Rather than a miniaturised Game Gear, Sega’s new retro console is the Astro City Mini, which includes some of their greatest arcade hits.
The announcement that Sega’s big 60th anniversary surprise was some miniature-sized Game Gear handhelds was not the most thrilling reveal ever, even if it was VERY Sega.
But it seems they won’t be the only new hardware that Sega is releasing this year, with the reveal of the Astro City Mini – a miniature arcade replica that includes a number of classic Sega coin-ops (Astro City is the name of Sega’s generic, multi-purpose arcade cabinets, that they started using in 1993).
These sort of mini arcade machines aren’t a new idea but usually they only contain one game, whereas Sega’s take on the concept seems to be closer to the Capcom Home Arcade in terms of the number of titles.
The Astro City Mini actually seems to be a leak, as the initial reveal on Japanese website Game Watch has been pulled. Fan site Sega Driven caught the details though, even if it seems not all of the games have been announced yet.
It’s certainly a slightly odd mixture at the moment, with only one 3D title, in the form of the classic Virtua Fighter, and obscurities like puzzle game Trant-R and sprite-based 3D fighter Dark Edge.
A total of 36 games are promised in total and this list only features 10, so we can only hope that includes sprite-scaling classics like OutRun and After Burner, as well as other 3D titles like Virtua Racing and maybe even Daytona USA.
Although Sega regularly finds way to re-release its old console games its arcade legacy is arguably even more important, and yet many of its most famous games are still quite hard to get hold of in their original form.
Sega Astro City Mini games list
Golden Axe: The Revenge Of Death Adder
As small as it is the Astro City Mini will present the original arcades exactly as they used to be, with the option to play them through the in-built screen or on your TV – by simply using a HDMI cable.
The console has an eight-way microswitched joystick and six buttons, plus you can buy up to two other joysticks to attach to USB slots on the back.
If the selection of games gets better then it actually seems pretty exciting, and there’s a good attention to detail where even the marquee lights up when it’s plugged in.
There’s no mention of a Western release at the moment, but it costs ¥12,800 in Japan, which works out to about £95 here. (By comparison the Capcom Home Arcade is £200, although that does come with two full-size, arcade quality joysticks.)
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