WTF? ! It is not uncommon for corporate headquarters in Japan to first launch new products locally and later expand to other regions. With the Mini Genesis 2 Mini, Sega is offering customers outside of Japan to receive the console on the same day that Japanese buyers receive their Mega Drive 2 Minis. However, the lien costs US consumers about $50 more due to shipping and import fees.
Sega announced the release of the Genesis 2 Mini to US customers this fall. Previously, the company announced the Mega Drive 2 Mini in early June, but only in Japan and with a vague “fall” release date. Now it looks like both versions will be released on October 27th. But only in Japan. Expect. What?
Yes. It looks like Sega of Japan will also distribute the US version instead of letting Sega of America handle it, indicating US customers will have to import it. Amazon will only process US sales.
Additionally, Sega has priced the Genesis 2 Mini at around $30 more than the Mega Drive 2 Mini, and buyers will have to pay Amazon $22 for import shipping. Pre-orders opened on Wednesday. Total spend for US customers is $127 compared to $75 for the Japanese version. It’s quite odd that Sega decided to release the American collectible console in this way since the 2019 Genesis Mini was available at local retailers.
On the plus side, Team Sega bases the updated Mini on the Genesis Model 2, so it offers more power and games. Over 50 retro classics come preloaded on the Genesis 2 Mini, including six CD-based Sega games: Sonic CD, Shining Force CD, Silpheed, Mansion of Hidden Souls, Night Striker, and The Ninja Warriors. Some of the regular Genesis games worth mentioning are After Burner II, Super Hang On, Sonic 3D Blast, Splatterhouse 2, and Rolling Thunder 2.
Another plus is that the Genesis 2 Mini comes with a six-button controller. The three-button gamepad that came with Sega’s first mini-console is also compatible, but makes playing some games impossible. Sega didn’t mention whether a second controller could be purchased separately or as a bundle. However, the original Mega Drive 2 Mini press release indicated that a set of two controllers would be available for an additional 1,100 yen ($8).
Sega could learn a hard lesson about releasing products outside of their designated regions. Having to shell out that much for a nearly 30-year-old retro console should put off many US customers. After all, Sega charges more than a third of the cost of a brand new Xbox Series S purchased directly from Microsoft ($290), which isn’t limited to a handful of legacy games.