Retro gaming is as hot as it’s ever been, but Sega fans are still waiting for an authentic experience to capture the wonder of the 16-bit Mega Drive era. That wait could be over as soon as April, with a new console that’ll play old Mega Drive cartridges (and more) upscaled at 1080p, already up for pre-order.
Analogue, the company that built the hit Super Nt Super Nintendo device, is now launching a Mega Drive version under the name Sega Mega Sg.
The $189 system has a built-in port for Mega Drive (and Genesis) cartridges, but will also offer support for Game Gear and Master System cartridges, as well as games from the older SG1000/1000II, SC-3000 consoles.
Rather than running off software emulators, the Mega Sg follows the same model as Analogue’s Super Nt by using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) chip. This duplicates the hardware behaviour of the original consoles and results in an authentic experience without latency.
Original wired Mega Drive controllers will work with the system, but it will also pair with 8BitDo’s wireless six button pad. There’s also support for add-on systems like the Sega CD/Mega CD. The console supports video over HDMI and it’s region-free so cartridges from the US or UK will work in the new console.
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We can expect there to be a lot of interest in this console, especially given the uncertain future of the Sega-branded edition, which has been delayed until 2019. In a post on Twitter last month, Sega confirmed the 16-bit reboot has been delayed until 2019 in Japan. The translated post says Sega needs the time to review both the design of the device and the hardware itself.
Folks with some old Mega Drive cartridges hanging around might want to skip this release altogether and head straight for the Sega Mega Sg.
In an interview with Venture Beat, Analogue boss Chris Taber said: “As I’m sure you know, all of the other aftermarket Genesis/Mega Drive systems are complete and utter garbage. Totally f***** audio with incompatibilities. Trash industrial design and manufacturing quality.
“The options for playing Sega with original cartridges is abysmal. It’s our fuckin’ duty to release this system after giving the Super Nintendo and Super Famicom the justice it deserves. I’ve always wanted to do the be all, end all Sega system. This is Sega done proper.”
Will you be buying the Sega Mega Sg? Are you a Super Nt user who can recommend Analogue’s work in this field? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.