Plus: Who’s writing the emulator?
It has been a busy night (or day, I guess, at Sega Fes). Earlier I said it was likely that North America and Europe would receive a different lineup for the Genesis Mini, and a fact that bore true this morning.
The iconic SEGA Genesis returns September 19, 2019, with our lovingly crafted SEGA Genesis Mini for $79.99!
Simply plug-in and play 40 of the console's legendary titles, 10 of which we're announcing today.
— SEGA (@SEGA) March 30, 2019
It would appear that while Japan is getting two different SKUs for their Genesis Mini, we’re only getting one. Japan gets a choice between a $60 console with one six-button controller, or an $80 console with two six button controllers. For English-speaking territories, we’re only getting the $80 option with two controllers, and on top of that, our controllers only contain three buttons instead of six. Now, there weren’t tons of Genesis games that required more than three buttons, but when they did, it was basically essential.
But that’s not all. Here’s the first ten games in our line-up:
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Space Harrier II
- Shining Force
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
- Toejam & Earl
- Comix Zone
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Altered Beast
- Gunstar Heroes
We’re trading Puyo Puyo 2 for Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine (it’s the same game, really), and we lose Madou Monogatari, Powerball, and Rent-a-Hero in favor of Ecco the Dolphin, Toejam & Earl, and Altered Beast. But the biggest change is Japan getting the clearly superior Sonic 2, whereas we’re going to be stuck with Sonic 1.
I’m not going to mince words, folks: Sonic 1 isn’t great. It’s iconic as heck, but it’s a typical freshman outing and kind of rough around the edges. 2D Sonic was perfected with Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but since Sega seems to be spooked by the music licensing in that game, the ideal pick here would be Sonic 2. On no planet would any sane person pick Sonic 1 over Sonic 2, and yet here we are, a day later and three buttons short.
But it’s not all bad: last night, It was revealed that the emulation in the Genesis Mini is being handled by M2, the same developer responsible for programming the Sega Genesis Virtual Console emulation on the Wii, and the same developer behind the Sega Ages collections on 3DS and Switch. These guys know their stuff, and typically go the extra mile with bonus features.
Which was the second reveal last night: every game included on the Genesis Mini will contain a version for every region that game was released in. So not only are you getting Castlevania: Bloodlines, you’re getting Japan’s Vampire Killer, and Europe’s Castlevania: The New Generation. A small bonus in the grand scheme, but a welcome one just the same. We might be stuck with Sonic 1, but at least we’ll be able to play the Japanese version with enhanced parallax scrolling.
So that’s it, then. The Genesis Mini will be hitting on September 19th of this year for $80 with 40 games in tow. Preorders have not yet begun. You can learn more at the mini-site Sega’s set up for the device, and apparently Sega will reveal more of the lineup at a Famitsu event on April 18th.
See you then!