Sega Genesis Mini hands-on reveals a retro console worth your attention

Sega Genesis Mini

The highly-anticipated Sega Genesis Mini is slated to be released next month. While the console is expected to be greeted with much fanfare (think more NES Classic than PlayStation Classic), some details are still rather thin. We know which games to expect and how much it will cost you, but the overall experience is somewhat still shrouded in secrecy. Today, a large number of reviews hit the web giving us a better picture of what the Sega Genesis Mini will deliver to gamers. Head below for a quick look at what we learned from today’s batch of hands-on experiences.

Sega appears to follow Nintendo’s equation

Nintendo set the bar so high with its NES Classic console a few years back, delivering a stellar retro gaming experience in an affordable and palm-sized build. Sony of course failed miserably last year as its own PlayStation Classic console was greeted with boos from all areas of the web for its poor execution and paltry library of titles.

Sega appears to have learned from years of miniature console missteps of its own right and nailed every piece of the equation, at least according to Kotaku:

What makes the Genesis Mini appealing beyond the game selection is that it’s so much fun to play around with. In its quest to replicate the exact look of the original console, Sega even replicated the volume control knob, the cartridge port, and the expansion slot on the bottom. You can push the volume control up and down, stick your finger into the cartridge slot to move the spring-loaded flaps, and take the expansion port cover on and off.

One natural area of concern for gamers is how the rereleased controllers would stack up, especially in comparison to the originals. For the most part, the NES and SNES Classic have that same feel of the originals. Sony’s PlayStation Classic nails the visuals but it does feel like a very lightweight piece of kit. CNET notes the controllers are full-size, albeit they look a bit funny next to the console itself. And thankfully they ship with six-foot cables, which is far better than what Nintendo did on its first release. CNET explains further:

The batarang-like controllers look like the original three-button version the Genesis launched with, not the more advanced six-button versions that came later. They’re full size, which is great for actual gaming, but also makes them look ridiculously oversized next to the tiny console. They have 6-foot cables, which may still feel restrictive if you’re used to wireless controls, but far better than the short controller cables that came with the NES Classic.

A substantial library of games delivers all the nostalgia

While hardware is very important and all, we’re ultimately looking to the Sega Classic for its impressive library of titles. With 42 built-in games, there is a lot to love here, including the original Sonic games, Tetris, Castlevania, Mega Man, and Street Fighter. The Verge notes how expansive the lineup is, delivering titles across nearly every genre:

What’s great about the lineup, though, is how it spans many different genres and playstyles. In particular, there are several excellent multiplayer games — Streets of Rage 2is still a lot of fun with a friend — alongside titles like Phantasy Star IV that you can play for hours alone. The package is also rounded out with unexpected games that never actually released on the Genesis, including Tetris and the 1987 arcade shooter Darius.

So where does that leave us just over a month away from its launch? Excited. Sega Genesis Mini is shaping up to be a stellar release with huge staying power. We’ll be giving away a unit here at 9to5Toys next month, so be sure to keep it locked for a chance to win one for yourself.

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