To start any conversation about the Analog Mega Sg, a new $ 190 version of the original Sega Genesis (born Mega Drive in Europe and Japan) available as a "pre-order" but which has already begun to be shipped – identify a few niches of classic players. This awesome device is just not for everyone.
Are you a true follower of Sega – like in, starting with the SG-1000, through the Master System, Genesis and Game Gear, to finish with the Sega CD, without going any further? This is the territory that this classic game box covers.
Are you the kind of Sega Genesis monster that adheres to the gospel of pure and original gameplay as opposed to emulation? The analog Mega Sg has everything you need. It offers the most authentic visuals, colors, control and sound I've ever seen from Genesis via an HDMI connection.
Are you already the proud owner of a stack of classic Sega games in their original cartridge format? Do you just want a way to get their action immaculate, without lag, on a modern screen? Mega Analog Sg is also for you, because unlike a "classic" Nintendo console – or the disappointingly small size of AT Games Genesis – this new hardware does not come with a library of dozens of pre-installed classic titles.
And finally, do you have old controllers sitting in a closet somewhere? With the Mega Sg, you get bonus points if you have old Genesis controllers because the starting price of $ 190 includes zero joysticks.
I start with this list so as not to bother anyone, but to specify that Analogue is a kind of unique retro gaming company. The Mega Sg is the company's third FPGA product, designed to offer near-perfect replication of an old gaming console. It is suitable for HDMI video standard (resolution up to 1080p, 60 frames per second).
Once again, Analogue delivered an FPGA motherboard, designed to reproduce material that is no longer manufactured. We've talked a lot about this in the past, but let's remember briefly: an FPGA simulates the exact speeds and processes of the original hardware, as opposed to emulating old software on new chipsets. And Analogue does so as an independent console producer despite the official support provided by the console manufacturers of the '80s and' 90s, and not because of them.
Thus, Analogue does not sign any license agreement for your favorite games (or shows a strange selectivity in the sense "Why is my favorite game missing?"). The company has not signed a contract with Sega for the construction of exact replicas of former controllers. And there is no need to add USB ports to support modern controllers or add-ons. If you buy an analog Mega Sg, you begin to expect a "pure" Sega Genesis experience.
But if you expect Mega Sg with everything you expect, almost everything it adds to the classic Sega experience gives the impression of a bright red, Knuckles, cherry in the form of Echidna.
A very good moment, by default
If you just want to install and forget the Analog Mega Sg to play old Genesis games, it's quite simple. Connect a power source via Micro-USB. Connect a screen via HDMI. Connect a cartridge and a controller. Press the power button. The simple and uncluttered design of the material makes it all clear. The most beautiful elements include smooth, curved edges and a circle pattern on the top. But Genesis has always stood out with its domed and "aggro" design in the early '90s, and I would have liked more shine, bulges or attitude notes here.
I still think the device looks cool, especially with a cartridge stuck in the top. But I can not help but think that its relatively simple shape and its matte, smooth finish make the system a little too much like the Super Nt Analog.
After a brief screen projection with the Analog logo, you can choose to start your cartridge, go to a settings menu or play a pre-installed game (we'll get back to that). By default, Mega Sg restores older Genesis and Mega Drive games to a higher "4.5x" level (not quite reaching the top and bottom edges of a 1080p screen) in 4: 3 format. .
(If you're curious: this is a region-free system, so all cartridges in any country will work, and games will automatically be recognized, no option changes are required.)
And with the default settings, the Mega Sg replicates most of the basics you've been hoping for in a $ 190 Sega Genesis. The colors are bright, bold and authentic – nothing is exaggerated, nothing is faded. Sprites are sharper than filters. In addition, the music and sound effects are perfectly faithful. All the analog noises and all the quirks of the original Yamaha sound chip are so neatly translated that Genesis hard-hitting players can back down in front of the shimmer. These are not distorted sound effects. They are just the opposite.
But Analog assumes that you do not pay € 190 to set the default settings. And there is a lot parameters to choose.