For fans of the SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis Mini, the news of a second version with new games and Mega CD support was welcome indeed. Yet it also raised a question for some: why isn’t SEGA producing a Saturn Mini or Dreamcast Mini? According to a new interview, it’s not that the company isn’t interested — they’re just worried about the financial logistics.
Yosuka Okunari, creative producer at SEGA and content lead for the first Genesis Mini, talked to Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu about the upcoming microconsole. He also explained SEGA’s hesitancy to create a Saturn or Dreamcast microconsole due to cost concerns. According to him (these quotes are based off of a Google translation, FYI):
Some of you may say, “Isn’t it a SEGA Saturn Mini? or “I wanted a Dreamcast Mini.” It’s not that we didn’t think about that direction […] SEGA Saturn games cannot be fully run on the board mounted on the Mega Drive Mini. The development of new boards has been stagnant due to the coronavirus, and of course, it will be a fairly expensive product in terms of cost.Yosuke Okunari, Creative Producer at SEGA
Why a Saturn or Dreamcast Mini might not happen
As Okunari says, SEGA is aware of the community desire for microconsole versions of the Saturn and Dreamcast. They expressed interested in the idea, but rising hardware costs following the COVID-19 pandemic made it unfeasible. It’s a sensible explanation, and should those costs come down, SEGA will likely revisit the idea.
These cost concerns haven’t just affected the possibility of a Saturn or Dreamcast Mini. Even the Mega Drive Mini 2 had its share of financial issues, especially regarding semiconductors. Okunari explained:
When I decided to create the Mega Drive Mini 2 and finally started procuring parts with the approval of the company, the shortage of semiconductors was getting worse. I couldn’t get them, and even if I could get them, the price was getting higher and higher. […] We started the project with just as many semiconductors as we could launch. Therefore, the expected number of manufactured products has been significantly reduced.Yosuke Okunari, Creative Producer at SEGA
Do you still want to see a SEGA Saturn or Dreamcast Mini? What games should SEGA include on them? Let us know!
Via Nintendo Life.