Hyperkin Unveils Mega 95 Handheld Sega Genesis With Support For Retro Game Cartridges

hero hyperkin mega 95
We've reported on handheld gaming systems quite a bit recently thanks to the boom in the market spurred by the success of the Steam Deck. Products from pre-existing vendors like Ayaneo, GPD, and OneNotebook have been battling with newer machines from larger OEMs like Asus, Lenovo, and most recently, MSI. Today's handheld is something a bit different, though—instead of playing PC games, it's a Sega Genesis.

This handheld machine has controls styled after a six-button Sega Genesis pad, and unlike the Sega Genesis Mini, it takes original Genesis cartridges. In that sense, you could say it's like an updated Sega Nomad, the ill-fated portable Genesis that the company released late in the home system's life cycle. Hyperkin is no stranger to making handhelds that play original cartridges; the company's SupaBoy handheld remains a well-regarded way to play Super NES games.

Hyperkin's newest development is called the Mega 95. We're not sure why "95", but Mega is obviously in reference to the Mega Drive, the actual name of the Genesis outside of the United States. We don't have too many specific details about the machine yet—it doesn't even appear on Hyperkin's website yet—but based on the images available, it seems like a fairly straightforward concept: slap in a Genesis cartridge and power it on.

castlevania bloodlines widescreen
Castlevania: Bloodlines widescreen hack in Genesis Plus GX Wide.

The machine will feature a toggle switch to swap games between 4:3 and 16:9 modes for its wide 5" screen; there's actually an emulator (Genesis Plus GX Wide) that can expand some Genesis games to 16:9 and it would be fascinating if this thing implements something similar instead of simply stretching the video. That's fairly unlikely because this machine is probably using something close to real Genesis hardware, rather than emulation.

hyperkin mega retron hd
Hyperkin's Mega RetroN HD is a fine stand-in for an original Genesis, and just $59 on Amazon.

We say that because this is very likely to be a handheld version of Hyperkin's MegaRetroN HD, which takes original Genesis cartridges and outputs them to 720p HD. It offers a very similar experience to the original Genesis, and can even play the original SVP-enabled version of Virtua Racing, something emulation-based consoles typically fail at. It may not be quite as accurate as something like Analogue's FPGA-based Mega SG, but nothing is short of original hardware.

hyperkin mega95 dock
Images: The Verge

In addition to the machine, you'll apparently also get a USB Type-C dock that will have connections for both an external display (HDMI) as well as a pair of Genesis controller ports for the real authentic experience. Unfortunately, no words on pricing or actual availability yet, but The Verge notes that the SupaBoy currently sells for $119.99. We'd expect a similar price point for the Mega 95.