Sega returns to win the classic console wars with Sega Genesis Mini, as it aims to be a perfect recreation of the original system. Classic consoles, especially miniaturized versions, are the latest trend in the gaming industry, which Nintendo kicked off with NES Classic in 2016. Ever since then, the concept of selling retro consoles, but smaller than ever before, filled with iconic games became a reality. And soon, everyone - from Nintendo to PlayStation - wanted to get in on all the fun.
After the NES Classic, there was the Super NES Classic, PlayStation Classic, NEO GEO Mini International, and even Commodore 64 Mini. Sega licensed their own version at one point, but now they're on the verge of releasing a mini console designed by their team. The Sega Genesis Mini was first announced in 2018, and after going through a complete redesign, it's finally going to hit store shelves in September 2019, along with 40 original games that look and play exactly as people remember them.
Screen Rant had the chance to go hands-on with the Sega Genesis Mini at E3 2019, and we were able to select from any game from the bunch. While there have been Genesis emulators on the market for years, Sega's goal with the Sega Genesis Mini is to have a one-to-one recreation of the original system, specifically with regards to how the games play. So the graphics, animations, sounds, and glitches (or features?) that were in the original games are back in the Sega Genesis Mini. Nothing has been changed. This is where the console differs from its recent competitors.
In fact, besides being much smaller than the Sega Genesis, the Sega Genesis Mini comes with two additional games that never released on the original version: Darius and Tetris. Yes, Tetris wasn't on the Sega Genesis. But don't expect a modern version of the game on this system. They've been ported over by Sega and developer M2 from their arcade releases. It's an extra step to give off the same feel as if the games originally did release on the Genesis.
Of course, consumers may be concerned with the $80 price tag, but with two wired controllers, 42 games, and a console that can fit into the palm of your hand, it's a decent deal in the end. If you weren't a fan of the Sega Genesis, though, or you're not particularly interested in playing 30-year old games, then this may not be the console for you. From our brief time with the Sega Genesis Mini, it's clear that authenticity was the core pillar when designing this system and creating emulations for the games. It's capitalizing entirely on nostalgia, and really, that's not a bad thing.