Sega Mega Drive Mini 2: stocks will be very limited in the West

Sega Mega Drive Mini 2: stocks will be very limited in the West

Sega Mega Drive Mini 2

Sega has already warned that the stocks of Sega Mega Drive Mini 2, the new version of the mini console dedicated to the famous 16-bit of the Japanese company, will be very limited due to the known shortage of semi-conductors, in particular as regards the market. western.

In a press release reported by Ars Technica, Sega warns of the possibility that the availability of Sega Mega Drive Mini 2 is extremely limited in North America, lower than that which characterized the first version of Sega Mega Drive Mini .

Sega Mega Drive Mini 2 At the moment, the new mini-console is available for preorder only on in North America and will be shipped from Japan only, which could cause additional inconvenience and delays.

The console has not even been officially announced for Europe, probably due to supply problems, for which Sega is giving priority to the American market, perhaps the greatest demand, but there is no very precise information either as regards the latter, beyond the fact that the release could take place in February 2023.

It is, in short, a much more limited distribution than the first Sega Mega Drive Mini, which in the period of launch has enjoyed wide visibility and availability also in the West. In short, the idea is that the Mega Drive Mini 2 was designed primarily as a product destined for Japan and the intentions expressed by Sega seem to confirm this vision.

Based on what Ars Technica reports, Sega has reported that only a small part of the production will go to the North American market, at least for the moment, but this is about one-tenth the amount of units that had been distributed in the West for the first Sega Mega Drive Mini.

Announced in June, Sega Mega Drive Mini 2 is a small reproduction of the second version of the 90's Mega Drive / Genesis, containing 50 pre-installed games mixed between the catalog of the original console and that of the Mega CD, which makes it particularly interesting. Just recently 11 more games were announced, including Super Street Fighter 2.

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Sega Genesis Mini 2 will be in much shorter supply than original

The Sega Genesis Mini 2 <a href="">will not be</a> sold at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, so this is instead an artistic approximation of the systemEnlarge / The Sega Genesis Mini 2 will not be sold at traditional brick-and-mortar stores, so this is instead an artistic approximation of the system's apparent scarcity.

Aurich Lawson | Getty Images

The miniature console fad has abated since its NES Classic and SNES Classic peak, with fewer companies giving the concept a shot. Sega remains an exception, however, as it's launching not one but two new retro-minded machines by year's end.

Only one of those, the Sega Genesis Mini 2, is coming to the United States. And Sega confirmed to Ars Technica that the system in question would be in incredibly limited supply: 'around one-tenth' the count of the 2019 Sega Genesis Mini.

Mini production run for Mini 2

The news came as a surprising answer to a completely different question. Ars reached out to Sega shortly after the Genesis Mini 2 was announced, because we wanted clarity on exactly who was producing and shipping the system.

The Genesis Mini 2 was confirmed months after Sega announced a similar living room box for its Japanese audience, the Mega Drive 2. The '2' indicates that this is a follow-up to the 2019 concept, only with an entirely new selection of built-in, emulated classics from Sega's 16-bit console generation (this time with Sega CD games thrown in).

Sega of America handled the promotion and shipment of the 2019 Genesis Mini, while this year's Genesis Mini 2, slated to ship on October 27, appears to be handled entirely by Sega of Japan. For one, its official site is in English, but it's hosted at Sega's Japanese domain. More importantly for interested buyers, the Genesis Mini 2 is only available through an Amazon US listing, which claims that all purchases will be shipped from Japan—thus skipping Amazon's usual Prime shipping discounts and guarantees (and possibly burdening American buyers with customs issues).

My questions about Genesis Mini 2 shipments were forwarded to Sega of Japan's corporate office, which eventually confirmed that the new miniaturized console was a 'Japan-only project' for the company. 'The Sega Genesis Mini 2 could only be produced in small numbers due to the global semiconductor shortage,' reads a letter from the Sega president's office, so the company opted to produce a small Western batch of Genesis Mini 2s alongside its order of Mega Drive Mini 2s.

'The number of units for this project makes up around one-tenth of the total for the previous Genesis Mini,' the letter states.

AdvertisementMight need to make up your preorder mind

Since Sega never announced total sales figures for the original Genesis Mini, or other regions' Mega Drive Mini sales, we can't accurately estimate how reduced this manufacturing count is. Anecdotally, the original Genesis Mini seemed to fall somewhere between the rampant sellouts of Nintendo's own systems and the underperforming, rapidly discounted fate of 2018's disappointing PlayStation Mini. Upon its release, Genesis Mini stock remained stable and accessible even through early 2020 (and had its own deep discounts by May 2020). These days, it's no longer manufactured and hovers in the $160-200 range at both official retailers and eBay listings (well above its original $80 MSRP).

Most miniaturized consoles from the past decade have come and gone with only one or two manufacturing runs, much to customers' chagrin. Sega's statement doesn't suggest confidence that we should expect anything different from their newest machine—and the same goes for the Japan-only Astro City Mini V, which will resemble the 2020 Astro City Mini (which I previously reviewed) but this time includes a vertically oriented monitor and classic arcade games to match.

The statement does not clarify what percentage of scaling may have been applied to the Mega Drive Mini 2 compared to the first Mega Drive Mini—but it also doesn't mention anything about a European model, which leaves us doubting that Sega of Europe will manufacture a system that is full of multilanguage games with 'Mega Drive 2 Mini' branding.

As of press time, Amazon's US site still shows the Genesis Mini 2 available at a price hovering around $103—which has fluctuated since its announcement, owing to its Japanese manufacturing origin and its price being based on the Japanese yen. This update from Sega of Japan suggests that anyone interested in the Western version of Genesis Mini 2, which will contain Western versions of some games and original Japanese versions of others, should not hesitate to place an order.

Ars Technica has already ordered its own Genesis Mini 2 hardware and is in touch with Sega of Japan about getting its hands on the system ahead of its launch. But in light of this apparent scarcity, my review of the 2019 original may help you make up your mind before it's too late to get this one anywhere near MSRP. Both Genesis Mini models are made by the same team at M2 and apparently revolve around the same emulation cores and interfaces. I mostly praised that system for its price-to-content ratio and glowing emulation performance, and this system's announced games thus far include serious Genesis and Sega CD classics at a similar price-per-game ratio (along with a default bump to a six-button controller as its pack-in option).

Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.