No, Sega Doesn't Have Its Own Mini-Genesis

Despite reports circulating to the contrary, the Nintendo/Sega console rivalry isn't flaring back up in miniature form. Nintendo's upcoming mini-NES is a brand new device. AtGames' Sega-branded mini-Mega Drive is a shoddy emulation box that's been around for years. Not good. Certainly not new.

We've gotten several tip emails asking us about "Sega's new mini console", so we felt it best to clear the air. Chinese company AtGames has been putting out its Mega Drive since at least 2012.

From Amazon's 2012 listing.

The device, which does not contain genuine Sega Genesis internal hardware, has gone through several revisions over the past four years, the latest being a box due out in October featuring the Sonic the Hedgehog 25th Anniversary logo.

I'm guessing the logo is what spurred various outlets to declare this system competition or a response to Nintendo's mini-NES. It really isn't. This is the same sad hardware that's been lightly revised over the past several years.

Hardcore lovers of Sega Genesis games hate this thing, complaining of sluggish controls (a combination of bad wireless signal and the lag of upscaling to HD from AV cables) and horrible sound distortion. Yes, it will play Mega Drive/Genesis cartridges. Will it play them well? Sometimes.

AtGames' latest model mixes up the included game lineup from the previous one slightly, but it's still pretty much half real Sega games, half shovelware nonsense.

See all the smaller screens? Those aren't Sega Genesis or Mega Drive games. That's the sort of fluff you get in third-party knock-offs, even if they're licensed.

So no, Sega isn't releasing a mini-Mega Drive to compete with Nintendo's mini-NES. The Chinese company that licenses the Sega Mega Drive name is updating its box to capitalise on Sonic's 25th anniversary.

If Sega does decide to release a mini-console packed with perfectly-emulated Genesis games and an HDMI out, we'll be the first to let you know.


    The mini-NES is 8bit, so wouldn't it be a mini Sega Master System, not a Mega Drive/Genesis?

      No, it's an emulator for a genesis in a box, that's about it. A really, shitty, shoddy one at that. I was watching some video reviews of it and it's really terrible.


        I gotta admit though, the box itself looks very genuine.

        Usually knock off consoles would have Mr. T on the front, or a badly coloured-in Batman.

          Knock off Mega Drive's have been around for ages (something about a lapse hardware patent i think) - the one I have looks awesome, until you play it and realise the sound is half speed

            Mine is a handheld that takes SD cards, best haha.

    Could have sworn it was a kotaku article about the mini nes when it was announced that lead me to discover the atgames sega box. I remember being susprised because the article said sega have a genisis version and it was the first i'd heard of it and was dissapointed it was a knock off. May have been another news outlet but i really thought it was kotaku i read it on

    Last edited 27/07/16 3:06 pm

      We did do a couple of articles on the Mini NES when it was announced, but they made no mention of Sega. It's easy to get lost down the internet rabbit hole though!

    Smacks of the UK shops gleefully advertising the Ouya can play pirated roms back in the day. Free the Games I think.

    The NESya or whatever may still be affected by what this thing does to a game's controls, overall look, etc. Time will tell.

      This appears to be licensed by Sega, and is being sold on rather than a grey market Chinese retailer.

      This appears to be no less official (and legal) than Nintendo's updated console. Remember that Sega was licensing out the right to build their consoles in various territories even back in the 90s (e.g. to Tec Toy in Brazil).

    Hardcore lovers of Sega Genesis games hate this thing, complaining of sluggish controls (a combination of bad wireless signal and the lag of upscaling to HD from AV cables) and horrible sound distortion. Yes, it will play Mega Drive/Genesis cartridges. Will it play them well? Sometimes.

    There is a explanation for the sound. The unit only outputs one sound channel so games with stereo sound will only have the right (?) channel sent.

    I love the fact the unit is region free but at the same time there is a lot of room for improvement.

      It's really hard to emulate the authentic fartiness.

        No actually, I did try Ren 'n Stimpy in it. Sound is OK for that game, :-P

      The megadrive/genisis was always region free - it was only the consoles mold that stopped you from playing other regions games.

      I took the lid off my megadrive 2 to play my asian frienda import games - they were lucky and the aussie carta juat slotted into their megadrive.

    I had one of these it was horrible.
    I grew up playing Sonic on Genesis and there was a noticeable speed difference

    bought one of these a few years ago from kmart. for the price it was fine. it was like 50 bucks and did the job. not as good as a real one mind you, but just as good as any other emulator

    Last edited 27/07/16 8:36 pm

    That's a shame to me that there is no genuine Sega Genesis/Mega Drive throwback or at least a good licensed alternative. The NES re-release is great, but I owned a NES as a kid, and every main Nintendo console until the Wii for that matter.

    Whereas I never owned a Mega Drive, a Saturn was the only Sega I ever had (Virtua Cop 1 and 2 with the Virtua Gun, great memories!). So there is more appeal to me in playing a great console I never had instead of one I did.

    Better to run them from PC these days.

    Dont know if they still are, but they were available at Myer for a while. Almost picked one up a year or so ago, so if they are so grey I cant imagine Myer selling them (although it is Hobart, soo stranger things have happened!)

      I seen them in bigw and kmart few years back. They're a licensed product so its all above board. Shame they don't run that good...

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