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Sega Genesis

The Sega Genesis (known as the Sega Mega Drive in Japan, Europe and Australasia) was a 16-bit video game console released in Japan by Sega in 1988. The American release was 1989 and the European release was 1990. It sold for around $200 at launch and was to become Sega's most successful console.

The Genesis initally competed against the 8-bit Nintendo system (also known as the Famicom), but although it had superior graphics and sound, had a hard time overcoming Nintendo's ubiquitous presence in the consumer's home. Sega of America competed by focusing on a slightly older user base, with such titles as Altered Beast[?] and the Phantasy Star series.

Eventually, the Genesis' main competition was to become Nintendo's 16-bit Super Nintendo (a.k.a. the SNES), over which it had a head start in terms of user base and title numbers. The Genesis continued to hold on to a healthy fan base comprised significantly of RPG fans and sports games fans, but with the release of Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 began to threaten Nintendo's up-to-then stranglehold on the number one console position in the USA. The release of the highly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2, coinciding with a rather vicious ad campaign barbed at Nintendo, propelled the Genesis into its heyday, outselling the Super Nintendo for the first time since the SNES's release.

Two add-on components were later designed to enhance the system: the Sega 32X and the Sega CD. There was also a redesign of the Genesis console itself the Sega Genesis 2, which reduced cost and size by consolidating chips, and integrated stronger region encoding (which broke compatibility with some older games.) The original console itself went through innumerable revisions, unknown to most users save the ones who owned one of the very first consoles, which had trouble playing a few of the newer games. A portable version of the system called the Sega Nomad was released probably too late to ever be successful, though it played the same cartridges as the home console (with some notable incompatibilities.) Sega's successor to the Mega Drive was the Saturn.

The Sega Genesis enjoyed considerably more popularity in its native country Japan, and in many parts of Europe was much more popular than the Super Nintendo .

Technical Specifications

  • CPU: Motorola M68000 16 bit processor running at 7.67Mhz
  • Sound CPU: Z80a running at 3.58 MHz
  • Main sound Chip: Yamaha YM2612 6 channel FM
  • Additional sound chip: 4 channel PSG
  • Palette: 512 Colors
  • Onscreen colors: 64
  • Maximum onscreen sprites: 80
  • Resolution: 320 x 224
  • Expansion port on the bottom right hand side for Sega CD
  • 2 nine pin controller ports in the front of the machine.

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