This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Sega Genesis’ launch in Japan, and even today, the system evokes fond memories among gamers of a certain age. For Sega, the system was also its high watermark, with its library of arcade games and the presence of Sonic The Hedgehog making it a genuine rival to Nintendo’s SNES.
To celebrate, Sega has announced the Genesis Mini – effectively its own take of Nintendo’s miniaturized classic consoles, which will come with an as-yet unconfirmed selection of games preloaded into its memory.
The major cloud on the horizon, though, is that the internal hardware appears to be the work of a firm called AtGames, which has made several licensed versions of the Genesis in the past. If you’ve owned one, you’ll know they’re not exactly perfect: a fairly cheap build quality, clunky menu system, and some iffy sound emulation were some of the major drawbacks.
Based on this translated interview from a Japanese website (via Polygon), it seems that Sega’s new Genesis Mini will be an updated version of an AtGames console, albeit with “different emulation”. While the Japanese version will be a small, sealed unit like the one pictured in Sega’s tweet below, the interview suggests that western versions will have a cartridge slot so users can play their existing games.
It’s a great function to have, certainly, but this adds weight to the theory that we’ll be getting a re-badged, anniversary edition of an existing AtGames device.
None of this has been formally confirmed by Sega yet, however, so it could be that the Genesis Mini will be a major cut above the devices we’ve seen in the past. We’ll bring you more as we hear it.