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WTF?! For companies headquarters in Japan, it is not uncommon to release new products locally first and then expand them to other regions later. With the Mini Genesis 2 Mini, Sega is offering customers outside of Japan to receive the console on the same day Japanese buyers get their Mega Drive 2 Minis. However, the privilege will cost US consumers about $50 more due to shipping and import fees.
Sega announced that it is releasing the Genesis 2 Mini for US customers this fall. Previously, the company announced the Mega Drive 2 Mini in early June, but only in Japan and with a vague "fall" release date. Now it seems both versions will launch on October 27. But only in Japan. Wait. What?
Yes. It seems that Sega of Japan is also distributing the US version instead of letting Sega of America manage it, which means US customers have to import it. Amazon will exclusively handle stateside sales.
Whatsmore, Sega priced the Genesis 2 Mini about $30 more than the Mega Drive 2 Mini, plus buyers have to pay Amazon $22 in shipping costs for the import. Preorders opened on Wednesday. The total outlay for US customers is $127 compared to the $75 Japanese version. It's rather odd that Sega chose to release the US collectible console this way, considering the Genesis Mini from 2019 was available from local retailers.
On the bright side, Team Sega based the updated mini on the Genesis Model 2, so it will have more power and games. Over 50 retro classic titles are preinstalled on the Genesis 2 Mini, including six Sega CD games — Sonic CD, Shining Force CD, Silpheed, Mansion of Hidden Souls, Night Striker, and The Ninja Warriors. A few of the regular Genesis games worth mentioning include After Burner II, Super Hang On, Sonic 3D Blast, Splatterhouse 2, and Rolling Thunder 2.
Another positive is that the Genesis 2 Mini will come with a six-button controller. The three-button gamepad bundled with Sega's first mini console is also compatible, but it makes some games impossible to play. Sega didn't mention if a second controller could be purchased separately or bundled. However, the initial Mega Drive 2 Mini press release said a two-gamepad bundle would be available for ¥1,100 ($8) extra.
Sega might learn a hard lesson about releasing products outside their intended regions. Having to shell out so much for a nearly 30-year-old retro console will likely turn off many US customers. After all, Sega is asking for more than one-third the cost of a brand new Xbox Series S purchased directly from Microsoft ($290), which is not limited to just a handful of old games.