News, Retrospectives

A mega celebration for the mini console — MegaBites at the European Sega Mega Drive Mini launch


On 2nd October, ahead of the Mega Drive mini’s European release, London’s Queen of Hoxton venue hosted the console’s official European launch party. Attended and organised by Sega Europe and GamerDisco, the night was filled with the sights and sounds of Sega. The event provided an exclusive chance to experience Sega’s European iteration of its new mini console, coupled with retro-inspired beats and speedrun tournaments.

So, how was it to finally get our hands on the European version of the Mega Drive Mini and who would emerge as the victor of the speedrun competition? MegaBites went along to find out.

For the past few months, any European fan of Sega, Sonic and/or retrogaming will undoubtedly have had a particular date circled on their calendar, Friday 4th October 2019 — the EU release date of the Sega Mega Drive Mini. In true 90s spirit, the European release of the Mega Drive Mini comes weeks after the US, Japan and rest of the world (that’s how it always used to be, kids). Now, at last, the console has arrived on our shores. But not before it enjoyed a retro-inspired launch event…

Not one to miss out on such an occasion, I jumped on the train and made the journey to the Queen of Hoxton — the centre of the Sega universe for that evening.


Continue reading “A mega celebration for the mini console — MegaBites at the European Sega Mega Drive Mini launch”

News, Retrospectives

Finding the Hidden Palace – MegaBites on

1479228_771243449558897_1665272167_nMegaBites is pleased to announce an exciting new new development, one that sees its latest post taking place not on this site, but on

Featuring the latest retro gaming news, reviews, guides and podcasts, RetroCollect is also home to a bustling retro community – one that allows its members to share their gaming collections through the site’s extensive video game database.

RetroCollect also features some awesome articles, which brings us neatly to the latest MegaBites update:

HiddenPalaceIn the first of a series of articles to be featured on RetroCollect, MegaBites will be exploring the mysteries behind one of Sonic 2’s greatest secrets – Hidden Palace Zone. Designed by the minds at Sega Technical Institute, the tale of Hidden Palace Zone is one surrounded in riddle and intrigue. As a level that was never included in the original 1992 release of Sonic 2, the truth behind its existence remained closely guarded for years.

From its earliest concepts, to beta releases, piracy ploys and a fanbase’s pursuit for the truth the Finding the Hidden Palace series charts the zone’s journey from obscurity, right up to its present day iOS/Android realisation.

And here’s a taster for you:

“Mid-1992 – Yuji Naka stands at Sega’s booth at a New York toy fair. Upon a stand sits a Sega Genesis, slotted into which is something rather special; the latest beta revision of Sonic 2 and the first to be available for public viewing – one that later became known as the Simon Wai Prototype

…Even though the event undoubtedly played host to a number of the industry’s leading toy and electronic manufacturers, a certain individual had only one company set in their sights – and not for the right reasons. Although exact details of what transpired at this particular toy show remain fragmented, one thing is for sure – the Sonic 2 prototype on display was stolen!”

Be sure to look out for regular MegaBites articles on RetroCollect in the near future. Who knows, I may even go cross-platform! As ever, the MegaBites Blog will be right here for all things Sega Mega Drive, with some great content in the pipeline.

You can read Finding the Hidden Palace – Part 1 in its entirety on

News, Retrospectives

Deep Secrets of the Dark Console


As you can imagine, MegaBites is pretty excited about the forthcoming release of Read-Only Memory’s Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works. Rocketing past its Kickstarter target within 48 hours it reached a stunning grand total of £98,725 on the 9th December last year. Simply incredible.

Since that time, MegaBites has kept a keen eye upon the developments, revelations and the quite literally game-changing secrets that the project has uncovered so far. From previously unheard of Sonic levels, to secret Shinobi bosses, Read-Only Memory has uncovered and revealed an incredible series of Sega secrets months before the book’s release. Read on as MegaBites documents some of the highlights so far.

A Sonic boom…


When it comes to unreleased levels, Sonic 2‘s Hidden Palace, Dust Hill, Genocide City and Wood Zone are right up there with the Sonic series’ legendary best. Each planned and ultimately dropped at varying stages in the game’s development, these unreleased levels exist only in reissued releases, development sketches and fragmented beta ROMs.

