Sega vs. Nintendo: Battle of the retro consoles

It's 1989 all over again. Sega's new Mega Drive console is coming to rival Nintendo's NES Classic Edition, delivering 80 classic Sega titles.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier

The Nintendo NES Classic Edition, coming soon for $60, looks like a great deal for classic game fans.

Not to be outdone, arch-rival (from 25 years ago) Sega has a slate of 80 "classic" games appearing in a new retro console of its own: The Mega Drive Classic.

The device is available for pre-order from U.K. retailers Smyths and FunStockRetro £49.99 (about $65 US) and will ship in October. A similar portable console is also available for the same price.

The TV-based console supports original Mega Drive cartridges, comes with two wireless controllers and plugs into your TV. The portable has a 3.2-inch display and rechargeable battery.

Both are actually manufactured by Chinese maker At Games, which has made numerous retro consoles in the past. According to an article by USGamer.net, however, the new consoles might be "anything but a nostalgic home run." It cites shoddy hardware and mediocre emulators, and concludes "For the moment at least, the absolute best Genesis reissues you're going to find are all on Nintendo systems."