Back in spring 2018, Sega announced the Genesis Mini, a small plug-and-play version of its iconic console that was delayed and released the following year. Now in summer 2021, it’s announced a new accessory, the Tower Mini Zero.
The accessory is purely cosmetic, like the Japan-only Tower Mini (note the missing “ZERO”) originally released in 2019, that was a faux, small-size “tower of power.”
Sega’s new accessory is a miniaturized version of the Power Base Converter that first came out in 1989. The Power Base Converter, known as the Mega Adaptor in Japan, made it possible for the Sega Genesis to play Sega Master System games. This small-sized take is not functional.
(If you want to play Master System games, you should get the Yakuza spinoff Lost Judgment!)
The original Sega Genesis Mini featured 40 games, including Sonic The Hedgehog, Gunstar Heroes, Shining Force, and Castlevania Bloodlines.
Check out this from Kotaku’s review of the Genesis Mini:
The hardware is a thing of beauty, a perfect little recreation of the 1989 launch model Genesis. The Genesis Mini goes a step further than other classic mini-hardware with interactive elements. The volume control slides up and down, the spring-loaded dust-cover flaps covering the cartridge slot open and close, and you can even remove the cover for the port that would connect the real Genesis to a Sega CD.
None of these things actually function, of course. You can’t play Genesis cartridges on this machine, nor is there a proportionally-sized Sega CD attachment that will let you play Sewer Shark (although surely we can all agree that we would immediately buy such a product). But they make the Genesis Mini itself into a fun little toy even before you turn it on.
Officially called the Mega Drive Tower Mini Zero (sorry, ZERO), the upcoming accessory will go on sale on October 21 and is priced at 4,950 yen. No word on an international release, but since the Tower Mini was Japan-only, don’t count on it.