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Sega returns with a nostalgic console from the late 80s

Another console-maker from the 16-bit era of video games is trying to tap into the nostalgia market.Sega is making a return to stores on Thursday with...

Posted: Sep 20, 2019 9:25 AM

Another console-maker from the 16-bit era of video games is trying to tap into the nostalgia market.

Sega is making a return to stores on Thursday with a mini Genesis console based on the original system. Sega Genesis launched in October 1988 in Japan and a year later in North America.

The company, which has focused on developing and licensing games in recent years, is also releasing some classic titles for the mini console, including "Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition," "Sonic the Hedgehog," "World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck" and "Castlevania: Bloodlines," which was recently adapted into a Netflix series. Other titles are more obscure, dating back to releases from the late 80s.

The mini costs $79.99 and is about 55% the size of the original. It ships with 42 games pre-installed and two simple controllers. It can plug directly into a TV and the controllers plug in via USB. The electronic music and 16-bit graphics feel very much from the console's original era.

Recently, console makers including Sony and Nintendo have sold limited edition versions of vintage consoles, at a fraction of the cost of the originals. And they've proven to be pretty popular.

"The retro gaming market is definitely a niche market," said Ed Barton, chief analyst at research firm Ovum and previously a games industry analyst. "If you're of a certain age, you might remember them and this might be the easiest way to play games today."

These types of devices shouldn't involve much in terms of development cost, making them a relatively low-risk proposition.

"[The Sega Genesis Mini] is completely copycat," said Andrei Hagiu, an associate professor of information systems at Boston University, who previously wrote case studies on video games. "It's just a quick opportunity to make money, why not?"

In the 1990s, Sega was all the rage, alongside Nintendo and Sony. While Sony and Nintendo grew bigger over the years, Sega dropped out of making new generations of consoles following dismal sales in 2001.

"The cost of simply surviving in the console business today is so extraordinarily expensive," said Blake J. Harris, author of Console Wars. "Sega doesn't have the financial resources to compete with companies like Microsoft, Sony, or even Nintendo."

As for whether the Genesis Mini could help boost struggling retailers at the end of a console cycle, analysts aren't hopeful. "This will have zero impact on the market," said Barton. "It's minuscule compared to what the big chains need to significantly turn around their business."

When reached for comment, GameStop stated, "Our pre-orders [of the Genesis Mini] are doing very well and we expect to move a lot of inventory as we head into the holiday season."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 751826

Reported Deaths: 13811
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1033581790
Lake557861011
Allen41721692
St. Joseph37001565
Hamilton36612417
Elkhart29416461
Tippecanoe22926227
Vanderburgh22559400
Porter19364326
Johnson18481389
Hendricks17692317
Clark13231195
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Warrick7862156
Floyd7814180
Grant7246179
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Boone6976103
Morgan6764141
Dubois6222118
Marshall6211116
Cass6023110
Henry5903110
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Clinton443255
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Starke228058
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Union72810
Ohio57911
Unassigned0424

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1109374

Reported Deaths: 20213
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1288561469
Cuyahoga1158492216
Hamilton814161251
Montgomery525741049
Summit484431006
Lucas43380824
Butler39066606
Stark33348930
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Trumbull16559483
Medina15615273
Greene15289248
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Allen11916239
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Columbiana9038230
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Ashtabula7171179
Hancock6998133
Ross6946163
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Scioto6536106
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Jefferson5681159
Huron5550122
Sandusky5444126
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Seneca5350128
Washington5323109
Athens524360
Auglaize502287
Mercer487585
Shelby477095
Knox4573112
Madison444566
Ashland435897
Putnam4335104
Defiance432399
Fulton432174
Crawford4045110
Brown402561
Logan387678
Preble3858105
Clinton379166
Ottawa373581
Highland359966
Williams348478
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Guernsey325254
Jackson318354
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Morrow291840
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Adams243256
Pike242835
Gallia240850
Wyandot234756
Hocking220663
Carroll197448
Paulding176642
Meigs148540
Monroe136345
Noble136239
Harrison114138
Morgan110024
Vinton85717
Unassigned03
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 75° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 65°
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Mostly Cloudy
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Clear
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Hi: 75° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 75° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 65°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 69°
The warming trend continues into Thursday with highs reaching into the middle 80s.
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