Sega Mega Drive Mini
E3 2019 is a quiet one when it comes to hardware and especially consoles. However, Sega has shown off its new retro classic in the form of the Mega Drive Mini, or the Genesis depending on where you are. Here’s our hands-on review from the show.
Following in the footsteps of Nintendo with its NES and SNES Classic Mini consoles, the Sega Mega Drive Mini does exactly what is says on the box. This is a scaled down version of the 90s console loaded with nostalgic games.
There’s nothing particularly surprising about the design of the Mega Drive Mini. After seeing Nintendo’s efforts, this is very much the same philosophy but with a different console.
The palm sized replica is pretty cute and even has working flaps for the cartridge slot, although there’s nothing to put it in which is a shame. A dummy cartridge would have been a nice touch.
Otherwise, you get a power switch, a reset button which acts like the Start button on the controller and a headphone volume slider which moves but is purely for show since there is no headphone jack. That would have perhaps been another nice touch but would have added cost.
Round the back are HDMI and Micro-USB ports, the latter for power. Then at the front are USB-A ports to plug in the controllers. Using modern ports is an obvious change from the original console and might detract slightly from the retro feel but it’s also totally understandable.
Apart from the USB port, the controllers – of which there are two included in the box – are true to the original including the size, shape and weight. They’re properly clunky and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Once you get one in your hand you’ll be instantly transported back to the age you were playing on the original.
Software wise things are as simple as you like. It’s basically a case of switching on the console and choosing what game to play. Once you’re in we’re sure it will all come flooding back, although games – as we found with the Nintendo classics – might well be harder than you remember.
Choosing a game to play may or may not be easy depending on what you’re after. There’s everything from Sonic, to Golden Axe to, Earthworm Jim, to Toe Jam & Earl. The menu allows you to order them in various ways – release date, alphabetical order, genre and number of players.
With a total of 42 games (way more than Sony offers) means there’s likely to be a mix of games you remember with fond memories and others you never played. However many of them you know, there are many many hours of fun to be had here for such an affordable price.
The games look great with the 16-bit graphics and playing them feels just like we remember on the original. You can choose whether to use the original aspect ratio, with optional wallpapers to fill the black space, or stretch it to fill your modern display.
With a very similar winning formula as the Nintendo classic editions, there’s very little to dislike here when it comes to the Sega Mega Drive Mini.
This another cute replica of a much loved console, complete with true to the original controllers and a large range of popular games.
All this for an affordable price makes it a winner in our book. You’ll only disagree if you hated the Mega Drive for some reason.