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Sega's Genesis Mini is ready to restore your faith in classic consoles

By Shawn Knight · 7 replies
Aug 14, 2019 at 3:04 PM
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  1. Nintendo unexpectedly created a classic console reissue frenzy with the launch of the NES Classic Edition in 2016. Nintendo followed it up a year later with the even more popular SNES Classic Edition and it seemed like miniature retro remakes could do no wrong.

    It’s not that mini consoles with pre-bundled games were a new idea – they’d just never been done by the original manufacturer with enough attention to detail to make them worth your time or money.

    Then, Sony launched the ill-fated $100 PlayStation Classic last December and Nintendo bailed on the Nintendo 64 Classic. Suddenly, all that momentum came screeching to a halt.

    Sega by that time had already announced plans for a miniature version of its 16-bit Genesis console but considering the company hadn’t put out any meaningful hardware in nearly two decades (the last was the Dreamcast in 1998), most knew better than to get their hopes up.

    Fortunately, it seems as though Sega may have surprised us all.

    Sega’s Genesis Mini doesn’t arrive until next month but we’re getting a preview of the system today, in celebration of the console’s 30th anniversary North American launch. And by all accounts, the system “excels at everything it seeks to do.”

    As Polygon highlights, Sega is handling all of the hardware and that’s a good thing. Sega painstakingly recreated the look and feel of the original console, down to the (non-functioning) volume slider, cartridge slot and expansion port. You also get two USB-powered replica Genesis controllers. If you’re big on originality, know that Sega has hit a grand slam here.

    For software emulation, the company turned to longtime partner M2 which, thankfully, has baked in save states (but curiously enough, not a rewind feature). The library of 42 games has been known for some time now and while it’s impossible to make everyone happy here (licensing issues ensure that), Sega did a respectable job of mixing and matching popular titles in with some more obscure and rare games.

    We'd love to share more information about the console now but unfortunately, review embargos are making that an impossibility right now. The Sega Genesis Mini arrives on September 19 priced at $79.99 and is available to pre-order from writing.

    All images courtesy IGN

    Permalink to story.

  2. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,370   +1,007

    The moment I found out Revenge of Shinobi wasn't in there, I realized I wasn't buying one. Fortunately I still have my working classic consoles including Genesis. Also including TMNT games which neither the classic NES, SNES or anything else can give us.

    The Game Gear was ahead of its time and the single greatest reason it fell was because of the battery technology not being mature enough to handle it. If Sega released a handheld like the Vita which could handle everything from the Master system/ Genesis to the Dreamcast, with today's technology, they'd make a killing.

    Hell: they could even include an online play called X-band.

    A virtual store to download new games...

    They are sitting on a gold mine.
  3. XtremeHammond

    XtremeHammond TS Booster Posts: 88   +61

    I think the ability to modify and hack SNES classic made it a success. Will Genesis be the same in this field I wonder.
  4. cfbcfbcfb

    cfbcfbcfb TS Rookie

    Why don't these companies make a $99-150 "classic game console" that can play anything from NES to Wii with emulators, sell the games digitally for .99c each, and reap the rewards of products that are no longer revenue generating and which the 90% of people who don't want to mess with emulators and which controller to buy access to classic games?
  5. Catweazle

    Catweazle TS Booster Posts: 78   +79

    Nintendo has done that for over a decade with their virtual console service. You also have to consider that no single company owns the rights to all of these old games so it's not as simple as just slapping them in an online shop.

    As for these mini systems I think most people buy them for the looks and nostalgia as much if not more than just playing the games, though I prefer collecting the real consoles.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 2:19 PM
  6. cfbcfbcfb

    cfbcfbcfb TS Rookie

    Yeah but that's not what the average Joe knows about and/or has the tech ability to do. I have an nvidia shield set up this way and it plays everything. Paid $99 for it on black friday. However setting up all the emulators and having to download roms wasn't something a regular person can do.

    So these companies get together, pick a platform like the shield, preload it with optimized emulators, and a store to buy the original roms from. Then produce all the old school remotes as bluetooth models and you've got a LOT of revenue from old dead games.

    Oh and it can stream everything, do tv shows and movies, and everything else a streaming box can do.
  7. Catweazle

    Catweazle TS Booster Posts: 78   +79

    We're already headed that way, though on our regular PCs and consoles instead of a dedicated device. Streaming game services might be the future for playing old games. https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/18/...rvices-pc-mac-ps4-android-cloud-google-stadia

    The question is how long will people care about these old games? As the people who had Atari and NES consoles as kids get old and die off I think the interest in them is going to plummet. Of course by then the PS3 and XBox 360 will be considered retro and people will be collecting those.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019 at 2:35 PM
  8. cfbcfbcfb

    cfbcfbcfb TS Rookie

    Headed perhaps but that article showed me a mish mash of over a dozen discrete services, most of which charge by the hour or by the month to use, and many require software on a gaming PC AND on your console.

    I know it stupid to think companies can come together and offer one time charges for a do-it-all gaming box but it'd sell and turn dead products into money.

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