Sega has announced a new official emulator for their classic early 90s Sega Genesis console (Mega Drive outside North America). The Sega Mega Drive Classics Hub will be a free update on April 28 to anyone who has already purchased certain classic titles available on Steam.
The new hub introduces a swanky new menu screen that doubles as a nostalgic 90s bedroom. The blast from the past includes different time-of-day lighting, a shelf full of your digitally owned Sega games, and an old CRT TV to play them on.
As an official emulator, the hub will include local co-op support for applicable games, full controller support, and optional enhanced graphics filters. My favorite feature is the ability to save anywhere. The update also provides full Steam Workshop integration for each game. This opens up the wide world of fan-created mods and sharing for these retro titles.
Sega has long been a proponent of bundling and selling their retro titles for each new console generation. It’s wonderful to see that level of support for old-school Sega fans on the PC.
Sega’s announcement includes a full list of hub-supported games on release. The Sonic games are oddly absent, despite being on Steam for years.
As someone that grew up in the “Genesis Does what Nintendon’t” era, I have some personal recommendations. You can’t go wrong with Streets of Rage 2-3 for classic co-op beat ’em ups (with some amazing soundtracks). For Fire Emblem fans, Shining Force 1-2 still provide excellent strategy-RPG gameplay. And Wonderboy in Monster World is like a side-scrolling Zelda, complete with ocarina and faeries. Enjoy that Blast Processing!