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Sega Master

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The Sega Master System (SMS) was an 8-bit cartridge-based gaming console manufactured by Sega. It was introduced in 1986, and marketed as an alternative to the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Though the Master System was more technically advanced in some ways than the NES, it did not attain the same level of popularity among consumers in the United States, though it did fare rather well in Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and Brazil. Its lack of success in the U.S. has been attributed to various causes, among them the difference in game titles available for each platform, and the slightly later release date of the Master System. The licensing agreement that Nintendo had with its third-party game developers may have had an impact as well; the agreement stated, in effect, that developers would produce games for the NES only.

In 1987, the rights to the Master System were sold to Tonka[?], but its popularity continued to decline, until by 1992, its sales were virtually nonexistent in the United States, and production ceased.


  • 8-bit 3.6 MHz Z80 CPU
  • 1024 Kb ROM
  • 64 Kb RAM
  • 128 Kb Video RAM
  • 8-bit graphics
  • 64 colors
  • 256x192 Screen resolution
  • 8x8 pixel characters, Max 488
  • 8x8 pixel sprites, Max 256
  • Horizontal, Diagonal, Vertical, and Partial Screen scrolling
  • 3 sound generators, 4 octaves each, 1 white noise generator
  • Mono audio output

They were at least two versions of this console, the latter called Sega Master System II[?]. They weren't much different and both failed to take over the NES.

Notable Games

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