For several years, when it comes to the commercial exploitation of the Mega Drive in the West, SEGA has been faced with a choice to make. Should we bet on nostalgia? Or should we focus on playing comfort? When it marketed the Mega Drive Mini, the Japanese publisher made the first choice. And obviously, he made the same decision for the arrival of his platform on the Nintendo Switch Online.
Nintendo Switch owners will soon be able to purchase a Mega Drive controller for their console. The information was revealed on the sidelines of the announcement of the upcoming addition of Mega Drive games to Nintendo Switch Online. Very quickly, it appeared that the ad was not exactly the same in the West and in Japan.
Indeed, Western players will be able to get a Switch version of the original Mega Drive controller. In other words, the one with three buttons. Japanese consumers will have the option of purchasing the six-button version of the Mega Drive controller.
The situation is not embarrassing for the moment, the first Mega Drive games offered on Nintendo Switch Online working with three buttons. Adding a title like Street Fighter II ‘on the other hand could make things problematic for Westerners. And Capcom’s fighting game is just one of dozens that harnesses the six-button Mega Drive controller.
Of course, it will also be possible to play these Mega Drive games using the various Switch controllers. But for those nostalgic in the West looking for an authentic experience, this choice could end up causing them harm.
Nostalgia vs playability
As a reminder, when the Mega Drive Mini was marketed, SEGA had taken a similar decision. The three-button joystick was included in the American and European boxes. The Japanese packaging, on the other hand, included a six-button controller. Note that Western players who wanted could purchase a six-button controller separately.
At the time of writing, neither Nintendo nor SEGA has explained this choice. It’s a safe bet that it is linked to the fact that the three-button controller is the one associated with the Mega Drive in the Western collective unconscious. For information, the Mega Drive Switch controller will be sold for 49.99 euros on the official Nintendo store.
Accessing the Nintendo Switch Online Mega Drive games will require a Nintendo Switch Online + Additional Pack membership. The price of the set has not yet been communicated. This new offer will be available from the end of October. To date, it is not known if the six-button controller will also be offered in the West.
Do you plan to get a Mega Drive controller for Switch? Do you regret that SEGA and Nintendo have chosen to offer the three-button controller in the West? And what do you say about its price? Tell us all in the comments below.