47 Facts About Sega Genesis


Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, is a 16-bit fourth-generation home video game console developed and sold by Sega.

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The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System.

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Controversy surrounding violent games such as Night Trap and Mortal Kombat led Sega Genesis to create the Videogame Rating Council, a predecessor to the Entertainment Software Rating Board.

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Sega Genesis estimated that the Famicom outsold the SG-1000 by a 10-to-1 margin.

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In 1986, Sega Genesis redesigned the Mark III for release in North America as the Master System.

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In 1987, Sega Genesis faced another threat to its console business when Japanese computer giant NEC released the PC Engine amid great publicity.

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The 68000 chip was expensive and would have driven the retail price of the console up greatly, but Sega Genesis was able to negotiate with a distributor for a tenth of its price on an up-front volume order with the promise of more orders pending the console's future success.

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Sega Genesis believes that the changes in design are representative of the differences in values between Japanese and American culture.

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Sega Genesis released the Mega Drive in Japan on October 29, 1988, though the launch was overshadowed by Nintendo's release of Super Mario Bros.

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However, Sega Genesis only managed to ship 400, 000 units in the first year.

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Sega Genesis announced a North American release date for the system on January 9, 1989.

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At the time, Sega Genesis did not possess a North American sales and marketing organization and was distributing its Master System through Tonka.

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Dissatisfied with Tonka's performance, Sega looked for a new partner to market the Genesis in North America and offered the rights to Atari Corporation, which did not yet have a 16-bit system.

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Sega Genesis decided to launch the console through its own Sega Genesis of America subsidiary, which executed a limited launch on August 14, 1989, in New York City and Los Angeles.

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The Sega Genesis was released in the rest of North America later that year.

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In Russia, Sega Genesis officially licensed the console to local distributor Forrus in 1994, replaced in 1996 by Bitman.

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Nonetheless, Sega Genesis struggled to overcome Nintendo's presence in consumers' homes.

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At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1990, the Sega Genesis demonstrated a strong line-up of games which received a positive reception for approaching arcade-quality graphics and gameplay as well as for providing non-arcade experiences such as Phantasy Star II.

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Sega Genesis had ten games for every game on SNES, and while the SNES had an exclusive version of Final Fight, one of Sega Genesis's internal development teams created Streets of Rage, which had bigger levels, tougher enemies, and a well-regarded soundtrack.

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Sega Genesis's work was reviewed by EA's lawyers before being disseminated to Hayes and Nitchals to verify its originality, and subsequently to the rest of the developers to let them build games.

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Sega Genesis held a company-wide contest to create a mascot character to compete with Nintendo's Mario series.

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At the time, Sega Genesis had a licensing deal in place for third-party developers that increased the costs to the developer.

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Accolade learned of this development at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1991, where Sega showed the new Genesis III and demonstrated it screening and rejecting an Ishido game cartridge.

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Sega Genesis took a different approach, instituting America's first video game ratings system, the Videogame Rating Council, for all its current systems.

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In 1998, Sega licensed the Genesis to Majesco Entertainment to rerelease it in North America.

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The Sega Genesis has 64 KB of RAM, 64 KB of video RAM and 8 KB of audio RAM.

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Sega Genesis produces sound using a Texas Instruments SN76489 PSG, integrated with the Video Display Processor, and a Yamaha YM2612 FM synthesizer chip.

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In 1993, Sega Genesis released a slightly smaller pad with three additional face buttons, similar to the design of buttons on some popular arcade fighting games such as Street Fighter II.

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Sega Genesis released a wireless revision of the six-button controller, the Remote Arcade Pad.

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In November 1993, Sega Genesis released the Sega Genesis Activator, an octagonal device that lies flat on the floor and was designed to translate the player's physical movements into game inputs; it was first shown at the January 1993 Consumer Electronics Show, where it was demonstrated with Streets of Rage 2.

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In 1994, Sega Genesis started the Sega Genesis Channel, a game distribution system using cable television services Time Warner Cable and TCI.

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The Sega Genesis Channel reached 250, 000 subscribers at its peak and ran until July 31, 1998, well past the release of the Sega Genesis Saturn.

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Sega Genesis library was initially modest, but eventually grew to contain games to appeal to all types of players.

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However, as the Sega Genesis continued to grow in popularity, Capcom eventually ported a version of Street Fighter II to the system known as Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, that would go on to sell over a million copies.

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Trip Hawkins, founder and then president of EA, believed the faster drawing speed of the Sega Genesis made it more suitable for sport games than the SNES, and credits EA's success on the Sega Genesis for helping catapult the EA Sports brand.

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The SNES version looked closer to the arcade game, but the Sega Genesis version allowed players to bypass censorship, helping make it more popular.

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Sega Genesis had produced such effects on its arcade platforms, and adapted some to the home console by developing the Sega Genesis Virtua Processor.

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Sega Genesis produced a custom power strip to fit the peripherals' large AC adapters.

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Sega Genesis launched the Mega-CD in Japan on December 1, 1991, initially retailing at JP¥49, 800.

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In 1993, Sega released the Sega CD 2, a smaller and lighter version of the add-on designed for the Genesis II, at a reduced price compared to the original.

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In 1995, Sega announced a shift in focus to its new console, the Saturn, and discontinued advertising for Genesis hardware.

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At the suggestion from Miller and his team, Sega designed the 32X as a peripheral for the existing Genesis, expanding its power with two 32-bit SuperH-2 processors.

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In early 1996, Sega Genesis conceded that it had promised too much out of the 32X and decided to stop producing the system in order to focus on the Saturn.

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In 1993, Sega introduced a smaller, lighter version of the console, known as the Mega Drive II in Japan, Europe, and Australia and sold as Genesis in North America.

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Late in the 16-bit era, Sega released a handheld version of the Genesis, the Genesis Nomad.

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Sega Genesis produced three arcade system boards based on the Mega Drive: the System C-2, the MegaTech, and the MegaPlay, which support approximately 80 games combined.

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Sega Genesis has often ranked among the best video game consoles.

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