of creating a Saturn mini and a Dreamcast mini but decided against it for a couple of reasons.

The team couldn't simply reuse the internal hardware from the Genesis mini as it wasn't powerful enough to run games from those more advanced consoles. And even if that door was open, semiconductor shortages would have severely limited production.

The pandemic also made it too expensive to produce new chips capable of running Saturn and Dreamcast games, so that idea was abandoned.

Instead, Sega decided to move forward with the Mega Drive mini 2 which is based on the Mega Drive model 2. It uses the same internal hardware as the first-gen mini console and will be released in limited quantities in Japan (again, due to the pandemic) on October 27 priced around $75.

There are currently no plans to produce a Genesis mini 2 for international markets but that could change once chip manufacturing normalizes. Sega could also revisit Saturn and Dreamcast plans when chip prices come back down as these systems would no doubt appeal to retro gamers and those that never got a chance to play them the first time around.

Image credit: Taylor R

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Dimitriid

Posts: 2,218   +4,271
You know the sad part is that the hardware itself is not all that relevant: People who appreciate the hardware on it's own well, they own the actual consoles from the 80s and 90s. People who just want to play classics would do so on just about any hardware that could run them which is well, just about any piece of hardware at this point.

It's sad that none of these companies acknowledge that they could basically take over the emulation world: yes people will suggest emulating for free but if your service was actually readily available, easy to get into and reasonably priced a lot of people would just pay Sega or Nintendo 1 or 2 dollars per game if they could just play it anywhere: tvs, phones, computers even other consoles you bought the classic game you go play it we're putting emulators basically anywhere you want to play it.

There's still even a nice secondary market for authentic reproductions of retro controllers and such but most people would still buy them to play with just an xbox controller. Gabe was right almost 20 years ago when he diagnosed piracy as a problem of poor availability and pricing and this is *still* something most companies don't get: Just put your games, yes even the old ones, out for sale. I promise people will buy them if you actually make distribution and prices worth it.
 

defaultluser

Posts: 477   +366
Saturn, sure, its a mess to emulate. But the same hardware they used for PS1 mini (A35 x 4) would be enough for about half of all dream cast games.

My RK3326 handheld can handle the following games playable at at-least 800x600:

Ilkruga
Soul Calibur,
Project Justice: Rival Schools.
Grandia 2
Skies off Arcadia
Sonic Adventure
Shenmue I and 2

All you have to do is turn off DSP , and every one of these works fine. I'm sure that with a little mire work you could port a newer build of Retroarch64 and you should get better compatibility on the same hardware.