Saturday, 6 June 2009

Famitsu confused by new Mega Drive hardware

New, cheap Mega Drive hardware is relatively well-known in the West. You can buy a tiny, officially-licenced Mega Drive that plays your old cartridges (to a degree) or a handheld device, both of which have many built-in games.

This concept seems to have confused Famitsu, who saw the products at this year's E3. Here is a poorly translated version of the article, entitled "New Mega Drive model announced secretly at E3?":
"At the American game show E3, there are many suspicious-looking games and peripherals. Since E3 has reduced in size, some things have had to be scaled down. We saw a miscellaneous booth in the far end of the hall, which smelt rather fishy. It was called "Innovative Accessories" (a Californian manufacturer), and it had many hidden treasures! One of these was a miniature version of the Mega Drive, called the "Firebox".

The Mega Drive has Sonic and Knuckles, Alex Kidd and another 20 titles built-in. It also supports wireless controllers, and is SD card adapter compatible (unknown specification). It is expected to be released in July for $49.99. There is another Firebox console, this time portable with the same 20 games included.

The employee explained that both are officially-licenced Sega products, with the logo printed on the box. One might want one as a gift if they live in America.

In addition to the Firebox consoles, there was a "Super MD". This portable games machine can play the original Mega Drive cartridges, although the only test cartridge was Virtua Fighter 2. The start screen is familiar, you select a character, and then you are shocked. It's Virtua Fighter 2, but in 2D! This version was actually released in North America, and is also available on the Wii's Virtual Console.

Looking back, there was also a Puyo Puyo 5-in-1 cartridge. The Sega logo was nowhere to be seen, so we asked the employee why: "This product, and the software itself, is not officially licenced". Oh.

E3 is the world's largest games exhibition, and the space is very limited. The search for these small exhibits is the best part of E3."
Clearly Virtua Fighter 2 was never released on the Mega Drive in Japan - the reporter seemed very shocked by the fact it was 2D! At least the floor has a convincing 3D effect. The consoles seemed to shock the reporter as well. Do these things not get released in Japan?

Ah, the wonders of E3. You'd think these smaller booths would be scared to show unlicenced products when the actual company is just around the corner!

[Source: Famitsu]

No comments: