A couple of weeks ago, we speculated that the increasing trend for nostalgia and retro gaming could ultimately play a role in dictating the future of console gaming. Over the weekend, we got another reminder of just how powerful this lust for classic games is, with Sega announcing a miniature version of the Mega Drive, their iconic 1989 console.
— セガ公式アカウント (@SEGA_OFFICIAL) April 14, 2018
Apparently designed in the same vein as the recent Nintendo Classic Mini NES and SNES, the Mega Drive Mini is expected to launch with a set of pre-loaded games, although how many and which titles will be included has yet to be confirmed. However, you can be pretty sure you'll see the likes of Sonic, who had four best-selling games hit the system, as well as Sonic Spinball. Other seemingly likely choices will be the enormously popular side-scrolling beat 'em up Streets of Rage II, Street Fighter II (which also appeared on the SNES Mini) and perhaps Phantasy Star IV, the epic RPG.
One potential stumbling block is the number of best-selling Mega Drive (called the Genesis in the US) games that have a potentially complicated licensing background. The likes of Disney's Alladin, NBA Jam and Jurassic Park were all very popular, but may prove complicated to get access to for the system.
The Mega Drive never hit the heights of the NES or SNES in terms of popularity, but it nonetheless sold well and remains an iconic piece of hardware. It's also very nice to see Sega back in the hardware business for the first time since the failure of the Dreamcast saw them abandon the console business. The Mega Drive was their most successful console, and with no announcement from Nintendo about another mini retro console launching this year, it might just give Sega a Christmas best-seller.