Following in the nostalgic footsteps of Nintendo, Tectoy, the Brazilian publisher and distributor of Sega's consoles and games, has opened preorders for a new production run of the Sega Mega Drive (known as the Sega Genesis in North America). Modeled on the original console, the new device will play existing cartridges and use wired controllers, but also features a couple of modern conveniences like an SD card slot and 22 pre-installed games.
Despite not being able to knock Nintendo off its lofty perch in the 1990s, Sega consoles still hold a special place in the hearts of gamers, and nowhere is that more true than Brazil, where high import taxes have been blamed for the high prices of shiny new consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.
The Mega Drive Limited Edition re-release is designed to look as much like the original as possible, and while it's hard to faithfully recreate 25-year-old electronics, Tectoy has tried to keep the machine's internal circuits as faithful to the original as possible. The Mega Drive features 64 kB RAM (which is actually less than the 72 kB of the original) and another 64 kB of video RAM, and displays in a 4:3 aspect ratio at a resolution of 256 x 224 pixels, although only through an AV connection – Tectoy says adding a HDMI port would've increased the price too much.
One authentic-looking six-button controller is bundled in, but extras will be available to buy and the originals gathering dust in the attic will work with the new console. And if you're also pulling a big box of game cartridges out of storage, the new console will run most of those, too.
While Tectoy claims that the new Mega Drive Limited Edition isn't an emulator, it does include a new SD card slot and packs in a card with 22 games pre-installed on it, like Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, Golden Axe and of course, Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It may not be a huge list of games, but Tectoy does say that users might be able to add others to the card.
Tectoy is currently taking preorders for the Mega Drive Limited Edition for R$379 (US$120), and expects to launch in June 2017. That said, it's really only a good deal for Brazilian gamers: those in the US, UK, Europe and Australia would be better off grabbing the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis) Classic console, which includes a much bigger library for about half the price.