Sega Went With The Mega Drive 2 As Dreamcast And Saturn Were Too Expensive

It's been a busy few days for Sega. First, the company revealed new – and underwhelming – footage of the upcoming Sonic Frontiers, and then, the big reveal of the Mega Drive 2. The miniature console will launch on October 27, and come packed with 50 games, including some Sega CD titles. As of now, the games confirmed for the console include Sonic CD, Slipstream, and Virtua Racing. However, one has to wonder why Sega didn't go for one of the more advanced consoles.

As happy as many were with the announcement of the Mega Drive 2, there were those asking if we'd see miniature versions of the Saturn or Dreamcast. Sega hardware producer, Yosuke Okunari, explained that the pandemic had a lot to do with the decision to go with the Mega Drive 2 (thanks, NintendoLife).

"First of all, I had experience with the Mega Drive Mini, so it was easy to make a plan if it was an extension of that. To some extent, I understand that 'with this part, we can certainly do this,' and we also know the precedents for production and supply," said Okunari in an interview with Famitsu, translated via Chrome.

"In fact, some of you may say, '[what about] 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 [Covid 19], and of course it will be a fairly expensive product in terms of cost."

Besides the fact that it was expensive in the first place, Sega clearly suffered from the same problem that a lot of industries around the world has been facing – a global shortage of semiconductor chips, amplified by the trade embargoes put on China by the Trump administration and, of course, the Covid 19 pandemic.

While the console announcement was well received overall, the footage of Sonic Frontiers left a lot to be desired. While the video showcased a bunch of traversal mechanics for Sonic, the overall open world was criticized for looking bland and empty.

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