But what of the original Sonic the Hedgehog? Sure, we all know of Green Hill Zone, and Marble Zone, but thanks to an exclusive interview with Sonic artist Naoto Ōshima, Read-Only Memory has become the first to reveal unreleased levels GOLD WORLD ZONE and CHINESE WORLD ZONE. Continue reading “Deep Secrets of the Dark Console”


@MegaBitesBlog on Twitter

KolibriRemember those dark days when all we had to communicate was the humble landline telephone, postcards, written letters, tin cans connected with string and walkie talkies that made those awful bleeping noises? Thankfully, those days are over and we’re graced by modern communication – smartphones, the Internet, social media and – more to the point – Twitter! “Beep!” Who was that?

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a small menu on the right-hand side of this blog entitled ‘Mega Bites on Twitter’. Essentially, it’s a live feed of the @MegaBitesBlog Twitter account and I welcome you all to come and follow.

Followers can expect daily Mega Drive chat, retro gaming ramblings and news of the latest developments concerning Sega’s 16-bit super-console. Just don’t go expecting updates of what I had for breakfast that morning*.

MegaBites Blog on Twitter – All things, all memories, all Sega Mega Drive.


*Jam on toast.

News, Retrospectives

Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works – The MegaBites Interview

fe9669b582212077de44b89c9e569e3a_largeAs you may have guessed, this site has something of a soft spot for a certain 16-bit console. Whether you know it as the Mega Drive or the Genesis, the chances are you’re equally familiar with the console’s spikey blue mascot, its blast processing prowess and its truly incredible back catalogue. But did you ever hear of its purple-buttoned prototype control pads? Have you cast your eyes upon its hand-drawn pre-development blueprints, or heard the inside story of its incredible hardware spinoffs? (Sega Neptune, anyone?) With these exclusives and more, MegaBites is proud to be amongst the first to reveal Read-Only Memory’s brand new Kickstarter campaign for its latest publication ‘Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works’.

From the Mega Drive’s earliest concepts, prototypes, mega-marketing campaigns and incredible rise to global fame, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works is set to showcase never before-seen material and industry insight from those closest to the console’s development and its biggest franchises – an indispensable resource for fans of the Mega Drive and retro gamers alike.

Fresh from the release of Sensible Software 1986–1999 and the title’s subsequent induction into the BAFTA library, MegaBites caught up with Read-Only Memory publishing’s Director, Darren Wall, for some exciting inside information on a project that is ‘mega’ in every sense of the word.

MegaBites: What can you tell us about Read-Only Memory’s new publication?

Darren Wall: It can all be traced back to the time of our Sensible Kickstarter campaign. I was in a meeting that was related to a separate work project. It was linked to a studio who conduct a lot of work with with Sony, as well as Sega. I mentioned to them about how I’d love to do a book on the Sega Mega Drive. The studio passed on the details of our Sensible Kickstarter to Sega.

Some time later, Sega contacted us and subsequently asked us to pitch a concept for a Read-Only Memory Sega publication. I think we were competing for the license against another publisher. We put together a pitch and we were offered the license.
Our next project will be a book about the software and related hardware of the Sega Mega Drive. Continue reading “Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works – The MegaBites Interview”


Megabites Blog on the Tom + Mat Attack Podcast

tama_4colLovers of gaming banter rejoice! The Megabites Blog is featured in this week’s Tom + Mat Attack podcast.

Featuring the latest gaming news, with a healthy dose of retro gaming chat thrown in for good measure, the podcast features gaming buddies Tom & Mat, as they share their unique perspective on the world of console gaming.

Episode 12 can be downloaded from iTunes now, where Tom & Matt discuss the tale of the Megabites Blog’s ‘Early One Christmas Morning…‘ post, in which a certain Mega Drive 2 met a very premature, if not sticky, end.

Tom + Mat Attack

While you’re at it, make sure you follow Tom & Mat on Twitter (@TMACast). You won’t regret it.

Thanks guys. Sonic-the-hedgehog-thumbs-up