With the Megadrive Mini, Sega surfs on the success of retro pocket consoles

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The Japanese company has announced a reissue of its famous console of the 1990s, walking in the footsteps of Nintendo and its Super Nintendo Mini. But the mini versions of the Sega consoles are nothing new.
Sega could not let the thirtieth anniversary of his most famous console go by without making a mark. The Japanese company announced this weekend that it was working on a pocket reissue of its Megadrive, which had made the beautiful hours of teenagers in the early 1990s. The Megadrive Mini should be released later this year. We still do not know its price and the games that will be present in the machine. Can we play with vintage cartridges? Or connect original controllers? Many questions remain unanswered. But it’s obvious that Sega wants to ride the success of his former rival, Nintendo . The other major Japanese video game company has indeed created the surprise in September 2016 by releasing a pocket version of its very first console, the NES. The object was ripped out all over the world (2 million copies sold), becoming one of the most wanted Christmas gifts . A year later, Nintendo reiterated the experience with the Super Nintendo Mini . Again, sales were stratospheric (4 million units as of January 31). The consumer appetite for these nostalgic machines adapted to today’s TVs has pushed Nintendo to perpetuate these reissues, which originally were expected to have a limited circulation. “We see them as a way to reach out to those who have not played video games for a long time, and who may later be interested in our Nintendo Switch,” the company’s latest console, says CEO Tatsumi Kimishima. A provider with an unflattering reputation It is hardly surprising that Sega also wants his piece of cake. But his announcement seems all the more opportunistic as many reissues of the Megadrive flourished in trade over the past decade. The pace has accelerated since 2014, with a new machine every year. The very last date of January! Vintage logos, identical design, presence of Sega games … these official machines, like the Mega Drive Flashback , however, were not designed and marketed directly by the Japanese company, but by the Sino-US company AtGames. His reputation is overall bad . Low-end manufacturing quality, imprecise controllers, unattractive games catalog … Especially, the emulation of games is disappointing, with big slowdowns on titles like Sonic and bugs missing from the original games. One would have thought that Sega himself would take care of the design of the Megadrive Mini. But the company has decided to entrust this project to AtGames again, creating a lot of disappointment on social networks. Sega could however convince other publishers to put their greatest hits of the time ( Mickey Castle of Illusion, Aladdin, Shining Force, Earthworm Jim …) on the Megadrive Mini, and scrupulously ensure the quality of the final product. Japanese society, however, leaves with several handicaps. AtGames’ reputation may scare away discerning players. Above all, for more than 15 years, Sega has leveraged compilations of video games of its golden age on all existing consoles (the Switch will be served this year), as well as on mobile and PC. The Megadrive Mini fills a void in reality nonexistent, as it is easy to replay the Sega titles of that time. The success of the NES then Super Nintendo Mini is explained a contrario by the difficulty of access to Nintendo games of yesteryear. Certainly, the company allows for ten years to download its former successes. But this can only be done on Nintendo consoles (exit PC, mobile and competing machines), and at a rate often dissuasive, oscillating between 5 and 10 euros each. The NES and Super Nintendo Mini, with impeccable technical finishes, have therefore appeared as happy surprises.

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