It might not mean much to people outside of the UK, but the Sega Bus has been part of video game folklore for decades. Back when Nintendo and Sega were fighting tooth and nail for dominance of living rooms all over the world, Sega's UK arm – which had enjoyed tremendous success thanks to the fact that the region was (at that point) traditionally a Sega stronghold – thought it would be a good idea to take a double-decker bus, cover it with pictures of Sonic, fill it with Mega Drive consoles (and the latest games, of course) and drive it all over the country, spreading Sega's own brand of 16-bit goodness to towns and cities everywhere.
Sega repeated this trick a few times before it fell out of favour (and the hardware market) at the end of the decade, and the current order – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo – was ushered in. However, with the release of the Mega Drive Mini, Sega is finally back in the business of making home consoles (kinda), and, along with UK retailer GAME, has resurrected the famous Sega Bus. Given that we're all secretly Sega fanboys here at Nintendo Life (or should that be 'Sega Life' amirite?), we couldn't resist paying it a visit when it stopped off in nearby Nottingham today.
Inside the bus, there's a selection of flat-screen TVs with Mega Drive Mini consoles connected to them (the consoles are strapped to the tables so they can't be stolen, of course). The moody lighting really helps bring the bright and colourful games to the forefront, and while it took a while to get used to that outdated three-button controller (the Japanese version comes with a 6-button pad, so you can at least play Street Fighter II properly), we soon settled in.
On the lower deck was a selection of Mega Drive Mini consoles which – if you were sufficiently impressed by what you'd played – you could purchase and walk away with. The upper deck was home to even more machines, and given that it's currently the school holidays in Nottingham, there were plenty of kids on hand to find out what all the fuss was about. We couldn't help but raise a smile at a mother and her two young kids coming up with their names for the various special moves in Street Fighter II. The mother also commented that she "had one of these at home", presumably referring to the original Mega Drive from way back when. We'd like to think that this micro-console – like the NES and SNES Classic Editions – is doing its bit to connect '90s gamers with their Fortnite-loving offspring.
If you'd like to catch the Sega Bus before its tour of the UK ends, you'd better be quick – it's in Nottingham's Trinity Square until 7:30PM tonight, then it's off the road.