If there’s a game console Sega is best known for, it’s the Genesis/Mega Drive. Sega diehards may argue that the Dreamcast was the company’s best console, and on a hardware level, they’re right. But the Sega Genesis made a bigger mark in the United States in the late ’80s and early ’90s, bringing us classics like Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Phantasy Star, Shining Force, Golden Axe, and more — and it’s crawling back from the grave at last after its official death in 1997.
The catch here is that Sega is not producing new Genesis hardware. Instead, Brazilian electronics company Tectoy is generating the hardware, only to sell the console locally. That seems rather insane considering Sega’s now-classic Genesis games can be purchased on Steam and many other platforms. But according to Geek.com, Genesis consoles are still a hot item in Brazil, selling around 150,000 units per year.
I know. That’s crazy.
Tectoy produced and distributed the Mega Drive in Brazil during the console’s lifespan. Once Sega moved on to the Saturn (remember that gem?), Tectoy continued to produce the console for the Brazilian market in many different versions throughout the decades. The company has also developed games specifically for the 16-bit console.
The new Mega Drive console is noteworthy because it is officially licensed by Sega. It will be identical to the original model launched in Brazil in 1990, down to the composite AV cable (yellow/red/white) requirement. For the record, Mega Drive/Genesis spinoffs are sold by AtGames here in the U.S. and Blaze Europe in Europe, but this new version has Sega’s stamp of approval all over it.
Tectoy is accepting pre-orders now costing roughly $138. That’s a lot of money for a 16-bit system even if it contains 22 built-in games, but Sega fans may very well dish out the big bucks for a Sega-sanctioned console that just rolled off the production line. For comparison, GameStop sells a used Sega Genesis Slim for $30 without any games, which seems rather expensive given GameStop will take the PlayStation 3 off your hands for a mere $15 (trade-in only).
Tectoy says the new Mega Drive console will start shipping in June. Note that the device does not have an HDMI port, so customers will need something to convert a component connection to HDMI for modern HDTVs with no component jacks. Amazon has a huge list of devices and cables that should do the trick. The listing also shows the console sports a Mini SD card slot for presumably loading ROMs even though the device appears to support cartridges.
Here are the games that are included in the new Mega Drive console:
- Alex Kidd
- Alien Storm
- Altered Beast
- Arrow Flash
- Bonanza Brothers
- Decap Attack
- Fatal Labyrinth
- Gain Ground
- Golden Axe
- Golden Axe 3
- Jewel Master
- Kid Chameleon
- Last Battle
- Out Runners
- Sega Soccer
- Shadow Dancer
- Shinobi 3
- Sonic 3
- Turbo Outrun
If you’re itching to play Sega Genesis classics on your PC, Steam provides several packs:
- Sega MegaDrive @ Genesis Classics Pack 1 ($7.50)
- Sega MegaDrive @ Genesis Classics Pack 2 ($7.50)
- Sega MegaDrive @ Genesis Classics Pack 3 ($7.50)
- Sega MegaDrive @ Genesis Classics Pack 4 ($7.50)
- Sega MegaDrive @ Genesis Classics Pack 5 ($7.50)
And because we love the Dreamcast too, here are the available games on Steam (nope, no Phantasy Star Online):
- Sonic Adventure DX ($7.99)
- Sega Bass Fishing ($7.99)
- Space Channel 5: Part 2 ($7.99)
- Crazy Taxi ($7.99)
- Grandia II Anniversary Edition ($19.99)
- Jet Set Radio ($7.99)