Will the SEGA Mega Drive Mini be the Best of its Kind?

Every 80’s and 90’s kid will be incredibly familiar with the numerous video game consoles that were released during that era. Each time a new platform or breakthrough game came out, you would rush round to your friend’s house to try it – and they’d be the talk of the playground for the next few weeks and months, guaranteed!

Back then, you’d be lucky to be even bought a game, let alone a console. Even then, it would most likely be at Christmas or birthdays. But as that generation of kids has grown up, computer power has vastly increased while maintaining a more reasonable cost. This has lead to new games and consoles becoming less of a kid’s toy and rather more mainstream.

The generation who were raised on Sonic and SEGA now have salaries and wages, with money to spend on whatever they fancy. Nearly everyone now has a games console in their living room or house, as video gaming has evolved to no longer be geeky. Instead, it’s the new norm – and it also happens to be making a select few very rich.

But there’s also been a big rise in nostalgic gaming too. Like listening to old records, nostalgic gaming focuses on games and consoles of the past. It takes the retro as its focus, with a few modern-day tweaks, before being released into the market to remind everyone of the greatness that went before your PS4’s, Xbox One’s and Nintendo Switch’s.

The latest in this recent renaissance of nostalgic video game consoles is something we’re hugely excited about – the SEGA Mega Drive Mini! Back in September, we were initially disappointed to hear that it had been delayed until 2019. However, when we read that the reason for this is so that ALL regions can enjoy a simultaneous release – this inclusivity reminded us of just why we love SEGA so much.

But how do we think the Mega Drive (Genesis, for US readers) Mini will stand up to the rest of the competition? Let your SEGA Nerds do a little research.

The C64 Mini

One of the first instances of nostalgic gaming resurgence was the C64 Mini, a re-release of the Commodore 64 from 1982. I vividly remember playing card games such as Hollywood Poker Pro by reLINE Software on my old C64. The graphics are really basic, meaning today’s online slot machines are much more hi-tech. It’s just a shame that the quality 80’s synth pop background music cannot be replaced!

With regards to the C64 Mini, the graphics do look good thanks to the 720p HD quality output. However, it’s very unfriendly for the user, with TechRadar noting that “excitement quickly turns to frustration”after a few rounds of playing.

In fact, it’s been reported that the C64 Mini is, in some ways, harder to use than the original. For example, the built-in keyboard is purely aesthetic (so you have to plug in a USB keyboard of your own if you’d like this function), and the joystick feels unresponsive and unfamiliar (with a cord length of 1.5m meaning you’ll probably still have to sit on the floor in front of the TV as you did when you were a kid).

Its slight saving grace is the 64 built-in games – but there’s no Hollywood Poker Pro for me, unfortunately!

PlayStation Classic

The PlayStation Classic Mini is next, a mini version of the original PlayStation that was first released in 1994. Unlike the C64 Mini, the build and interface of the PlayStation Classic is just as good as the original. However, the major downside of this machine is that Sony only built in 20 games, leaving out many fan favourites.

Considering the RRP is $99.99, this is a steep price to pay for a nostalgic game console with few of the hits that made it so successful. I admit that I didn’t expect to see my personal favourite Caesar’s Palace make it into the list. However, there are so many new casinos going online these days that I don’t think I’ll miss it too much. Crash Bandicoot, Driver and Gran Turismo on the other hands, I will be rueing their omission.

It’s such a simple mistake to make, but one that will surely end up biting them with limited sales.

SEGA Mega Drive Mini

That brings us to the SEGA Mega Drive, with a miniaturised version of this 1988 household classic to be released next year. In our view, there’s no real threat to it, so the ascent to the mini games console throne is very achievable.

All it needs to do is provide similar hardware advances as the C64 and PlayStation Classic (such as HD output and save game states, for example), while not making the same basic mistakes (responsive joysticks, good game selection etc). There might even be wireless controllers too.

What we do know, however, from SEGA’s official Twitter account is that it will be very portable!

On the subject of games, there has been no official confirmation from SEGA as of yet. However,the absolute classics will hopefully be there, such as:

  • Bio-Hazard Battle
  • Streets of Rage
  • Phantasy Star
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Golden Axe

Will you be buying a SEGA Mega Drive Mini when it’s released!?

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