Genesis does what Nintendalso did.

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Sega is joining the retro mini-console wars with its own Sega Genesis Mini, with a September 19 release date and a $79.99 price tag. The good news is you can preorder the Sega Genesis Mini right now, but the question is: should you?

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First off, it doesn’t look as though it’s in danger of selling out immediately, as was the case with the first runs of the NES and Super NES Classics from Nintendo. In fact, the Sega Genesis Mini is the best selling video game item on Amazon at the time of this writing. That’s a tall feat: the spot is almost the exclusive domain of the $10 Sony PlayStation Store gift card.

To bump it out of number 1, the Sega Genesis Mini, an $80 retro gaming console, sold more units than a $10 gift card. That’s pretty impressive, so there could be concern further down the road with finding one. Hopefully Sega has no supply problems like the ones that plagued Nintendo’s initial releases.

Sony’s PlayStation Classic mini console was regarded by almost everyone as a complete disappointment. A weird selection of games, emulation problems, PAL versions of some games, and a $99 price tag turned people off. You can still pick one up at Walmart for a clearance price of $39.

Hopefully the Sega Genesis Mini is closer in quality to the Super NES and NES Classics. It even does one better, including an AC adapter right in the box.

Sega Genesis Mini Included Games

On top of that, the Sega Genesis Mini has 40 games, ten of which have already been revealed:

  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Shining Force
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • Toe Jam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes

If you have emulation worries, Sega has M2 working on the emulation for its mini console.

Sega has M2 working on the emulation for its mini console.

If you’re unfamiliar with M2, it handled the excellent Sega Ages Collections and also the delightful Sega 3D Classic collections for Nintendo 3DS. It would be hard to find a developer with a better pedigree to handle the software for the first-party Sega Genesis Mini.

The one small oversight is the US version of the Sega Genesis Mini includes 2 3-button controllers, while the Japanese version includes the later 6-button controllers. Since they’re USB, it’s likely you’ll be able to pick up a 6-button controller for use with your Genesis Mini.

Outside the US, the Genesis is known as the Mega Drive, and so far the European release has the same line-up of announced games (Castlevania: Bloodlines is known as Castlevania: The New Generation). The Japanese Mega Drive Mini has a few differences in line-up for the Japanese market, as well as including the 6-button Genesis controllers from the get-go.

Where to Preorder Sega Genesis Mini

Navigating the world of Sega Genesis Mini retail is something of a minefield, as Sega played fast and loose with its licensing. There are a lot of third-party Sega Genesis mini consoles already on the market, but only one official Sega Genesis Mini, coming out September 19, 2019. The third-party Sega Genesis mini consoles have poor emulation and don’t output a high-definition signal.

Here’s where to preorder the official Sega Genesis Mini:

Seth Macy is IGN’s tech and commerce editor and just wants to be your friend. Find him on Twitter @sethmacy.

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