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Sega Launching Genesis Emulator for iPhone

Gizmodo reports that Sega is gearing up to release a free Genesis emulator for the iPhone and iPod Touch next month. Currently Sega already offers six standalone games for the platform: Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Monkey Ball, and more.

With that said, why would Sega bother to release an emulator? It's all about microtransactions. With Apple giving the thumbs up for in-app purchasing across the board, game developers are finding ways to offer free or reduced-priced apps... and make additional revenue on the side. Sega is embracing this structure with the release of its upcoming Sega Genesis Ultimate Collection app.

According to Gizmodo, the emulator app will come packed with one free game: Space Harrier II. Gamers will also be able to purchase Sonic the Hedgehog ($5.99), Golden Axe ($4.99), Ecco the Dolphin ($2.99), and Shining Force ($2.99) at launch. Currently there's no indication that pre-purchased copies of Sonic and Golden Axe will be migrated into the app.

The original Sega Genesis Collection release contained a plethora of Sega classics including Altered Beast, Comix Zone, Phantasy Star II - IV, Shinobi III, Vectorman, Virtua Fighter 2, and twenty other titles. Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 last year, offered a whopping 48 Sega games, some of which must be unlocked.

Although Sega did not reveal the emulator's eventual library, we expect an official announcement soon.