September 14th, 2004, 10:34
I posted news about this the other week but now Lik Sang (http://www.lik-sang.com/news.php?artc=3477&&lsaid=219793) have posted in detail and with screenshots about this new hardware from Sega.[br][br] The Mega Drive PlayTV 6in1 is a direct-to-TV console that comes with 6 great games and a Mega Drive style Controller. In contrast to all the other direct-to-TV consoles out there (Dream Ping Pong anyone?), the Mega Drive PlayTV has serious computing power under the hood in form of a complete Mega Drive (housed in a small bonding IC that could easily be compared with the one in a digital wristwatch). Unfortunately, it is not a real Mega Drive with cartridge slot and such, so if you don't own some kind of hacking equipment and a soldering iron, you won't be able to play anything else than Sonic the Hedgehog, King of Monster, Golden Axe, Dr. Robotnics Mean Bean Machine, Kid Chameleon and Flicky.[br][br]Because it doesn't need an AC adapter and works with batteries, it can be used worldwide. Just make sure your TV is able to display NTSC (most modern TVs do).[br][br]After the consoles release last week, we have taken a bit more time and gave it a test run: The neat box ("Sega High Quality Computer Video Game") holds the Mega Drive PlayTV unit itself and the damn good looking control pad. Additionally, you will need 4 standard AA batteries, or a 6V power supply. The battery compartment can be opened with a simply Philips-type screwdriver. The pad doesn't have the X Y and Z buttons, but instead the START and a newly added MENU button show up on their place. The menu button will bring you back to the menu where you can select and restart a game at any time, without the need to reset the "mega drive" main unit.[br][br]Once fitted with the batteries and connected to a TV via the composite video (yellow) and audio (white, mono only) input terminals, the unit powers up using the button at the front and shows a nice and simple game menu after an initial Sega Toys logo. With they joypad you navigate through the game logos and with START you run the games. MENU will bring you back any time.[br][br]If you have seen our article about the GBA Time Machine, you might remember the Mega Drive 3 (click here and scroll down, or directly see the front and the back). The MD3 unit says on the packing it's licensed by Sega and was available at local stores in Hong Kong (incl. Toys R Us). If you turn it on you'll find a menu with 20 different games. When you actually play them, you'll soon discover it doesn't come with more than a hand full and they are repeated in the menu, just like with pirated multi-game cartridges. Too good to be true was our initial reaction back then. It's an interesting fact that the Mega Drive PlayTV is now distributed in Hong Kong by the same company.[br][br]We also couldn't resist to open the unit up (since we had to use a screw driver to open the battery compartment anyway). The photo shows the ROM holding the games and the Mega Drive unit. With a little bit of luck and a soldering iron, it might be possible to have other games playing (given you are an old Mega Drive hacker). If somebody succeeds with this and builds an interface for a Mega Drive cartridge slot, we here at Lik Sang will try to build a portable Mega Drive out of it, using one of the portable Famicom clones ;-) [br][br]Photos of the unit are at the link above.