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In a nutshell: Sega earlier this year announced it would be launching a follow-up to its original Genesis Mini retro console. The new mini will be based on the Genesis Model 2 and will come with over 50 pre-installed retro games but as was revealed in July, US distribution is a bit of a mess and we now have a better understanding of why that is.
In a statement to Ars Technica, a Sega of Japan rep told the publication that the new miniaturized console was really a "Japan-only project." Sega eventually decided to do a Genesis Mini 2 for Western audiences but said the system could only be produced in small numbers due to the global semiconductor shortage.
Sega of Japan said the number of Genesis Mini 2 consoles manufactured will equal one-tenth the total production of the original Genesis Mini. We don't know how many Genesis Minis were produced so it's hard to quantify production capacity. Still, one-tenth is significantly less no matter how you slice it.
This being a Japan-only project explains why interested parties in North America have to import the Genesis Mini 2. It is only being sold through an Amazon listing at an inflated price and with a delivery fee of $21.99. As of writing, NA buyers will have to shell out $128.64 plus any applicable taxes to have the mini console shipped over from Japan.
That's much more than the original's $79.99 price out of the gate but isn't far off what new-in-box examples are currently commanding on eBay.
The Genesis Mini 2 will ship with more than 50 pre-installed games including OutRun, Virtua Racing and Vectorman 2 as well as a handful of Sega CD titles like Sonic CD and Mansion of Hidden Souls. I personally don't think the library is as strong as what debuted with the original mini console but there are some gems I'd love to play, and the machine itself would make a nice addition to my mini console collection.
It launches on October 27.