Retro consoles are all the rage right now. A lot of people love retro gaming because back in the day a lot of games were made by a small team of passionate individuals just wanted to get their game out there. It wasn't about day-one DLC, disc-locked content, retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses, multiple season passes, microtransactions, or loot box gambling; it was all about making and playing fun games. Some current and former hardware manufacturers have realized just how popular retro gaming is, and they've been working hard to produce retro consoles that come pre-loaded with a number of high-profile games from a bygone era of gaming. One such company working on a retro console is Sega, but there's been a spotty history with the devices. After receiving multiple complaints about the systems, Sega decided to take heed and delay the latest iteration of the retro console in order to improve its overall quality.
Polygon is reporting that the Mega Drive mini-console has been pushed out of its fall release after being announced earlier this year, and is now delayed into early 2019. This means that the console will not be releasing on the 30th anniversary of its Japanese debut. And it's probably great news for everybody given that Sega is reportedly abandoning ATGames.
While this may be sad news for a lot of people who had the system on their pre-order wishlist, or had put tabs all over their computer desk to remind them to snatch up a box during the Black Friday holiday shopping spree rush, everyone else is probably throwing their hands up in joy.
On the upside, the article notes that the console will at least receive a global launch in Japan, Europe, and North America when it does finally launch, and that the reason for the delay is actually because Sega decided to use a local Japanese company to do the software ports of the games instead of using the ATGames firmware setup.
For those of you not in the know, ATGames have been releasing micro-consoles over the last several years and have not put out the most high-quality of products. In fact, reviews from critics and consumers alike have been generally poor of previous releases of the Sega retro systems.
The biggest issues come in the form of both the controls and the UI navigation, which is usually designed in a confusing way that makes it difficult to navigate through the menus and actually play the games. Of course, this also leads to another huge issue: many of the games aren't major titles.
ATGames is notorious for including some popular titles like Mortal Kombat and Sonic The Hedgehog, but for every Golden Axe or Streets of Rage, there's a homebrew ROM for the Genesis that no one has ever heard of. So why add in homebrew apps? Well, because it allows them to plaster on the box that the retro console comes with 80 games or so.
A lot of people are hoping that the local Japanese company does right by Sega's legacy, and improves overall emulation capabilities, UI support, and proper ROMs based on the Genesis' beloved library of 16-bit titles. Expect a new release date for the retro mini-console soon.