Sega's retro blast-from-the-past is out now - here's what you need to know
The Sega Mega Drive Mini (or Sega Genesis Mini) is available to purchase now. After a mild launch date delay courtesy of some “unavoidable logistical challenges”, Sega’s teeny little console is here at last, much to the relief of a select group of nerdy, nostalgic Millenials.
We’re kidding, of course: like its competitors the SNES/NES Classic Mini and the PlayStation Classic, the Mega Drive Mini is a modern machine that’s squarely aimed at just about anyone with a love of retro stuff. If you want to know more, you’ve come to the right place; below, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Sega Mega Drive Mini, including where to buy it (and how much for).
Sega Mega Drive Mini: Everything you need to know
Sega Mega Drive Mini release date and price: When did it launch, and how much does it cost?
In Europe and the Middle East, the Mega Drive Mini launched on 4 October 2019. The rest of the world has been able to purchase the console since 19 September 2019; we’re not certain exactly why this was the case, although it’s worth noting that like the original console, the Mega Drive Mini is weirdly region-specific. We’ll explain more below.
The Mega Drive Mini will set you back £70 ($80, €80), which is a darn sight cheaper than its regular-sized ancestor – the original Mega Drive cost $189 at launch. You can grab one from most major retailers, including Amazon, Game, Argos, Very and Smyths Toys.
For the sake of comparison, the PlayStation Classic launched at £90, although you can currently nab one for as little as £40 (it has not sold particularly well). The SNES Classic Mini, meanwhile, is currently available for £125, and the NES Classic Mini, for £70. In other words: the Sega Mega Drive Mini is a great value machine.
Sega Mega Drive Mini specs: What’s inside?
Part of what makes the Mega Drive Mini worth sniffing at is the amount of stuff that comes with it. In the box, you’ll receive the console, two classic three-button gamepads, a power lead and an HDMI cable; only the SNES Classic Mini also offers two controllers, and for an extra £55 at that. The controllers connect to the console via a regular old USB cable.
You’ll receive a total of 42 pre-installed games with the Mega Drive Mini: these games vary quite heavily depending on your region, so we’ve listed only the UK-specific ones below.
- Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
- Alisia Dragoon
- Altered Beast
- Beyond Oasis
- Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
- Castlevania: Bloodlines
- Comix Zone
- Contra: Hard Corps
- Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine/Puyo Puyo
- Dynamite Headdy
- Earthworm Jim
- Ecco the Dolphin
- Eternal Champions
- Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
- Golden Axe
- Gunstar Heroes
- Kid Chameleon
- Light Crusader
- Mega Man: The Wily Wars
- Monster World IV
- Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
- Road Rash II
- Shining Force
- Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
- Sonic Spinball
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Space Harrier II
- Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
- Streets of Rage 2
- Super Fantasy Zone
- Thunder Force III
- ToeJam & Earl
- Virtua Fighter 2
- Wonder Boy in Monster World
- World of Illusion
For the record, the SNES Classic Mini comes with 21 games and the PlayStation Classic, with 20. Just sayin’.
Beneath that miniaturised retro exterior, meanwhile, you’ll find an ARM-based ZUIKI Z7213 SoC (system on a chip), with 256MB RAM and 512MB flash memory. In plain English, that’s enough power for some classic Sega games and not much else. The exterior itself varies from region to region, replicating the same decals and colour variations as the original machine.