Today marks 30 years since the SEGA Genesis (known as the SEGA Mega Drive elsewhere, the name was changed in North America due to trademark issues) made its debut!
This name would turn out to be quite fitting, as the SEGA Genesis became the system that would not only make SEGA and many of its franchises household names on the continent, it would also serve as the birth place for the company’s most successful character: a blue hedgehog named Sonic!
While a good chunk of Sega’s booth was dedicated to Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, there was a corner showing off some of Sega’s other properties slated for release later this year. Among them was the Sega Genesis Mini, Sega’s answer to the NES and SNES Classic. I sat down in a bean bag (which means my fat rump had a hard time getting back up) and sampled SEGA’s miniaturized console.
The first thing you’ll notice when playing the demo at E3 is that the part of the booth you’re at looks like a living room, complete with a bean bag to sit in. Much like the virtual living room in some of the recent Genesis compilations, there are posters of Genesis games everywhere, along with with old VHS tapes with cheesy labels like “Cartoon collection! Do not erase!!” on them. They really went all-in on the “90’s bedroom” aesthetic.
The nostalgia doesn’t stop with the booth aesthetic, as the mini console itself gets a lot right. Its controller has an ergonomic feel and shape that perfectly replicates the original, and the console itself is a faithful, shrunk-down recreation of SEGA’s 16-bit system. Once you boot the mini console up, you’re treated to a screen filled with about a dozen Genesis titles, with the rest coming into view as you scroll down. I don’t know if I care for this, as it shrinks down the box art and makes each game feel less important. Hopefully, the interface can customized in the final product.
Despite the September release date, the console already feels ready for release, as all 42 games were playable on the show floor. I went with Mega Man: The Wily Wars and Road Rash 2 for this preview. Both played great and judging by Road Rash 2 alone, are identical to their original versions. The emulation is perfect.
Holding start for five seconds brings up a menu where you can make a save state and exit back to the main menu. There’s your usual options such as screen filters and what aspect ratio you want the game in, but one of the most interesting features is the language menu. You can set the game menu to many different languages and the games will play in their original language as well. Going back to aspect ratio, another neat feature is that many of the games feature a more natural 16:9 aspect ratio by zooming in on the game while keeping the UI in place. Sonic 2 was shown off as an example of that. It keeps the sprites from looking stretched, but at the cost of zooming in on the picture a bit.
Overall, with a great controller, cool menu features and pixel perfect emulation, the Sega Genesis Mini is something to get hyped for. It blows the old AtGames Genesis consoles out of the water in every way, and should definitely be worth picking up come September.
In addition to the regular kiosks, SEGA also had a Genesis Mini running on a giant, 5-foot-wide Genesis controller that folks could play Streets of Rage and Sonic 2 on. When I tried to play Sonic 2’s Chemical Plant level, I had to stretch my arms out and punch the A button with my first just to get around. While it was a neat novelty, it wasn’t exactly the most wieldy controller, since I couldn’t even spindash with it.
Still, even on this giant cumbersome monstrosity, I was able to get enough rings to enter the special special. As I began maneuvering Sonic and Tails through the half-pipe, a crowd formed around me. Despite the massive controller, I made it through and even got a small amount of applause! Here’s hoping SEGA’s booth features and equally cool gimmick next E3.
Every year, a SEGA property is usually featured prominently on the E3 badge. Last year was Valkyria Chronicles 4 and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight. This year, it’s Mario & Sonic at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and the SEGA Genesis Mini. Our own Jason Berry sent us some pictures, take a look!
SEGA revealed another ten games for their upcoming SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Mini today, including Sonic Spinball. Developed in 1993 by the American-based SEGA Technical Institute, Sonic Spinball put Sonic into pinball-inspired levels, where he had to collect the chaos emeralds and defeat bosses.
Spinball marks fourth Sonic game to be announced for SEGA’s mini console, joining Sonic 1 and 2, and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. Check out the list of all ten newly revealed games below:
• Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
• Beyond Oasis
• Ghouls and Ghosts
• Golden Axe
• Phantasy Star IV
• Street Fighter 2: Special Championship Edition
• Mega Man: The Wily Wars
• Sonic Spinball
• Wonderboy in Monster World
With ten more games left to be announced, it is very possible that SEGA has one more Sonic game waiting in the wings for their mini console. Stay tuned!
On this latest episode of Sonic Talk, hosts Jason, Alex and GX talk about all the latest Sonic news, including the library of the SEGA Genesis Mini, the return of Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, the development materials for Sonic 2 released by game artist Tom Payne, and the last few issues of IDW’s Sonic comic. Continue reading Sonic Talk Episode 60: Super Smash Butts
The long awaited mini version of SEGA’s 16-bit console has finally been officially revealed at tonight’s SEGA FES 2019. The mini console will launch worldwide later this year on September 19, and will feature 40 games, including Sonic the Hedgehog 2. As we reported earlier this year, SEGA only wanted one game per series on the console, and ran a poll to decide whether Sonic 1 or 2 would be included. Don’t expect anymore Sonic games to be announced later. The console is powered by a mini USB cable, and has the power/reset buttons in the same places as the original console, and even features a replica (though definitely non-functional) cartridge slot you can stick your finger in!
The console will come in two different SKUs: a one-controller 6980 yen unit and a two controller 8980 yen unit. Though no western prices were shown, that translates to $62.95/£48.28 and $80.99/£62.11 respectively.
UPDATE: It has been confirmed that M2 is developing the Mega Drive Mini’s software. M2 is the same company that worked on the the SEGA 3D Classics for 3DS and is currently working on the SEGA AGES line of games for Nintendo Switch.
As always, stay tuned to Sonic Stadium for future updates on the Mega Drive Mini! Check out some images of the console, as well as an image of Sonic 2 running on the console, below:
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
3rd Party Cookies
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!