Sega Genesis Mini
|Also known as||Mega Drive Mini|
|Type||Dedicated home video game console|
|Media||Internal flash memory|
|Operating system||Linux kernel|
|System on a chip||ZUIKI Z7213|
|Memory||256 MB of RAM|
|Storage||512 MB flash memory|
|Controller input||2 controller ports|
|Dimensions||154 mm × 39 mm × 116 mm|
The Sega Genesis Mini, known as the Mega Drive Mini in regions outside of North America, is a dedicated console modeled on Sega's Genesis. The Mini emulates the original console's 16-bit hardware, and includes 42 games ported by M2. It was released in North America and Japan in September 2019, and in Europe and the Middle East the following month.
The Mini is half the size of the original Sega Genesis video game console. Inside the unit is an ARM-based SOC ZUIKI Z7213 and 512 MB of flash memory. It includes either one or two (dependent on region's bundle options) full-size replica controllers that connect through USB, thus original controllers are incompatible, a USB-to-Micro-B power cable (USB AC adapter in North America), and an HDMI video cable. There are separate releases for North America, Europe, Asia and Japan, as the Mini reproduces the original console's decal and color variations in those regions. Korea is a slight exception, as the Mega Drive was not released there by Sega but by Samsung as the "Super Gam*Boy" and later "Super Aladdin Boy"; none of these names or brands appear on the Korean version of the Mega Drive Mini.
The North American and European Minis include three-button controllers, while the Japanese controllers have six buttons. Officially licensed six-button controllers made specifically for the Mini are also sold separately in North America and Europe. Official model accessories of a miniature Mega-CD, a miniature Super 32X, a miniature Sonic & Knuckles lock-on Genesis cartridge, and a miniature Sonic the Hedgehog standard Mega Drive cartridge are also sold separately in Japan. Miniature replicas of the Sega CD and Sega 32X were also manufactured but only distributed to select members of the media.
The Mini includes 42 games though the exact selection varies by region. Each Mini has a set of games exclusive to the region it was released. Switching the language menu allows for multiple regional game variations to be played. For example, Contra: Hard Corps can be played with the English or Japanese setting, but with other languages Contra is substituted by its European counterpart Probotector; switching the language from English into Japanese turns Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine into Puyo Puyo and vice versa. There are no Japanese variants of Vectorman, Earthworm Jim, and Virtua Fighter 2 included as those games were never released in Japan. Two bonus games, Darius and Tetris, are new conversions (ports). They were never released for the original console and have been newly ported from their arcade releases exclusively for this compilation. All of the games have a save state feature to pause and resume progress and can be played in either the original 4:3 aspect ratio or stretched to 16:9 widescreen with HUD elements modified to fit onto the screen.
Production and release
The Sega Genesis Mini was first announced at the Sega Fes show in April 2018. The announcement was part of a trend of releasing smaller versions of 80s and 90s retro videogame consoles. It was delayed in September, missing the console's 30th-anniversary window, when Sega dropped its partnership with AtGames, whose 2017 Sega Genesis Flashback was critically panned for its production quality. Instead of using AtGames's Flashback software on a Japan-exclusive Mini, Sega handled the entire production of the system. The system was released on September 19, 2019, except in Europe and the Middle East, where it was released on October 4, 2019.
M2, who previously collaborated with Sega on the Sega Ages and Sega 3D Classics Collection series, produced the Mini's ports. Sega emphasized first-party production quality in its marketing for the Mini, as the company returns to the hardware business after last producing the Sega Dreamcast in 2001. The menu music was written by Yuzo Koshiro, who was also the composer of some games in the collection, including The Revenge of Shinobi, Streets of Rage 2, and Beyond Oasis.
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