All About Japan

Sega’s Mega Drive/Genesis Lives Again!

| Technology , Gaming

Sega’s Mega Drive, known in North America as the Genesis, is being manufactured again and will go on sale in 2017, 29 years after its original launch, with the Mega Drive Limited Edition.

However, that doesn’t mean that Sega itself is getting back into the hardware business. The reissued system will be produced and sold by Brazilian company Tectoy, which handled local distribution of all of Sega’s gaming hardware from the Master System to the Dreamcast.

Above is a preview video for the Mega Drive Limited Edition.

Unlike knockoffs and clones, the Mega Drive Limited Edition is officially licensed from Sega. While the audio/video performance specs aren’t beefed up over those of the original in any way, the Mega Drive Limited Edition does come with 22 games, including Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Shinobi 3, and Arrow Flash, preloaded into its internal memory. There’s also a Micro SD slot for playing stored ROMs plus the good old cartridge slot.

While the Mega Drive would eventually get a six-button controller, in response to the fighting game craze set off by Street Fighter II in the mid-1990s, Tectoy is keeping things old school by bundling its relaunched system with the original three-button version.

Around back, you’ll notice the nostalgic video, left audio, and right audio cable jacks, as the Mega Drive Limited Edition doesn’t have HDMI output. This helps keep manufacturing costs down, and Tectoy claims that not only would the old-school games not benefit from the newer technology, but that most TVs in Brazil don’t support the format anyway.

The system, scheduled to ship in June, is priced at 449 Brazilian reais (US$138) here on Tectoy’s website, but preorders can currently be placed for just 379 reais. For those of us looking to import the system to Japan, things get a bit pricier, with online retailer Welte charging ¥21,800 (US$210). But even that premium is likely to give retro gamers a warm, fuzzy case of nostalgia, seeing as how it’s almost exactly the same as the original Mega Drive’s Japanese launch price of ¥21,000.

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