The niche market of miniaturised consoles created by Nintendo is still going strong in 2020 as Sega announces yet another entry in the form of the Astro City Mini.

Like the Neo Geo Mini, the Astro City Mini takes the form of a small arcade cabinet with disproportional controls so you can actually try and play on it without using an external controller… or a toothpick.

The design here is based on full size arcade cabinets released in Japan. As this console is a homage to that the chances of a Western release are slim.

In Japan this will cost ¥12 800 (~R2 038). For your money you’re getting the console complete with HDMI out and support for external controllers. The joystick is particularly interesting with its microswitches and replaceable ball top. Looking at the ports on the back it seems that there’s also an audio jack and power over USB.

But the software is what really makes or breaks this locked down hardware and you’ll be getting 36 here. 10 of these have been announced so far:

  • Alien Storm
  • Alien Syndrome
  • Altered Beast
  • Columns II
  • Dark Edge
  • Fantasy Zone
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder
  • Ichidant-R
  • Virtua Fighter

More information on the Astro City Mini and the history of the real arcade cabinets it was inspired by were available in a Japanese interview on the site Game Watch. Unfortunately the interview has since been taken down as it was apparently put up too early. Following the old link will take you to an error message that eventually redirects to the home page.

Thankfully English outlets like SEGAbits and The Verge managed to capture the relevant details and images you see on this page. Hopefully the interview will be put back up soon.

This is the second time in as many months that Sega has revealed a console like this. Back in June it showed off the Game Gear Micro, with a rather strange business model of locking down games by the colour of the console.