This September AtGames will release the Sega Genesis Flashback and Atari Flashback 8 Gold to the retro-loving masses, and recently a number of outlets got to go hands-on with the machines. As we reported in our review roundup, the general consensus seemed to be that the Atari Flashback is pretty good, while the Sega Genesis model definitely isn't.
Reviewers criticized the Sega Genesis Flashback's lack of games, clunky interface, poor emulation, and seemingly faulty controllers. GameSpot summed it up not-so-nicely:
"While it's true that AtGames' Sega Genesis Flashback is a tempting product in light of Nintendo's recent efforts, it is nothing like the NES Classic. It's a misleading and faulty product that is marketed to trick you, to play off of your love of classic Sega games and your residual admiration of the NES Classic. The legacy of Sega Genesis deserves far better than this opportunistic cash-in."
Ouch! But wait, according to AtGames the Sega Genesis Flashback isn't that bad, it's just the individual units sent to reviewers that suck. Yup, it seems AtGames sent out faulty units to reviewers featuring outdated software, and the retail version of the Genesis Flashback will be much better.
"A batch of our review units were accidentally shipped out with early software builds that do not represent the final version. We are working to get updated and correct final products in the hands of reviewers in the coming weeks."
Hmmm, this definitely sounds like a bit of a "the dog ate my homework" story, and AtGames hasn't really earned a lot of trust. They have a long history of shoddy emulation, crummy hardware design, and general sketchiness. That said, the new Atari Flashback is, apparently, pretty solid, so maybe the Genesis Flashback secretly isn't terrible. We'll keep you updated if and when new reviews roll in.