Sega’s take on Nintendo’s standalone retro consoles is off to a bumpy start after review hardware of the Sega Genesis Flashback turned out faulty. The console – which includes 85 classic games from the Genesis, Master System, and Game Gear – is planned to launch on September 22. With the release date approaching, Sega sent out hardware to selected media outlets for review, but ran into a hitch. The wrong version of the Sega Genesis Flashback review hardware was delivered.
At first, outlets began by thinking that the Sega Genesis Flashback hardware was a just a poor product. The console’s menus are sluggish and gameplay constantly lagged, dropping inputs and tearing animation. Since the console had no embargo, outlets leaped at the opportunity to insult the hardware. IGN nicknamed the Flashback the “trashback,” Gizmodo didn’t hold back, referring to the console as “hot garbage,” and several other outlets went to further extremes.
The issue, however, was that the wrong Sega Genesis Flashback review units were sent out to reviewers. Manufacturer AtGames provided the following comments to Kotaku regarding the mistake:
“A batch of our review units were accidentally shipped out with early software builds that do not represent the final version. We are working to get updated and correct final products in the hands of reviewers in the coming weeks.”
Yet there’s no reversing time on those initial Sega Genesis Flashback reviews. Perhaps the reviews will be altered or follow-up reviews issued once the new hardware is received, as consumers would likely request. Then again, maybe the new hardware isn’t any better than what was initially sent out.
Overall, it’s a frustrating situation for all parties involved. On paper, the Sega Genesis Forever is a very exciting device. After all, it includes classic Sega games from franchises including Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star, Golden Axe, Mortal Kombat, Shining Force, and more that aren’t so easy to find these days. No one wants to see those franchises be presented poorly, whether they’re interested in buying the hardware or not.
There remains time to repair some of the damage done, at least. The Sega Genesis Flashback won’t be on store shelves for another 7 weeks, which is plenty of time for new review units to be shipped and new reviews to be issued. Perhaps by the time the console launches it might be lauded as the perfect companion to the SNES Classic.
The Sega Genesis Flashback console launches on September 22, 2017.