Sega has announced the Sega Mega Drive Mini, a new mini-console pre-loaded with 40 classic Sega games.
The mini-console – which was revealed at Sega Fes 2019 over the weekend – will release on September 19th, 2019. It sees Sega join Nintendo and Sony with its own mini-console replica, although it remains to be seen if the console will set tills ringing like Nintendo’s inaugural NES Classic.
The ports have been developed by M2, the same company that worked on Sega Ages and Sega 3D Classics Collection. The 16-bit console will include a host of “legendary games” although right now the publisher’s only confirmed ten of them: Ecco the Dolphin, Castlevania: Bloodlines, Space Harrier 2, Shining Force, Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Machine, ToeJam & Earl, Comix Zone, Sonic the Hedgehog, Altered Beast, and Gunstar Heroes.
Pre-orders for the plug-in-and-play system are now live and retailing for $79.99 US / £69.99 / €79.99 / AUD$139.95.
In other Sega news, the company has exhausted almost 97 per cent of its stock of Judgment, the Yakuza spin-off that was withdrawn from sale earlier this month after one of its performers was arrested on alleged drug charges.
The company called the event “highly regrettable” and decided to withdraw the game from sale both physically and digitally as it considered how best to proceed. It remains unclear how long Sega plans to withdraw the game for, or how it might affect the game’s intended worldwide release later this year.
Sega had been hoping Judgment would help reverse its fortunes following a year-over-year profits drop of 62 per cent. In its financial reporting on the first half of the fiscal year, Sega saw consolidated net sales fall by 12 per cent year-over-year (YoY) to ¥171 billion ($1.5 billion), and its overall profits drop 62 per cent to ¥6.7 billion ($59 million).
In the Entertainment Contents Business – in which sits Sega’s video game business – things were a little more positive with a 5.6 per cent net sales rise to ¥107 billion ($951 million), but the operating income also fell by almost 39 per cent to a little over ¥6 billion ($55 million). Sega’s plans to launch multiple new titles “that capitalize on existing and new IPs” included specific reference to “Project Judge (working title)” – also known as Judgment.
Update April 2nd: Sega has confirmed Earthworm Jim will be available in place of ToeJam and Earl.