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Sega vs Nintendo is back! Mini Mega Drive to rival Classic NES re-release


Mega Drive

Most of us are used to hearing about Xbox One vs PS4, but this year a new rivalry might just eclipse the current one.

And by new, we mean old. After Nintendo announced it was to re-release the NES console, news came that a Sega Mega Drive, or Genesis to our pals across the pond, re-release was also on the cards.

But it seems that the news was misleading to say the least. The 'new' Genesis re-release is actually just a rebranding of an emulator that's been around for a while.

With that in mind, we thought we'd tlay out all the information for both these consoles to give you a better idea of what's going on. What does each console offer? Can you play all your old games on both? We've got the answers to all your questions right here.

Sega vs Nintendo – The consoles explained

When it comes to the Mega Drive/Genesis, the console isn’t built by Sega, but licensed by third-party manufacturer ATGames. ATGames has been making an emulation box for years, and has merely rebranded its product for this year.

The NES Classic Edition, on the other hand, is being built by Nintendo, and is a miniaturized version of the original NES from 1985.

Also, while the NES hooks up to your telly via the HDMI cable, Sega fans will need to hook up via old fashioned AV cables – another clue that the Mega Drive console isn't exactly an official re-release. It's also worth bearing in mind you'll need an AC adapter for the USB cable which powers the NES classic as the adapter doesn't come bundled with the console itself.

Nintendo's offering also comes with one controller, modelled on the original joypad, which can be plugged into a Wii Remote in order to play Virtual Console games on Wii or Wii U. You'll also be able to use your Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro on the NES Classic, so multiplayer shouldn't be too much of an issue. Additional NES controllers will also be avaialble separately.

AtGames' Mega Drive copy comes with two official-looking controllers, but be warned – several outlets have reported the consol itself doesn't feature any official Sega hardware and it seems the machine itself leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to actually running the games. Sound reproduction has been singled-out as particularly shoddy.

Sega vs Nintendo – Games

The Megadrive does come with 80 games built-in. Among the bundled games are every Sonic title released for the platform, as well as the three original Mortal Kombat titles.

Related: How to pre-order the Nintendo Classic NES in the UK

NES Classic

Other heralded games include Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Echo, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and more.

Better still, unlike the Nintendo version, it’s compatible with all of the old school Sega Mega Drive cartridges, so if you’re harbouring a tonne of classics then they’ll all work too. How well they'll work remains to be confirmed by us, however.

Here's the full list of games, most of which are actual Sega games but many of which are bundled software from third-party developers which never appeared on the original console:

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle

Alien Storm

Altered Beast

Arrow Flash

Bonanza Bros.

Chakan: The Forever Man


Columns III


Crack Down


Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine


Ecco Jr

ESWAT: City Under Seige

Fatal Labyrinth


Gain Ground

Golden Axe

Golden Axe 2

Golden Axe 3

Jewel Master

Kid Chameleon

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat 2

Mortal Kombat 3


Shadow Dancer

Shinobi 3

Streets Of Rage 1

Streets Of Rage 2

Streets Of Rage 3

Sonic & Knuckles

Sonic Spinball

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The Ooze


Vectorman 2

Virtua Fighter 2

Games List - bonus cartridge games

Cross the road

Jack's Pea

Jewel Magic

Curling 2010

Fish Story

Mahjong Solitaire

Warehouse Keeper




Air Hockey


Naval Power

Mr. Balls


Fight or Lose

Bottle Taps Race




Reaction Match


Mirror Mirror

Memory Match

Treasure Hunt

Fire Fly Glow

Panic Lift

Black Sheep

Space Hunter

Flash Memory

Table Magic

Color Puzzle

Brain Switch

Mega Brain Switch

Bulls and Cows

Logic Dial

Match Eleven

Formula Challenge

Sudoku Quiz

Dominant Color

Buy Now: Mini Mega Drive at SmythsToys.com from £49.99

Mega Drive

The Nintendo alternative however, comes with only 30 games preinstalled and no way to play old cartridges. It also doesn't look like the company is going to make it possible to add more games as there's been no suggestion of online connectivity for future downloads.

One nice feature Nintendo has added, however, is save states. Now, when you stop playing, the system will remember where you left off so you can come back to the game at a later date and pick up from the same point.

