Home Technology Sega has considered Dreamcast and Saturn Mini but worries about extreme costs

Sega has considered Dreamcast and Saturn Mini but worries about extreme costs

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Image: Nintendo Life

One of the highlights of the week was the announcement of the Mega Drive Mini 2 – Sega’s next miniature console, packed with 50 games from the Mega Drive and Mega CD libraries. It will launch in Japan in October and will include games such as Sonic CDslipstream and Virtua Racing.

As exciting as this news is, it hasn’t stopped fans’ requests for miniature versions of Sega’s other consoles – such as the Saturn and Dreamcast. So why did Sega decide to release a Mega Drive 2 instead of something else? During an interview with Famitsu, Sega’s classic hardware producer Yosuke Okunari explained how the pandemic shaped the outcome.

Here’s what he had to say (thanks to Twitter user @gosokyu

he’s sure ppl will be like “what about Saturn/Dreamcast Mini?” [and] it’s not like them [Sega] did not explore the idea – the inside of the MD Mini cannot adequately handle Saturn games, and both developing and manufacturing new chipsets during the pandemic is a difficult and expensive process

…so even if they had gone ahead with a Saturn Mini it would have been extremely expensive – he jokes that he might want to release a mini that costs as much as an authentic modern console

And then the Mega Drive Mini 2 came into the picture, as an “extension” of the original – making it a lot more manageable during a pandemic, in terms of schedule and production. It’s worth noting that there will still be a “much lower production run” of this device – with the primary focus on supplying Japan. Okunari is aware of overseas demand, but for now remains focused on Japan, where the team knows the market.

Although the price of the second Mega Drive Mini system is higher – thanks to an improved chipset, more memory for Mega CD games and the higher price of components, Okunari is confident that the larger library of games will justify the price.

Okunari also mentioned how the team was considering making another Game Gear Micro, but the higher price of semiconductors left the cost of a second portable micro-unit “1.5x the manufacturing price” of the original micro model. And the team supposedly couldn’t risk selling at the same price and didn’t want to raise the suggested retail price.

Yosuke Okunari has previously mentioned how Sega has thought about making other mini consoles, but for now the focus is on the Mega Drive Mini 2:

Would Sega ever want to see miniature devices released based on the Dreamcast and Saturn? Would you be willing to pay more? Give us your own thoughts below.

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