Mega Drive/Sega Genesis
The Mega Drive (known as the Sega Genesis in America and has an alternate spelling of "Megadrive") was the third console created by Sega. It was called was called Mark V during development. It was the first serious competitor towards Nintendo and brought changes/innovations to the world of gaming such as strong marketing that other companies used with various results.
It had more violent games that caused the rating systems to be set up (ERSB/ELSPA, later PEGI) including Mortal Kombat (which retailed it's gore). It offered a feature called the Sega Channel that was the XBLA/PSN of the day. However, due to limited technology at the time the games could not be saved and the service was expensive.
Electronic Arts released games such as the Madden and the FIFA series that are still around to this day as well as popularising the sports game genre. In some countries such as Japan and Brazil, it could be used for banking. The palette was weaker than the later released SNES and the PC Engine. The sound was not to everyones taste due to the FM chip. Regardless, this did not prevent the console from selling very well. At various points in time it was the market leader. It also had backwards compatibility with the Master System with only a few games not working such as F-16 Fighting Falcon (due to that it used the SG-1000 mode).
The console was first released in Japan in 1988 with only Space Harrier II and Super Thunder Blade, while the Genesis was released in 1989 in North America with a stronger release than Japan. Later on, it was released in Europe, Austrailia and New Zealand [via Ozisoft], South Korea [via Samsung as the Super GamBoy/Super Aladdin Boy], Asia (such as Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand) and Brazil [via TecToy] in 1990 as well as in Russia, India [via Shaw Wallace], Taiwan and South America. The only countries not known to have it are Africa and North Korea due to lack of information.
Sega redesigned the console and stared selling it as the Mega Drive 2 (Japan/Asia/others), Genesis 2 (North America), Mega Drive II (Europe/Austrailia/New Zealand) to be smaller and cheaper to make. SEGA made similar decisions for the Mega CD 2/Sega CD Model 2/Mega CD II addons to match with the redesign.
In Japan, Sonic & Tails advertised the new model. After the Saturn, Sega made another model but sold by Majesco called the Genesis 3 to be even smaller. However, Majesco removed the addon compatiablity as well as Virtua Racing support. Some newer clones also use similar technology but with a different design by using Tectoy's version of the chipset.
The console officially lasted until 1995 with Pengo being the last game in Japan. In Europe it lasted until 1997 with the release of FIFA 98. The United States's last release was Frogger in the same year. Interesting, Brazil saw the longest life span for the console with the release of Show do Milhao 2 [Who Wants to be a Millionaire] in 2002.
The MEGA CD was added to allow people to play CD based games, which were starting to become popular due to their large amount of storage space and ability to handle better graphics. In comparison, the CD could hold up to 320 times what the standard cartridge could hold. This allowed for Full Motion Video (FMV) and games like Night Trap possible. It was available as early as December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and 1993 in Europe. This ultimately gave the console a head start with video CD based console which came later such as the the Philips CD-I (December 3, 1991 US release,
There were addons such as the Power Base Converter/Master System Converter, Mega CD/Sega CD and the 32X as well as other models of the Mega Drive/Genesis such as the Wondermega/X Eye, Laseractive, Mega Jet, a portable called the Nomad, CDX/Multimega/Lingaphone CD (the latter, most expensive hardware), the Teradrive, Mega PC, and even a CD player by Aiwa.
As well as accessories such as the 6 button controller, arcade sticks, the Activator (that didn't work), Menacer (a light gun that is the most accurate one in existance, even better than the Super Scope on the SNES), a mouse, Sega Channel, Mega Modem (JP), Mega Modem (Brazil) and even the Sega VR that was cancelled due to the health risks.
Despite the console ended commercially, Sega tried to release the games on as many systems as possible to the point where people annoyed with them being released while many games on the Master System/Saturn/Dreamcast or the arcades have been forgotten. Many of the games have been rereleased on other consoles such as the Saturn (Sonic Jam, Mickey and Donald), the Dreamcast (Sega Smash Pack), the PS2 (Sonic Mega Collection+, Sega Mega Drive Collection, some of the Sega Ages Collections), the Gamecube (Sonic Mega Collection), the XBOX (Sonic Mega Collection+), the GBA (Phantasy Star Collection, Sega Smash Pack, Sonic 1 Genesis doesn't count), the PSP (Sega Mega Drive Collection, EA Replay), the PS3/360 (Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Collection/Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection, XLBA/PSN both by Backbone and M2), the Wii via the Virtual Console, Phones (iOS, Android and older ones), PC several several times and that's just the legal route.
People have been making new games (I.E. Pier Solar) and translating others (I.E. Beggar Prince, Legend of Wukong, Star Oddessy) to sell. Sega themselves translated Monster World IV and it was released on Virtual Console/PSN/XBLA. The console is still selling in Russia with various games, pirates, translations and even ROM hacks such as Sonic Megamix being a common sight. Some have even ported Super Mario Bros.
One of these "games" for the Mega Drive/Genesis was made in 2004 called Crazy Bus. Being unlicensed, and homebrewed, it was made for a Venezuelan Sega Genesis tech demo in 2004. It was created to test out the author's BASIC compiler and sound driver. It was featured in an Angry Video Game Nerd episode.
Used by (whether anything that features the actual console itself or the games)
- Tennis Players
- Stegblob (only sound effects such as Big Ben's laugh from Streets of Rage 2 and IDEH)
People Who Own a Mega Drive or a Genesis
- Angry Video Game Nerd (He played Ghostbusters)
- People of the '80s and the '90s
- Sonic the Hedgehog (the most noticeable game)
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2
- Sonic 3 and Knuckles
- John Madden Football/Madden NFL
- Streets of Rage series
- The Revenge of Shinobi
- Shinobi 3
- Ecco the Dolphin
- World Series Baseball
- Comix Zone
- Bonanza Bros.
- Desert Strike
- Castle of Illusion
- Phantasy Star IV
- Decap Attack
- Road Rash
- Virtua Racing (was the most expensive game on the system retailing at $100/£80 and doesn't work on various systems due to the special chip in the game)
- Thunder Force IV
- World Cup Italia 90 (for the wrong reasons)
- Rocket Knight Adventures
- Some people just call the console Sega because they were not aware of the Master System
or any of the consoles that Sega made.
- The console doesn't actually have BLAST PROCESSING, rather it is a reference to the Motorola 68000 Processor being faster than both the processors of the NES and the SNES (stock, not including the SA-1 chip or the Super FX2). Besides "BLAST PROCESSING" was also in arcades, Sharp X68000, Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST and other machines.
- While there are clones of the system of various quality, (with the AtGames stuff being very low quality due to using emulation via an ARM chip and the Alto/Scorpion being very high) countries where it wasn't officially sold such as Russia and Taiwan still know it as the Sega Mega Drive (or the Sega 16-Bit Console).
- Unlike the NES and the Atari 2600, there was only a few Porno games such as Diving Sealing and Mahjong games.