The miniature console craze has subsided since its NES Classic and SNES Classic peak, with fewer companies giving the concept a chance. However, Sega remains an exception, releasing not one, but two new retro machines by the end of the year.
Only one of them, the Sega Genesis Mini 2, will come to the United States. And Sega confirmed to Ars Technica that the system in question would be in incredibly limited supply: “around a tenth” of the count of the 2019 Sega Genesis Mini.
Mini production series for Mini 2
The news came as a surprising answer to an entirely different question. Ars contacted Sega shortly after the Genesis Mini 2 was announced, because we wanted clarity on who exactly was producing and shipping the system.
The Genesis Mini 2 was confirmed months after Sega announced a similar living room box set for its Japanese audience, the Mega Drive 2. The “2” indicates that this is a follow-up to the 2019 concept, only with a selection entirely new built. -in, emulated classics from Sega’s 16-bit console generation (this time with built-in Sega CD games).
Sega of America handled the promotion and shipping of the 2019 Genesis Mini, while this year’s Genesis Mini 2, scheduled to ship on October 27, appears to be handled entirely by Sega of Japan. For one thing, its official site is in English, but it’s hosted on Sega’s Japanese domain. More importantly for interested buyers, the Genesis Mini 2 is only available through an Amazon US listing, which claims all purchases will ship from Japan, thus skipping the usual Prime shipping discounts and guarantees. from Amazon (and possibly burdening US buyers with customs issues).
My questions about Genesis Mini 2 shipments were directed to Sega’s corporate office in Japan, which eventually confirmed that the new miniaturized console was a “Japan-exclusive project” for the company. “The Sega Genesis Mini 2 could only be produced in small quantities due to worldwide semiconductor shortages,” a letter from Sega’s president’s office reads, so the company opted to produce a small western batch of the Genesis Mini. 2 along with your Mega Drive order. Mini 2s.
“The number of units for this project represents about a tenth of the total for the previous Genesis Mini,” the letter says.
You may need to decide in advance
Since Sega never announced total sales figures for the original Genesis Mini, or Mega Drive Mini sales from other regions, we cannot accurately estimate how small this manufacturing count is. Anecdotally, the original Genesis Mini seemed to fall somewhere between rampant sales of Nintendo’s own systems and the underperforming, fast-discounting fate of 2018’s underwhelming PlayStation Mini. stable and accessible even until the beginning of 2020 (and they had their own deep discounts in May 2020). These days, it’s no longer made and ranges between $160 and $200 at both official retailers and eBay listings (well above its original MSRP of $80).
Most of the miniaturized consoles of the last decade have come and gone with only one or two production runs, much to the chagrin of customers. Sega’s statement suggests no confidence that we should expect anything different from its newest machine, and the same goes for the Japan-exclusive Astro City Mini V, which will resemble the 2020 Astro City Mini (which I previously reviewed), but this time includes a vertically oriented monitor and matching classic arcade games.
The statement doesn’t clarify what percentage of scaling may have been applied to the Mega Drive Mini 2 compared to the first Mega Drive Mini, but it also doesn’t mention anything about a European model, leaving us in doubt that Sega of Europe will make a system. which is full of multi-language games branded “Mega Drive 2 Mini”.
At press time, Amazon’s US site still shows the Genesis Mini 2 available at a price of around $103, which has fluctuated since its announcement, due to its Japanese-made origin and pricing based on the Japanese yen. This update from Sega of Japan suggests that anyone interested in the western version of the Genesis Mini 2, which will contain western versions of some games and original Japanese versions of others, should not hesitate to place an order.
Ars Technica has already ordered its own Genesis Mini 2 hardware and is in contact with Japan’s Sega to obtain the system ahead of its release. But in light of this apparent scarcity, my review of the 2019 original may help you make up your mind before it’s too late for this one to come close to MSRP. Both Genesis Mini models are made by the same team at M2 and apparently revolve around the same emulation cores and interfaces. I mainly praised that system for its price-to-content ratio and brilliant emulation performance, and the games announced from this system so far include Genesis and Sega CD classics at a similar price-per-game ratio (along with a default increase to six – button controller as your package option).
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