Sega considered making a Saturn and Dreamcast mini, but component constraints made it too expensive
Sega instead settled on a revision of the Mega Drive miniBy Shawn Knight
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