Games Inbox: Would you buy a Sega Saturn Mini console?

Games Inbox: Would you buy a Sega Saturn Mini console?

The Morning Inbox wonders if a home console-only version of the Switch could really happen, as one reader complains about Joy-Con drift.

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Miniscule chance

With all the excitement for the Mega Drive Mini and the surprising annoucement of the PC Engine Mini what do people think are the chances of a Sega Saturn Mini? We’ve already had the PlayStation Classic from that generation, but as any fan will know the Saturn is incredibly difficult to emulate – but what would that be easier if they made an actual console with custom chips to make it easier?

I’m ignorant of how these things work, so maybe that would be too expensive, but I wold love to see a mini console that included all of its great games from Japan and the West. Now, you’re probably thinking that it would never happen because the console was a flop even at the time but it was actually really successful in Japan. And I assume that was the reason the PC Engine Mini got made in the end, not because of anyone in the West.

I realise it’s still unlikely but surely people that didn’t own one at the time would be intrigued to find out what the fuss was all about? And in terms of being retro the Saturn had the best 2D graphics ever, so it would be really appealing on that level. Add in some ‘impossible’ extras, like the other Minis have had (Panzer Dragoon Saga would be the obvious one) and I really think it could be a hit for Sega, especially if the Mega Drive Mini does well.


Software speculation

Personally I find all the speculation about next gen hardware to be intensely boring, especially because, as a reader rightly pointed out, it’s all just meaningless numbers referring to measures of power that have been invented largely as marketing tools.

What does interest me though is what’s going to happen with the games next gen. Microsoft seems to have made its plans fairly clear: buy a bunch of indie developers and turn them into first party studios. There’s been no indication so far that they’re going to ‘buy’ third party exclusives and will instead rely on their own internal developers to create exclusive games – in other words Sony’s approach to this generation.

But somehow I can’t imagine Sony doing the same thing twice and not trying to adapt their approach. Something tells me they will try to shore up third party games and make the exclusive, timed exclusive, or at least with exclusive features/DLC. You’ve seen a bit of that already towards the end of this gen and I think you’ll see them trying to throw their weight around and leverage their success in this gen into being the lead format for next gen.

When the PlayStation 5 is announced next year I’ll be shocked if it’s only first party games that are talked about, but I definitely wouldn’t be surprised if their were some very big name companies on stage with them. Can you say GTA VI?


Third time unlucky

I have owned every Nintendo console since the GameCube. Usually their hardware has been very reliable and robust…

But now I am furious after my third left Joy-Con has started drifting. This is ridiculous – it cannot be because of unlucky purchasing, this is a horrific design flaw I cannot believe they overlooked.

Customer support appears to be only marginally cheaper than buying new Joy-Cons – £65 in the UK, and rather than fix the issue I find it insulting Nintendo is just content to flog new coloured versions.


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Home use

So there’s a new Switch Lite and a new regular Switch with better battery life, but this all seems to be pandering to those who play handheld. What improvements do those of us who only play on the TV get?

It would be nice if Nintendo devoted some time to improving overall performance of the machine when docked, so when the likes of The Witcher 3 and most likely Doom Eternal get ported, they’ll run better.

Even a nice upgraded 4K capable dock would be welcome. Obviously, that will come with a price tag to match but I would personally be happy to pay it, as I’m sure others would too. This then would make it completely optional for those who want it.

Just a thought.
Phil Spearpoint

GC: It’s a fair point. Presumably the best chance for that happening is the mythical Switch Pro, which has been ruled out for this year. We still don’t think it’s impossible there could be a home-only Switch, just as there is now a portable-only one.


Not bad news

I know Famitsu has never been a reliable source for its review but I still can’t help but be excited that they gave Fire Emblem: Three House 37/40 in their review, meaning three reviews at 9/10 and one of 10/10. That’s pretty high praise and while, yes, maybe it’s not reliable it’s still not exactly bad news.

I’m hoping that this will be another milestone for Fire Emblem and that it’ll become even more popular as a result. Although the thing I’m most happy about is that it seems to be still a full-on strategy role-player, not something that’s been dumbed down in order to appeal to more people.

Now, admittedly, that may be exactly the reason why it isn’t a huge hit, but with a decent marketing campaign behind it and not much else out at this time of year I’m hopeful it can be another breakthrough. Apart from maybe Xenoblade Chronicles 2 I don’t think there’s been a quality Switch title that hasn’t been a hit yet, so to me it seems the chances are good, since Fire Emblem seems at least more accessible than that.


Filling the gap

I’ve got to admit, Nintendo’s second half games line-up is pretty impressive. I’m assuming they didn’t really intend to have such a quiet first half and that was just left over from the rushed release of the Switch, but if they can keep this momentum up then things are going to get very interesting in the next gen. Not because the Switch is suddenly going to look even more underpowered but because the first couple of years of a new gen are always terrible for new games.

That actually gives Switch an opportunity to make even more bank, until Microsoft and Sony can ramp things up with decent games. (And that’s assuming the games look markedly better than current gen, which, thanks to the law of diminishing returns, I’m currently dubious about.)

Assuming that logic is right that means that the Switch can easily stay relevant till at least the end of 2022, by which time it seems reasonable to me that they can start looking at a replacement or an upgrade. Even if I am right I’m sure they’ll figure out some way to avoid the opportunity, because it’s Nintendo, but in theory they’ve got a busy few years ahead of them.


Blazing sprites

A big thanks for recommending Blazing Chrome GC. I’ve always been a sucker for good old fashioned run ‘n’ gun games and this one suits me to a tea. I love the brilliant sprites, especially on the CRT TV modes. The music is fabulous and the purposely bad/muffled 80s arcade style sampled speech is pure retro heaven.

I’m on mission five at the moment and even if it is short like your review said it has still been my most enjoyable game released this year. Terrific.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Sixteenth Fantasy

Maybe I’m crazy for even raising the subject but when do you think we might start hearing about Final Fantasy XVI. It seems to me that Final Fantasy XV was mostly successful, as far as most fans were concerned, so ordinarily you’d expect a follow-up fairly soon after (or as quickly as Final Fantasy games are ever made).

But with Final Fantasy VII Remake getting such rave (p)reviews and being a multi-part game that’s probably going to take most of the next generation to finish what does that mean for the next mainline sequel? Are they going to make it at the same time and just slip it in between one of the Final Fantasy VII episodes? Or is everything going to come to a stop until the Remake series is finished?

I honestly couldn’t even begin to guess. I’d say that maybe they’d chose to do another MMO in between instead but the current one seems to be going really well still so I’m not sure that really makes sense. Am I missing anything obvious but does it seem like the remake’s success may halt any actually new games for quite a while?


Inbox also-rans

Great to see the ‘next article’ problem, as reported by other readers, has been resolved! No sign of it last night and therefore no unwanted pages loading halfway through the Inbox or freezing. Thanks for raising it GC.
Kanbot (gamertag)

GC: We can usually help, as long as people write in with as detailed description of the problem as possible.

Limbo is free on PC on Epic Games Store from today.
Andrew J.


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what video game franchise have you been playing the longest?

What series do you have the longest history with and what was the first and most recent entry you’ve played? Do you consider yourself a long-time fan of the series or is it simply that most of the games are high quality?

How many entries have you played and do you own any related merchandise? Do you consider yourself to be loyal to the franchise and do you always plan to buy new games, even when they’re spin-offs, if they’re part of the series?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
New Inbox updates appear twice daily, every weekday morning and afternoon. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length.

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