Sega considered making Saturn and Dreamcast minicomputers, but component limitations made them too expensive.

In short: Miniature retro game consoles were all the rage just a few years ago, and had it not been for the pandemic, we would likely see even more options on the market from companies like Sega.

During a recent interview with Famitsu, Sega Creative Producer Yosuke Okunari said the company explored the possibility of building the Saturn mini and Dreamcast mini, but decided against it for several reasons.

The team couldn’t just reuse the Genesis mini’s internal hardware as it wasn’t powerful enough to run games from more advanced consoles. And even if that door were open, the shortage of semiconductors would severely limit production.

The pandemic also made the production of new chips capable of running Saturn and Dreamcast games too expensive, so the idea was abandoned.

Instead, Sega decided to move forward with the Mega Drive mini 2, which is based on the Mega Drive 2 model. It uses the same internal hardware as the first generation mini console and will be released in limited numbers in Japan (again, due to the pandemic) on October 27 for about $75.

There are currently no plans to release the Genesis mini 2 for international markets, but this may change once chip production normalizes. Sega may also reconsider plans for the Saturn and Dreamcast when chip prices drop again, as these systems will no doubt appeal to retro gamers and those who never had a chance to play them for the first time.

Image credit: Taylor R.

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