Sega Announces A Mega Drive Mini

During last night's Sega FES 2018 stream, the company announced a mini version of the Mega Drive will be released in Japan later this year.

Screenshot: Sega

Sega didn't show much more than the actual model, so details are scarce as to what kind of hardware or software is packed in the lil' machine. We do have an idea of how small it is, though.

No word on games yet, or when this Mega Drive Mini might make it over to Western shores. Right now, it's just set for Japan sometime later this year.

Sega already dipped its toes in the water with the AtGames Sega Genesis Flashback HD last year, which turned out to be a little more disappointing than Nintendo's Classic lineup. While the updated version addressed the major issues, it still wasn't quite there yet.

AtGames has said via Facebook that the Mega Drive Mini will be "powered by the latest AtGames technology".

If you can't stand waiting that long to play some Sega classics, don't worry — the company also announced a number of Sega classics would be coming to the Nintendo Switch under the Ages label, including Sonic The Hedgehog, Phantasy Star and Thunder Force 4.


    Sweet, I hope to Christ they don't cheapen out on the sound quality like MegaDrive 1 vs 2 + 3.

      Considering how hard it is to emulate the YM6212 it's doubtful.

    The should just call it the Drive.

    Finally, Sega is doing it themselves and not licensing shitty AtGames to do it. This should have been done in the first place.

    Considering how popular the NES/SNES Minis have been, they would be crazy not to release it in the west. Looking forward to this.

      This one is made by atgames as well.

        Oh crap, didn't notice that. Blegh, less enthusiastic now.

        AtGames has said it is based on their hardware. I guess the question is whether it is also using the same emulator as the previous systems.

        I suspect many of the problems with the older AtGames mini consoles were software based, so I guess it depends on how much extra effort Sega will put into a device that it is marketing/distributing itself.

          The problem I have with these system is a lot of the original hardware is still available or equivilents are available. Yet they still go the full emulation route.

            You're not going to be able to produce a device that is as small, cheap, and energy efficient using the original parts. ARM SoCs are cheap due to the volumes produced for smart phones, and are easily powerful enough to provide a good emulation (they're often more powerful than x86 PCs I've run Mega Drive emulators on in the past).

            And using the original parts is non trivial too: you'd need to integrate an HDMI controller chip, menu software to select the games, something to handle save states, etc. You'll probably end up needing a second CPU that can control the legacy one via JTAG or similar. At some point, it just isn't worth it.

              Small and cheap easy done, in large scale volumes 68000 and Z80's are in the realm of cents per piece and readily available in small foot prints as opposed to the pricing on Arm Soc's.
              That's the 68000 and z80 are still so widely used today in consumer electronics, your CD players, DVD players, microwaves, they are everywhere.

              HDMI controller is well yeah it's a HDMI controller, most micro's I have come across and I have used whatever whatever to HDMI convertors, allow for hardware settings, so no external I2c or SPI control is needed, so it's not really an issue.

              Menu software would be stored on an external EEPROM or other memory device, just like all the other software(The games) are, the same with saves.

              No secondary CPU needed, and JTAG is just another version of chip to chip communication, like I2c and SPI that mentioned earlier, but JTAG operates on a higher bandwidth.

              It is worth it, Emulation is just that it's not a true reproduction, but the problem is R&D costs money, atgames essentially just buy off the shelf SoC's interface a few inputs and outputs and sell it off, the rest is just writing the software, which the emulators are already done, I doubt the emulator is written by them, so it is massively cheaper in the design phase.

              We could have a true megadrive again, with internal storage and the works, but it'll cost more.

              In todays pump and dump manufacturing world, it won't happen.

                I mentioned JTAG because to properly handle save states with a real CPU, you need a way to save the contents of RAM and the CPU registers (and probably the same for the sound chip).

                You don't have a higher privilege kernel that can pre-empt the game software to achieve this on the Mega Drive. But a JTAG based debugger could do most of this. You can halt the CPU and inspect the register contents, and alter the register content when restoring a saved state. You would need something on the other end to drive this process, and that is likely going to be another CPU.

    The real news from this was that they're doing a new Sakura Wars game.

    This will be terrible just like the other ATGames "consoles".
    Sega should of got someone else to do it - whilst it doesn't really make business sense for them to make it themselves as they don't do any hardware any more they could of found someone else that are actually good at making these.

    With the Sega Genesis Collection coming out at the end of May I'm pretty much going to have my fill of Classic Sega games before the Mini comes out.

    Never played any sega games.

    If this comes out to the west id definitely pick one up.

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