Genesis Mini Hero

It feels like it has taken an eternity for Sega to get around to releasing its own answer to the NES and SNES Classic Editions. While the much-disliked AtGames has plopped out wonky Genesis / Mega Drive clones for years now, this new venture promises to be something different – it's finally time for the real deal.

This time around, the software side of things is being handled by M2, the same company that worked on the Sega Ages and Sega 3D Classics series, so you know you're in safe hands. On top of that, legendary composer Yuzo Koshiro has confirmed he’s making menu music for the console. Some top talent, then.

With Sega overseeing this effort, it’s hard to see the Mega Drive Mini repeating the mistakes of previous licenced attempts. While enthusiasts will probably still want the accuracy and precision of something like the Analogue Mega Sg, this Genesis Mini is shaping up to be super convenient way to play some classic Sega games on a modern TV without forking out the sort of money that could get you a brand new console from this generation.

What’s in the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini box?

GENESIS MINI

In the US and Europe the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini package will include the console, two classic kidney-shaped three-button controllers, a power cable, USB power adaptor and HDMI cable.

The Sega Genesis Mini will come bundled with 40 games, but these are the only ones confirmed for the time being (for the west, at least):

How is the Japanese version of the Mega Drive Mini different?

While each region will get its own variant of the console, the controllers coming with the Japanese version will be the six-button versions. There’s no word yet if these will be available to buy individually (or if they’ll make an appearance in the west). Japan also gets the option of a cheaper pack with only one controller, so that might be worth keeping an eye on if you wanted to supplement your western console with a six-button pad.

MEGADRIVE MINI

The announced line-up in Japan is also different, although we’ll have to wait for the full list of 40 games to see what remains exclusive to the region:

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu
  • Shining Force
  • Vampire Killer
  • Wrestleball
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Comix Zone
  • Rent A Hero
  • Space Harrier II
  • Madou Monogatari I
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Musha Aleste
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Bare Knuckle II
  • The Hybrid Front
  • Landstalker
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dyna Brothers 2
  • Game no Kanzume Otokoyou (a Japan-only Sega Channel compilation featuring the following twelve games: 16t, Flicky, Putter Golf, Hyper Marbles, Shi no Meikyuu, Medal City, Paddle Fighter, Ikasuze! Koi no Doki Doki, Penguin Land MD, Pyramid Magic, Robot Battler, Teddy Boy Blues and Aworg).

Is it worth pre-ordering the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini?

Before the announcement of M2 and Yuzo Koshiro’s involvement, we’d have answered with an emphatic ‘no’. However, given the talent Sega has enlisted and the quality of the unit as shown in trailers, it really seems like the company has taken note of Nintendo’s success with its two Mini Classic consoles and is ready to deliver an experience worthy of the Mega Drive’s legacy. Just look at the attention to detail on those cartridge slot flaps in this trailer!

A word of warning though: make sure you're getting the brand new version. Warehouses and stockrooms all over the world are still clogged with the awful AtGames plug-and-play mini Mega Drives and we'd imagine unscrupulous retailers will try to offload inventory on unsuspecting customers and well-meaning relatives. Double check that the description and packaging matches what you see below before snapping up a 'bargain'.

With the build quality of this upcoming console looking to rival Nintendo’s efforts, we expect this to be a hot item with many of these units ending up on auction sites, so while it’s impossible to predict Sega’s production and distribution plans, we’d get in early before the scalpers and pre-order one today.

These are all the pre-order options which we could find at the moment, more will be added as they pop up.

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Pre-Order Sega Genesis Mini in the USA

Pre-Order Sega Mega Drive Mini in the UK

Pre-Order Japanese Sega Mega Drive Mini

True Mega Drive aficionados will accept nothing less than the best - a Japanese import just like the good old days! The advantage with importing a Japanese Mega Drive Mini, is that it comes with a 6-button controller as standard.

Let us know if you'll be slamming down a pre-order for the Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Mini with a comment below.