Hyperkin's Newest Handheld Is a Dream For Classic Sega Fans
Ever since the release of the Nintendo Switch, handheld gaming has seen a massive surge in interest, whether in modern systems like the Steam Deck or handhelds meant to embrace classics like the Analogue Pocket. Hyperkin, best known as the maker of the RetroN classic consoles, once again gets in on the party with the new “The Mega 95” handheld, which supports Genesis and Mega Drive cartridges. It sticks to a growing trend of retro consoles that let owners use their old cartridges. But in an increasingly competitive handheld market, just who is this for?
The forgotten Genesis Noma, released way back in 1995, was the first handheld console created to play Sega games. As the name implies, the Nomad was a handheld version of the Sega Genesis, but it was largely seen as a commercial failure and only sold 1 million units in its short lifetime.
The Mega 95, in a way, feels like the spiritual successor to the Nomad, finally delivering on the vision Sega had over two decades ago. It comes with a five-inch screen that can switch between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios. The system will have a battery life of around 10 hours, and like the Nintendo Switch, it also comes with a USB-C dock that allows you to play on a TV. The dock even has two slots for extra controllers.
Unfortunately, Hyperkin hasn’t announced a price or release date at the moment. However, the company’s previous handheld, the SupaBoy, retails for $120, so it’s possible The Mega 95 could be similar.
The Mega 95 could certainly be a neat piece for Sega collectors, and that feels like where the system will flourish. The handheld's scope feels limited because it only plays Genesis and Mega Drive cartridges, which are already increasingly hard to find. Additionally, there is a wealth of other options out there for playing old Sega games: the classic library on the Nintendo Switch, Sega’s Genesis Mini consoles, countless emulation options, and Hyperkin’s own RetroN systems.
For some, it may be hard to justify a purchase. Still, systems like this are useful for preservation. While Sega has kept software alive through various platforms, inevitably, old consoles like the Genesis and Mega Drive will simply break down, and having hardware available to replace them is vital. Systems like The Mega 95 may only serve a limited base, but being able to play classic games via their original format is invaluable.
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