Here's the list of preinstalled titles for the NES:

Balloon Fight

Bubble Bobble

Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest

Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Dr. Mario, Excitebike

Final Fantasy


Ghosts 'n Goblins

Gradius, Ice Climber

Kid Icarus

Kirby's Adventure

Mario Bros

Mega Man 2


Ninja Gaiden


Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream


Super C

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros. 2

Super Mario Bros. 3

Tecmo Bowl

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

Sega vs Nintendo – Price and release

NES will be available November 11 for $59.99 in the states and £49.99 in the UK, while the Mega Drive is already available and has been since at least 2012. The newest rebrand with the Sonic 25th anniversary logo will be out in October, however.

So, will it be the authentic Nintendo console with less games? Or the Mega Drive knock off with 80 games built in, that might not run properly? We know which one we'd choose.

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Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Don Raggo

July 25, 2016, 10:28 pm

I can't believe it hasn't got Revenge of Shinobi...

Rich Hutnik

July 26, 2016, 8:08 am

There were, I believe, at least four versions of that game, each done due to licensing issues. Some had The Hulk, Spiderman, Terminator, and Batman in it. It is a mess from a licensing perspective. That is why I would speculate that it isn't in there, and you get Shinobi 3 and Shadow Dancer instead.

Rich Hutnik

July 26, 2016, 8:09 am

They have put these out a number of years. How is it different this year?


July 26, 2016, 9:12 am

The lack of HDMI is a huge letdown


July 26, 2016, 9:47 am

You'd think Sega could have learned how to not suck after all these years... but no.


July 26, 2016, 12:56 pm

Both because nostalgia. Nah but old classics, will it ship overseas?

Chris Hightower

July 26, 2016, 2:16 pm

Umm...Is this new? I bought an ATGames Genesis a couple of years ago.....the wireless controllers were crap, and I think there were some compatibility issues with some games (can't really remember, though).

Alex Walsh

July 26, 2016, 2:41 pm

Nintendo mini NES: made by Nintendo, guaranteed to work properly
Megadrive: third party emulated hardware, bound to be lots of issues in compatibility.


July 26, 2016, 3:47 pm

The system isn’t built by Sega, but by a company called "AtGames," and it’s apparently not great. Sure, it has a bunch of the hits preinstalled, including of course the Sonic games, but it also have a lot of cheap clones of games. Also, it’s not perfectly compatible with all Genesis cartridges. Also apparently the included wireless controllers are crappy and IR-based. And there’s no HDMI. And it has mono audio, which is a travesty given the amazing music and sound the Genesis is famous for.


July 26, 2016, 3:48 pm

I'll stick with the NES Mini, thanks!
Nintendo never let me down!

Tye Roberts

July 26, 2016, 4:21 pm

This is NOT new - and it's terrible hardware. The sound is a mess and it connects using ancient av cables. There should be an HDMI Genesis out there one day if this new NES is a success, but this isn't it - nor is it anywhere close.

Kain Klarden

July 26, 2016, 4:43 pm

This has been sold for what, 6 or 7 years now? I guess it's yet another revision of hardware

Don Raggo

July 26, 2016, 6:13 pm

ahh, that makes perfect sense... my emu'd MD Revenge of Shinobi rom has all of the above, so I presume that was the original, I remember there being a lot of hype about the so called "copyright infringement " with the above characters involved, even though the only one who was mentioned implicitly was Spider man, who actually had a credit on the title screen... The others could be construed as knock offs...

Vladimir Chertok

July 26, 2016, 6:54 pm

no flashback or road-rash.


July 26, 2016, 7:17 pm

No, it's the same crappy clone MD/Genesis that runs proper games badly.
Don't waste your money


July 26, 2016, 7:18 pm

It's not different, it's just click bait and someone at @t games trying to piggy back Nintendo's good idea.


September 22, 2016, 1:08 pm

I wont be buying either - have a Mega Drive and SNES at home - and I urge everyone else not to get caught up in this corporate nostalgia fuckery.

Its such a waste of money for either "classic" console. A friend of mine has the "Mega Drive Classic" and while it's a reasonably good system, the wireless controllers are a bit dodgy and I've found that a few of my cartridges wont run in it. I havent even seen one of these NES consoles yet but given you are limited to just 30 games (all of which you can get for your phone nowadays) I find it utterly pointless.

If you want to play the games as they were back in the day, buy a second hand original console and start a collection - NES, SNES, Master System and Mega Drive should be gettable for around the same money as these things.

If you want to be able to connect with HDMI and/or use modern controllers then download the entire collection of each console as emulators on a any old laptop and connect it to your TV and you can even use your XBOX or PS controllers if youd prefer.

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