The Sega Mega Drive, one of the most loved games consoles of all time, is coming back for its thirtieth anniversary in tiny form. They’re calling it the Mega Drive Mini, which is of course really silly, because that means “big drive little”. Sega Mini Drive, surely? Never mind. Sega Mega Drive Mini it is.
Look at it, it’s cute!
This will be Sega’s first console since the Dreamcast back in 2001, a fantastic console that unfortunately didn’t meet sales expectations.
The Mega Drive Mini comes hot on the heels of Nintendo’s incredibly successful NES Classic Edition, which sold over 4 million copies. That console came loaded with over 30 classic games - Sega haven’t yet said whether the Mega Drive Mini will as well.
They have’t said much about it at all, in fact. A Facebook post by third-party manufacturer AtGames sharing some details on the hardware has since been deleted, but it suggested among other things that licensing problems might complicate what games could be brought out. AtGames made another Sega resissue, the Genesis Flashback, which came with 85 games but was a giant flop due to software issues.
One of the problems they face is that Sega is entirely out of the hardware business - while the NES Classic is fully a Nintendo joint, the Mega Drive Mini is a much more complex situation involving rights holders, licenced names, third-party manufacturers and all sorts of admin-heavy, laff-light non-fun. Hindsight is obviously 20/20, but there have to be people at Sega kicking themselves that they didn’t keep their hardware division going.
We’re holding out hope, though. 2018’s games may be beautiful, immersive and narratively groundbreaking, but do they hold a candle to Streets Of Rage, Golden Axe, Sonic? They probably do, yes, but still. Here’s a 50-minute playthrough of Golden Axe that is both frustrating and beautiful. BE THE DWARF, YOU’RE DOING IT WRONG, BE THE DWARF
Read more: The 20 greatest retro games