I’ve never posted a review before, but this hardware has been so controverial that I’m posting the review that I wish someone had for me.
First things first, the version I have has the latest firmware, so I didn’t experience all the lag and sound issues noted by some review sites (IGN, etc).
So, why two stars? Here’s the pros and cons:
PROS: -Many games emulate well. -The controllers are a little ‘light’ but they work well in terms of responsiveness and button feel. -Video output is good.
CONS: -Some key games have not been tested and DONT WORK (crash and don’t continue past certain points, etc). For example, you can start playing Shining Force 2, but you can’t finish it. However this only impacts a very, very small number of the included games. There are many other people that have also noted this issue via online forums, but there is no fix from the manufacturer. -Whilst many games run well, some of the key games that you really want (such as Sonic!) skip frames. Whilst these games are playable (barely!), it’s annoying and you’ll end up saving and loading more than you’ll want to in order to compensate. -Sound emulation is good, but compared to my original hardware, the bass is partly missing. Furthermore there’s a very faint poping sound with some games (not all). -The controller started squeaking after only two hours use and is probably not robust. -The system randomly crashes every 1-3 hours or so. This is ok as you can save anywhere, but it’s an annoyance that’s worth noting. -The system does not include 85 genuine games; a large portion are actually fillers, such as the content that you would expect for free on a mobile phone. These ‘games’ were only included to advertise a bigger game number (85) and are just rubbish (these games were also never released on a Sega device). -The menu interface is very counterintuitive. It’s a minor point and I’ll spare you the details, but it’s bad enough to generate constant complaints from my 5 year old nephew, as he constantly needs help to even find/start some games.
CONCLUSION In short, this is not a replacement for your original hardware, so buyer beware. Also, Sega just announced that they’re launching their own hardware later this year (this version is actually licensed to AT Games), so that may be a better option.
Edit - After rereading my review above, I’ve reduced my score from 3 to 2. Including games that can’t even be finished (due to emulation issues), is just unforgivable. Someone should have tested this.