Nearly 30 years ago in 1995, Sega had announced the Sega Neptune. It was a new console that combined the Genesis (Mega Drive everywhere but the US) with the Sega 32X. Ultimately, the console would never be released to the public. But now, as initially reported by LevelUp, a Brazilian company, Gamescare, has announced the GF1 Neptune. Which is a modernized revitalization of the Neptune using FPGA technology.

Sega originally planned to use the original Neptune to cut costs by avoiding the expensive production of the 32X add-on. With the 32X holding an initial cost of $160, and the Genesis launching at $180, the Neptune being a combination of both and only aiming to sell for $150 was a godsend for players in the 90s. Sadly, the Neptune would never materialize publicly. It was later canceled in favor of the development of the Sega Saturn which would release in late 1995.

Gamescare GF1 Neptune

Gamescare GF1 Neptune

Gamescare aims to turn alternate history into reality and release an FPGA console that also combines the Genesis and 32X. But this time with additional modern-day features like HDMI output, an SD card slot, and wireless internet support. There’s also an online store promising to offer new and exclusive titles. It will also feature an expansion slot for attaching the separate Sega CD add-on.

FPGA technology isn’t new to the retro gaming world, but relative to software emulation, it’s newer. FPGA technology differs from software emulation in that the chip inside of these devices aims to emulate the entire console as opposed to a single app carrying the weight on its own. The MiSTer FPGA opened the floodgates to FPGA becoming a household term. The Analogue Pocket further cemented that stamp alongside the release of other consoles like the NT Mini Noir, and Super NT. Even the relatively new FPGBC utilizes FPGA tech to bring the Game Boy Color into the modern era.

Where those consoles modernize the consoles they’ve drawn their inspiration from, Gamescare aims to bring that same innovation to the Sega Neptune.

Gamescare has not shared any additional information on if and when the console will be released internationally. But the news of a new FPGA console — one inspired by a canceled console many people don’t know exists — is incredibly exciting news. Be sure to stay tapped in and updated with Retro Handhelds by following our socials.

Do you remember the Neptune when it was originally announced? Are you excited about an FPGA modernization of it? Let us know in the comments below, and chat with us in our Discord!

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