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Sega Genesis

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive North American logo
European/Australasian logo
The original Japanese Mega Drive
Model 2 Genesis w/ 6-button controller
Top: Original Japanese Mega Drive
Bottom: Sega Genesis Model 2
Other variations are pictured under Variations below
Home video game console
Fourth generation
Release date
JP October 29, 1988
NA August 14, 1989
ROK August 1990
PAL November 30, 1990
Retail availability



NA Ongoing (AtGames)
EU Ongoing (Blaze Europe)
BR Ongoing (Tec Toy)
WW 1997 (Sega)
NA 1999 (Majesco)
Units sold
Sega: 30.75 million
Tec Toy: 3 million
Majesco: 1.5 million (projected)
Media ROM cartridge
Motorola 68000 @ 7.6 MHz
Zilog Z80 @ 3.58 MHz
Progressive: 320x224 (NTSC) or 320x240 (PAL) pixels, 512 color p
alette, 61 colors on-screen
Interlaced: 320x448 (NTSC) or 320x480 (PAL)
Sound Yamaha YM2612
Texas Instruments SN76489
Online services
Sega Meganet, Sega Channel, XBAND
Best-selling game
Sonic the Hedgehog (pack-in), 15 million[1]
Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (pack-in), 6 million[2]
Disney's Aladdin (stand-alone), 4 million[3]

Master System[a]
Master System
Sega Saturn

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive (Japanese: ?????? Hepburn: Mega Doraib
u?) in most regions outside North America, is a 16-bit home video game console w
hich was developed and sold by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. The Genesis was Sega's thi
rd console and the successor to the Master System. Sega first released the conso
le as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by a North American debut under
the Genesis moniker in 1989. In 1990, the console was distributed as the Mega Dr

ive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, by Ozisoft in Australasia, and by Tec Toy

in Brazil. In South Korea, the systems were distributed by Samsung and were know
n as the Super Gam*Boy, and later the Super Aladdin Boy.[b]
Designed by an R&D team supervised by Hideki Sato and Masami Ishikawa, the hardw
are was adapted from Sega's System 16 arcade board, centered on a Motorola 68000
processor as a primary CPU and a Zilog Z80 as a secondary processor. The system
supports a library of more than 900 games created both by Sega and a wide array
of third-party publishers and delivered on ROM-based cartridges. It can play Ma
ster System games when the separately sold Power Base Converter is inserted. The
Genesis has benefited from several peripherals and network services, as well as
multiple first-party and third-party variations of the console that focus on ex
tending its functionality.
In Japan, the Mega Drive did not fare well against its two main competitors, Nin
tendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine, although it achieved considerable suc
cess in North America, Brazil, and Europe. Contributing to its success were its
library of arcade game ports, the popularity of the Genesis-exclusive Sonic the
Hedgehog series, several popular sports game franchises, and aggressive youth ma
rketing that positioned the system as the cool console for adolescents. The rele
ase of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System two years after the Genesis resul
ted in a fierce battle for market share in the United States and Europe that has
often been termed as a "console war" by journalists and historians.[4][5] As th
is contest drew increasing attention to the video game industry among the genera
l public, the Genesis and several of its highest-profile games attracted signifi
cant legal scrutiny on matters involving reverse engineering and video game viol
ence. Controversy surrounding violent titles such as Night Trap and Mortal Komba
t led Sega to create the Videogame Rating Council, a predecessor to the Entertai
nment Software Rating Board.
Sega sold 30.75 million units worldwide. In addition, Tec Toy sold an estimated
3 million licensed variants in Brazil, Majesco projected it would sell 1.5 milli
on licensed variants of the system in the United States, and much smaller number
s were sold by Samsung in South Korea. The console and its games continue to be
popular among game fans, game music fans, collectors, and emulation enthusiasts.
As of 2015, licensed third party re-releases of the console are being sold by A
tGames in North America and Europe. Many games have been re-released in compilat
ions for newer consoles and offered for download on various online services, suc
h as Virtual Console, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and Steam. The Gene
sis was succeeded by the Sega Saturn.