Sega Mega Drive/Genesis
|Release date||October 29, 1988 (JP)|
August 14, 1989 (NA)
|Media type||ROM cartridge|
|Predecessor||Sega Master System|
The Sega Genesis is a home video game console released on October 29, 1988 by Sega as the Mega Drive (メガドライブ Mega Doraibu), the name it is known as outside North America. The reason for the two names is that Sega was unable to secure legal rights to the Mega Drive name in North America. As a fourth-generation console, the Sega Genesis is Sega's third console and the successor to the Sega Master System with which it has backward compatibility when the separately sold Power Base Converter is installed.
The Sega Genesis was the first of its generation to achieve notable market share in continental Europe and North America, where it competed against a wide range of platforms, including both dedicated gaming consoles and home computer systems. Two years later, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System , and the competition between the two would dominate the 16-bit era of video gaming. The console began production in Japan in 1988 and ended with the last new licensed game being released in 2002 in Brazil.
|Processor:||Motorola 68000 16/32-bit processor @ 7.67 MHz|
|Co-processor:||Zilog Z80 8-bit @ 3.58 MHz|
|Video display processor:||Yamaha YM7101|
|Memory:||64kB work RAM (68000), 64kB video RAM, 8kB work RAM (Z80)|
|Display palette:||512 colors (normal) or 1536 (shadow/highlight mode)|
|Onscreen colors:||64 (normal) or 183 (shadow/highlight mode)|
|Maximum onscreen sprites:||80 (320-pixel wide display) or 64 (256-pixel wide display)|
|Resolution:||256×224, 256×448, 320×224, 320×448, (PAL and NTSC)
256×240, 256×480, 320×240, 320×480 (PAL only), 256×192 (SMS games only)
|Sound:||Yamaha YM2612 5 channel FM and 1 channel FM/PCM, Texas Instruments SN76489 4 channel PSG (Programmable Sound Generator)|
Over its lifetime, the Genesis came in three different models, each of which had several motherboard revisions. For more details, see Sega Genesis Hardware.
|Sega Genesis Model 3 differences|
Sega CD Combo Units
They consisted of a Mega Drive/Genesis with the Mega-CD addon.
- Sega CDX/Multi-Mega
- Victor Wondermega RG M2
- JVC Wondermega RG M1
- Released on April 1, 1992 only in Japan, as a combination Mega Drive/Mega-CD player with enhanced sound, video and karaoke capabilities and a mechanized CD tray lid. Also included MIDI functionality. Sega themselves released on April 24, 1992 a variation of this unit with slight cosmetic changes, but functionality remains identical, branded as Sega Wondermega)
- JVC Wondermega Model RG M2
- A second model (Japan exclusive as the first) with a different case design and wireless controller functionality built in. The mechanized CD tray was omitted in favor of a more conventional spring-loaded tray design. Otherwise, functionally identical to the Wondermega I. This model was stripped down released in the US as the JVC X'Eye.)
- Pioneer LaserActive used an add-on module consisting in a Mega Drive/CD combo.
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- Sega 32X
- Sega CD/Mega-CD
- The Power Base Converter adds compatibility with both cartridge and card-based games on the Sega Master System in an add-on that also adds compatibility with the 3-D Glasses through a port in the front. Master System or Genesis controllers may be used for gameplay, as they share the same type of input jack. Both North American and Japanese versions are designed to only fit the Model 1, while an additional version fitting the Model 2 Mega Drive was released in Europe.