Ever heard of the ‘Nomad’? If you’re in Europe, you’d be forgiven for this given it’s none release. but in short, the Nomad was a portable Megadrive/Genesis system featuring a crisp screen and battery devouring needs that could make your home console favourites portable in the 90s without impacting quality or requiring a remake for a new system. Using 6 x AA batteries in 3 hours it was a luxury item, desired by every Sega fan even when the CDX/Multimega arrived on the scene too!
So imagine my surprise finally thumbing through the CES news this week (after finally shifting what I can only describe as the cold from hell (now forever dubbed ‘he-bola’!) that Retro-Bit have gone and revealed that they have progressed passed making just licenced controllers and are jumping ahead to system recreations.
So what’s changed? Well the system seems slightly slimmer to the original, but that could just be the photos, but we have a new D-pad and modified buttons that I hope take after the original 6 button pad which was comfortable to use.
Also as an unexpected surprise the system will allow for HDMI output and will be both PAL and NTSC compatible, which for myself is brilliant given I’m not a major collector of Megadrive games, but I have over the course of the years accumulated a good 100 boxed titles, which will be great to test out compatibility. Hopefully Japanese support will be confirmed sooner rather than later, and I’d hope if not included on day one, then the ability to update the system’s firmware would be a great idea for future compatibility.
On a side note regarding firmware, I do hope Retro-bit take the opportunity to look into 32X cartridge compatibility with the system or at least look into resolving the issue that every licence machine seems to suffer with.. the dreaded SVP enabled games (Virtua Racing, etc.) Either way, this is excellent news for retro enthusiasts since it’s now becoming clear Sega finally understand the power of their dormant IPs and brands that have been stored for the longest time, and are preparing to take a significant chunk of the retro market once more. Who knows, could this pave the way for a revised Saturn or Dreamcast mini?