Everything we know about the Sega Genesis Mini

From the games to the hardware, here's what we know about the Sega Genesis Mini

Following in the footsteps of Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classic systems, the PlayStation Classic, and even the NEOGEO Mini, Sega is releasing its own bite-sized plug-and-play system — the Sega Genesis Mini. The system comes loaded with more than three dozen of the most iconic games released for the original Sega Genesis, and it promises a gaming experience just like you’d expect from the console you spent years playing in the ‘90s. From games and price to the console’s specs and the release date, here is everything we know about the Sega Genesis Mini.

It’s made by Sega, and it will vary by region

Go to Target or Walmart today, and you are very likely to see plug-and-play Sega systems on the shelves, marketed as “Sega Genesis Flashback.” These consoles come pre-loaded with more than 80 games and feature several display modes and even wireless controllers, but they’ve been heavily criticized for poor-quality emulation that ruined the experience.

The Sega Genesis Mini isn’t made by a third-party company, but rather Sega itself. On the product’s official website, Sega appears to acknowledge the failure of earlier licensed versions, saying the new console “delivers quality as only a first-party product can.”

The Sega Genesis Mini will be about half the size of the original console, but its look is essentially identical to it. The shape and coloration is the same, as are the logos and the “High Definition Graphics” label across the top. As with the majority of plug-and-play systems, it will not support the original Genesis’ cartridges.

What’s in the package?

Depending on where you live, the Sega Genesis Mini’s design will vary slightly. In the west, the console will include two traditional wired three-button controllers with USB plugs, while the Japanese Mega Drive version will only include one controller that features six buttons.

The use of USB controller inputs means the Sega Genesis Mini won’t be able to use the original system’s controllers, but it will feature more moving parts than we’re used to on traditional mini-style game consoles. This includes things like the headphone adjustment dial and the cartridge lock, even though they serve no functional purpose on the mini system.

Also included in the package is an HDMI cable, as well as power cable and a USB power adapter, so you won’t have to purchase one separately or use your phone’s adapter in order to play the system.

It will include 40 games

The Sega Genesis’ primary competition back in its heyday was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and when Nintendo released the SNES Classic, it came with 21 pre-loaded games. Sega nearly doubles that with the Genesis Mini’s 40 included games, and the company promises they will be “legendary.” Thus far, 30 games have been announced for the western version. They are:

  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier II
  • Shining Force
  • Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Earthworm  Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Landstalker
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Golden Axe
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  • Sonic Spinball
  • Vectorman
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World

The Japanese Mega Drive Mini will include a different list of games, though several of the titles are identical. They are:

  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Space Harrier II
  • Puyo Puyo Tsu
  • Rent-A-Hero
  • Powerball
  • Madou Monogatari I
  • Shining Force
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Musha Aleste
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Bare Knuckle II
  • The Hybrid Front
  • Landstalker
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dyna Brothers 2
  • Game no Kanzume Otokoyou
  • Ghouls ‘N Ghosts
  • Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  • Golden Axe
  • The Revenge of Shinobi
  • Phantasy Star IV
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
  • Party Quiz Mega Q
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: Makyou Touitsusen

Interestingly, the quality of games you’re able to play will apparently not be affected by where you happen to live. The Japanese console will include three separate versions of Castlevania: Bloodlines, for instance, letting players choose between the North American, European, or Japanese games. This is a major difference from Sony’s PlayStation Classic, which offered only European versions for some of its included games that are widely considered inferior.

We tried our hand at guessing the other games we’ll likely see announced for the Sega Genesis Mini. When those titles get announced, we’ll be sure to update this article with that information.

It will include suspend points

Just like with the most recent plug-and-play consoles from Nintendo and Sony, the Sega Genesis Mini will include suspend points so you can always jump back into your favorite games. According to the Japanese website, there will be four save points available for each included game, and you will be able to save at any point – Sega emphasized that this could mean you finally see the ending to your favorite ultra-difficult game from back in the day, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to skip anything.

It’s out this September

The Sega Genesis Mini will be available for purchase on September 19, 2019 for $80. Pre-orders in the United States are currently available from and GameStop.

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