Fans of retro gaming rejoiced when Nintendo released the NES Classic back in late 2016, followed by the (infinitely more available) SNES Classic one year later. The mini consoles let players boot up legendary titles like The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros, and… Double Dragon II. OK, they weren’t all gems, but now the other side of video game fandom is getting its chance to relive the glory days. There’s a mini version of the Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive for those of you living outside North America, on the way.
Announced at a Sega fan event in Tokyo over the weekend, the Sega Genesis Mini is scheduled to come out first in Japan, followed by a release in the “U.S. and other territories later this year,” according to a now-deleted Facebook post by AtGames, which developed the poorly received Sega Genesis Flashback last year.
Sega left the hardware business after the commercial failure of the Sega Dreamcast in early 2001, but the COO of the company recently said the company has an interest in getting back into hardware with the release of the Mega Drive Mini. Odds are Sega will never fully dive back into that multi-billion dollar brawl, but after the rampant success of Nintendo’s two retro mini consoles, who can blame Sega for dipping its toes in with another pre-packaged nostalgia machine?
AtGames is opting to let Sega answer questions after deleting its Facebook post, but it did imply that the Mega Drive Mini will have a “rewind” feature just like the Flashback, giving players what is essentially an undo button while playing a game. AtGames also stated that Sonic the Hedgehog 3 wouldn’t be included due to music licensing issues.
Oddly enough, AtGames also stated that while the Japanese version of the Mega Drive Mini (pictured) wouldn’t have a cartridge slot, “other territories will have cartridge slots.”
While zero games have been announced, one can certainly hope that the built-in game list will include classics (Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage II) as well as some of the less obvious gems. Earthworm Jims, that is.