Sega is back at it with another take on a classic game console — but this time it’s a full arcade cabinet that can fit in the palm of your hand.
The Astro City Mini, the latest announcement during the company's 60th-anniversary celebration, is just about the best-looking mini-cabinet we’ve ever seen. With its six lime-green buttons and that classic joystick, this is the next best thing to hanging out with your friends at your local arcade. The console will be out later this year (right now Amazon has it listed as launching on December 31, which is just a placeholder).
Sega’s really on a roll with these mini-consoles — it’s Genesis/Mega Drive mini debuted to critical acclaim and we’re still not over the adorable Game Gear Micro the company announced last month. Now we just have to hope Sega brings this thing stateside.
Including 36 games — The Astro City Mini is really going to pack a punch for nostalgic Sega fans and new players alike. Don’t be fooled by the device’s minimal physical footprint; there’s a lot packed into this thing.
Sega has been hush-hush about which games, exactly, will ship with the mini-arcade. Someone with insider knowledge leaked 10 of the titles on Japanese site Game Watch, but they were swiftly taken down. Thankfully the internet has archived the leaked titles, which include a rare rerelease of Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder:
- Alien Syndrome
- Alien Storm
- Golden Axe
- Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
- Columns II
- Dark Edge
- Puzzle & Action: Tant-R
- Virtua Fighter
- Fantasy Zone
- Altered Beast
Better than ever before — The Astro City Mini is by no means the first miniaturized collection of Sega games we’ve seen (remember AtGames? shudder) but it’s certainly the most complex hardware we’ve seen yet.
Competitor SNK also has a line of Neo Geo mini-arcades but their lackluster hardware offerings leave much room for improvement. The HDMI ports on the Neo Geo models are notoriously finicky, for example, which makes it difficult to play games on a larger screen. Unlike Sega's take, the controllers on those consoles don’t include real micro-switches, either.
The Astro City Mini seems — at least from a distance — to solve these problems. It also comes equipped with USB ports to connect extra controllers and play with friends.
Will it make it to the U.S.? — The Astro City itself — the full-sized version of it — never actually made its way to the West. There’s no telling whether or not the Astro City Mini will make it stateside, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on shipping and production around the world. We might be waiting quite a while for this one to show up at Best Buy.
Luckily, the Astro City Mini will be available in Japan by the end of the year for 12,800 yen (about $120). You can pre-order it on Amazon Japan right now.