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, and it looks like this will be closer to Nintendo’s offerings than to Sony’s misstep with the PlayStation Classic.

Where to Preorder Sega Genesis Mini

On Walmart

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Sega Genesis Mini preorders are $79.99 with a September 19, 2019 release date:

What to Look Out For

Navigating the world of Sega Genesis Mini retail is something of a minefield, as Sega played fast and loose with its licensing previous to introducing its official retro classic console. Be advised: 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, don’t output a high-definition signal, and try to lure you in with the promise of more games. Don’t be fooled!

It doesn’t look as though the Sega Genesis Mini is 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 has been selling so strongly since its announcement, it’s one of the top-selling video game items on Amazon. At one point, it was THE top-selling video game item. That’s a tall feat: the spot is almost the exclusive domain of the $10 Sony PlayStation Store gift card.

Hopefully Sega has no supply problems like those that plagued Nintendo’s initial releases.

Sega Genesis Mini Included Games

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

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. 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.

All in all, it looks like this will be a hit, unlike Sony’s PlayStation Classic mini console, which is regarded by almost everyone (except emulation hackers) as a complete disappointment. Its 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, to show how far its fallen.

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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