Details on the aptly named Mega Drive Mini are fairly scant. Sega didn’t reveal details such as what games will come on the small console, its cost, or whether or not it’ll have extra built-in features like Nintendo’s NES and Super NES Classic machines, released in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
What we do know is that Sega is partnering with the classic gaming hardware manufacturer AtGames. This isn’t the companies’ first outing together, having worked on the poorly-received Sega Genesis Flashback HD. The latter will be supplying the technology to power the machine, while the former will handle distribution.
“The rumors are true,” AtGames tweeted, according to Nintendo Life. “Sega is going to release the Mega Drive Mini in Japan, powered by the latest AtGames technology. This same new and improved technology will find its way into the U.S. and other territories later this year!”
AtGames’ tweet has since been deleted.
Sega’s decision to release a plug-and-play system that capitalizes on nostalgia follows the success of Nintendo’s aforementioned Classic line. Both the NES Classic and SNES Classic sold millions of copies, with stock of the latter selling out within minutes.
The release of the new console is in celebration of the Mega Drive’s (released in 1988 in Japan) 30th anniversary. Thanks to the success of games such as the first “Sonic the Hedgehog,” as well as aggressive marketing campaigns from Sega of America, the Mega Drive eclipsed sales of Nintendo’s Super Nintendo console — an unprecedented feat at the time. However, success didn’t last and Sega dipped out of the hardware manufacturing business in the early 2000s after its Dreamcast console failed.