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Retro Gaming is Making a Comeback

If I told you that a console in Brazil was selling 150,000 units a year without giving you the name of the console you’d probably guess PS4 or XBox One or maybe even the PS3 or 360.  You’d have to go further back in time to get the right answer.  In fact, you’d have to go back to 1989.  That was the year that the Sega Master System (Also known as the Genesis in North America) was released.  Sega clearly won the console war in Brazil and continues to sell 150,000 units a year of the old system.  Games are actually still put out for the system and you can even find Fifa 14 for it.  Well, Sega has heard the demands and has given a Brazilian company called Tectoy the license and go ahead to start producing the system all over again.

This is hot on the heels of the news of the mini Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) being announced as well.  The Mini NES release is today (November 11th, 2016) and it’s gotten some mixed reviews.  It comes with 30 of the most popular games including Super Mario Brothers 1, 2, and 3 as well as Zelda 1 and 2, and Metroid, Castlevania, and Ninja Gaiden.  Throw in Excitebike and Tecmo Bowl and you got an amazing array of games.  The problem is, the games that come on the console is all that you have the option to play.  You can’t put in a cartridge and there’s no way to load more games so you’re really buying a console that will play 30 games which are, granted, classics but with no support for loading more games or using cartridges, it’s quite limited.

Sega Genesis Re-Release however, will let you use old cartridges, controllers, and everything else you could use on the classic one.  It, too, comes preloaded with games.  Though it comes with less games, 22, than the mini NES, the fact you can play ANY game on it is a huge selling point.  The problem is, it uses old school RCA A/V Cables that haven’t been on a television produced in the past 12 years.  The mini NES will use HDMI which is nice but the fact that the Genesis decided to go with the archaic and out of date A/V cables confuses me.  You can buy adapters that will turn it into a HDMI signal but those are readily available in the US and probably England and not something you can easily find in places like Brazil or Tunisia.

The one huge advantage the Genesis Re-release has is that it retains every bit of functionality of the original.  Reviewers of the mini NES found it annoying because it uses a new proprietary controller, which only 1 is provided to you despite the mini NES having 2 player games, that function like something out of a failed design class in the 20th century.  People constantly complained about the short cord (Yeah, there’s no wireless here) as well as having to get up to change games (you can’t do this from the controller if you’re in a game), and if you wish to save at any time, you can do that too but you have to press a button on the console, not the controller, to do this.  The cord is only 1/3 of the length of the original controller so chances are you can’t get very far from the box anyways.

The last point of contention are the prices.  The mini-NES rings in at a respectable $59USD (133.340 TND) where as the Genesis Re-release comes in at a hefty price tag of $123 USD (133.340 TND).  The problem is, it’s made in Brazil and as of right now, there is NO International Shipping option available.  It’s still in pre-order only phase so this could change if higher demand is shown but it’s a hefty price tag for a console that is 27 years old.

All told, both systems seem to have their good and their bad.  The mini NES has a lot more classic games as opposed to the Genesis Re-release but with no way to expand the library, you’re stuck with that library.  The NES controller is lacking and the fact that you have to be so close to your TV or the box could get annoying.  The Genesis will allow you to use any Genesis game or controller but with a price tag that is double the cost and the archaic A/V hookups, you have to question just what the hell Sega was thinking.  With any luck the Genesis Re-release will be available in more than just Brazil soon as it seems the only option left for us, is to buy both. =)


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Micah Patterson

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