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Sega Genesis Mini: Release Date, Games List and More

Nintendo released its NES Classic Edition in 2016 and set the world on fire with retro fever. The company followed that up with the SNES Classic Edition, and Sony hopped on the bandwagon with the PlayStation Classic. Now, Sega's joining the fray with its debut first-party retro console.

Unlike previous Genesis throwback systems, this one's being handled directly by Sega and the developer, M2, best known for its ports and emulations. So, if you've been waiting for a top-tier time travel machine that'll take you back to Sega's hardware heyday, this may very well be it.

Genesis Mini release date and price: When is it coming out?

The Sega Genesis Mini will release on Sept. 19 for $79.99.

What are the Genesis Mini's accessories and features?

The Genesis Mini, which is only 55% the size of the original console, will come with a pair of three-button USB Genesis controllers, an HDMI cable, a power adapter and one USB-to-micro-B power cable, which is everything you'll need to plug and play.

In Japan, the package will be similar, though it'll include either one or two six-button controllers, depending on which bundle you choose. Fans of the six-button design should keep their eyes peeled for import options.

MORE: 10 Classic Gaming Consoles You Should (and Can) Still Play

Beyond the aforementioned plug-and-play functionality, the miniature console looks like it'll come with another welcome feature: save states. As you can see in this promotional video for the system, it appears that you'll be able to save whenever, wherever. This means that all those nails-tough games you could never beat as a kid are about to become a piece of cake.

Genesis Mini games list:What titles are included?

If you buy the western version of the Genesis Mini, you'll get these 42 games preloaded on your console (listed in order of when they were revealed):

  • Tetris
  • Darius
  • Virtua Fighter 2
  • Alisia Dragoon
  • Monster World IV
  • Kid Chameleon
  • Road Rash II
  • Eternal Champions
  • Columns
  • Dynamite Headdy
  • Strider
  • Light Crusader
  • Mega Man: The Wily Wars
  • Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition
  • Ghouls 'n Ghosts
  • Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
  • Beyond Oasis
  • Golden Axe
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball
  • Vectorman
  • Wonder Boy in Monster World
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck
  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Streets of Rage 2
  • Thunder Force III
  • Super Fantasy Zone
  • Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master
  • Landstalker
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Ecco the Dolphin
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Space Harrier 2
  • Shining Force
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • ToeJam & Earl
  • Comix Zone
  • Altered Beast
  • Gunstar Heroes

Japan's Mega Drive Mini (the name by which the Genesis Mini is known outside of North America) also includes 42 games. However, its lineup, while similar, has some unique inclusions and more than a few exclusions. For example, the original Sonic the Hedgehog is not included with Japan's mini console, but Dyna Brothers 2 is. You can see the full Japanese lineup here. And the rest of Asia gets its own lineup of 42 games, which are listed here.

How does the Genesis Mini compare to the SNES Classic and PlayStation Classic?

From a value standpoint, the Genesis Mini looks pretty darn good. While the Playstation Classic featured only 20 games and two controllers for $99.99 and the SNES Classic Edition brought 21 games and two controllers for $79.99, the Genesis Mini rides high with 42 games and two controllers for that same $79.99 price.

Not to mention, the PlayStation Classic got dinged for poor emulation quality, which a previous third-party Genesis throwback console caught flak for as well. Given that Sega is in charge of this retro console and has made clear it's not going to let emulation quality be an issue, the Genesis Mini should turn out better than either of the aforementioned systems. That means its only real competition is Nintendo's 21-game SNES Classic, which the Genesis still beats in game quantity. One could argue that the Genesis Mini a closer competitor to the NES Classic, which included 30 games for $59.99, but keep in mind that this system included only a single controller.

Should I buy a Sega Genesis Mini?

If you've wanted to play Altered Beast, Golden Axe or some of the classic Sonic games on a piece of Sega-manufactured hardware and don't have an original Genesis lying around, this is the upcoming retro console to keep an eye on. So, start saving up your golden rings and be sure to check out our coverage as we keep you informed on everything Genesis Mini between now and Sept. 19.

Credit: Sega

Robert Carnevale is a News Editor at Windows Central. In the past, his work has appeared on other sites, such as Tom's Guide, Tom's Hardware, Laptop Mag, MSN, Wired, Looper, and more. Also an author, he has written a novel, Cold War 2395. He loves Sci-Fi and Sonic The Hedgehog.