Sonic the Hedgehog will be blowing out 25 candles this year, and Sega is celebrating with a new game that harks back to his 2D platformer roots. If you're a purist and would rather return to Sonic's halcyon days, well, you're also covered. In the vein of Nintendo's recently-revealed Classic Mini NES, British retailer Funstock Retro has announced an updated Sega Mega Drive Classic line, including a home console and a handheld, both of which contain 80 pre-installed games.
The home console recreates the Mega Drive (or Genesis, depending on where you hail from) with a similar form factor and controllers, made wireless as a modern convenience. Including two controllers adds a point to Sega over Nintendo's Mini NES, which only packs one in the box. If you still have an attic full of original Mega Drive cartridges, a slot in the top of the device will let you dust those off as well, a feature Nintendo hasn't offered.
Points off for Sega, though, with the news that the console connects to your modern TV through an antiquated AV cable, which could result in some latency issues. A HDMI port, like in the Classic Mini NES or Hyperkin's Retron consoles, would have been a nice touch.
To make up for the lack of cartridge support, the handheld version comes with an SD card slot that allows extra games not included with the pack to be played, supporting .BIN and .SMD files that can be download online. The device displays those games on a 3.2 in LCD screen.
Manufacturer AtGames has been making these Sega Mega Drive consoles for a while now, but in celebrating Sonic's 25th anniversary, this edition boasts more of the blue blur. Installed on both consoles are Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2, Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Spinball and Sonic 3D Blast, as well as a bunch of other classics like the original Mortal Kombat trilogy and Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle.
While 80 games sounds like plenty, that list is divided into 40 "Full" games, and a further 40 "bonus Sega Arcade/Puzzle" games. Nintendo's offering of 30 games might sound pared back in comparison, but its list seems more tightly curated to the classics.
The Sega Mega Drive Classic Game console and handheld are due for release in October, and Funstock Retro is currently taking preorders. Both the home console and handheld will run you £49.99 (US$65.55) each, which is much less than you'd pay for some of the other 25th anniversary creations doing the rounds.
Source: Funstock Retro