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Analogue, the retro console manufacturer behind the Nt Mini and Super Nt, excellent modern NES and SNES reproductions, is now bringing back a seminal ’90s rival. The company has announced the Mega Sg, a Sega Genesis, Mega Drive and Master System recreation that can play over 2,180 classic cartridges.
Unlike other retro console clones, Analogue, as its name suggests, doesn’t use emulation methods. Rather, the company opts to use an Altera Cyclone V FPGA chip to ensure 100 percent compatibility — and so that games can be played exactly how they were intended. It’s not the exact chip used in the Genesis, but using an FPGA chip that runs off HDL (hardware description language), it can essentially be any other chip. It’s a solution that bypasses emulation through an operating system, to connect and speak directly between game cartridge and motherboard.
And yes, for you chiptune fans, the Mega Sg will also have the Yamaha YM2612 sound chip on board so that Michael Jackson’s composition of Marble Garden Zone from Sonic 3 will have that same synthpop keytar flare you remember.
Analogue’s dedication to retro accuracy doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pull out your CRT to play. The Mega SG will output to a modern display via HDMI and will upscale to 1080p, again, without input lag.
As for your copy of Sonic CD, the Mega Sg also is compatible with both the Sega CD and Mega CD. And if you still have old Genesis controllers, the Mega Sg has two ports up front — but matching wireless 8bitdo M30 controllers will also be available for purchase.
Systems from this time period had plenty of add-ons that were created in futile attempts to prolong a console’s life cycle. To ensure that no stone was left unturned, Analogue will recreate cartridge adapters for Sega’s Mark III, Game Gear, Sega MyCard, SG-1000 and SC-3000. These adapters will be coming sometime in 2019.
The Mega SG will be region free, can be updated via SD card and includes a host of video output features like scanline options, scaler options, horizontal position adjust and horizontal and vertical stretch. Pre-orders for the Mega Sg start today and will ship in March of 2019 for $ 189.