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Encyclopedia > Sega Genesis

The Mega Drive/Genesis was a 16-bit video game console released by Sega in Japan (1988), Europe (1990) and most of the rest of the world as the Mega Drive. It debuted under the name Genesis in North America (1989), as Sega was unable to secure legal rights to the Mega Drive name in that territory. In computer science, 16-bit is an adjective used to describe integers that are at most two bytes wide, or to describe CPU architectures based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. ... The Nintendo GameCube is an example of a video game console. ... This article is about the video game company. ... 1988 is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... World map showing location of Europe When considered a continent, Europe is the worlds second smallest continent in terms of area, with an area of 10,600,000 km² (4,140,625 square miles), making it larger than Australia only. ... 1990 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... World map showing location of North America A satellite composite image of North America North America is a continent in the northern hemisphere, bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the south by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west... 1989 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

Contents

Development and Japanese/European release

16-bit home computers like the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST, as well as 16-bit arcade machines, were outpacing the 8-bit videogame consoles of the mid-to-late-1980s. Nintendo at the time had 95% of the North American market, and 92% of Japan's. Sega's Master System was failing in North America and Japan, and so Sega decided to make a new console. In computer science, 16-bit is an adjective used to describe integers that are at most two bytes wide, or to describe CPU architectures based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. ... The home computer is a consumer-friendly word for the second generation of microcomputers (the technical term that was previously used), entering the market in 1977 and becoming common during the 1980s. ... Amiga is the name of a range of home/personal computers using the Motorola 68000 processor family, whose development started in 1982. ... The Atari 520 ST The Atari ST was a home/personal computer system released by Atari in 1985. ... Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... 8-bit refers to the number of bits used in the data bus of a computer. ... Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; TSE: NTDOY) was originally founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ...

Since the System 16 arcade games that Sega was making were very popular, Hayao Nakayama, Sega's CEO at the time, decided to make their new home system a 16-bit one. The final design worked great and fit in well with Sega's three new arcade boards; the Mega-Tech, Mega Play, and the System C. Any arcade game made for these systems could easily, and thus rapidly, be made to work on the new console (a process known as porting). The Sega System 16 is an arcade system board released by Sega in 1985. ... In computer science, porting is the adaptation of a piece of software so that it will function in a different computing environment to that for which it was originally written. ...

The first name Sega thought of for their console was the MK-1601, but Sega decided to use "Sega Mega Drive" as the name. "Mega" had the connotation of superiority, and "Drive" had the connotation of speed and power. They went with that name for the Japanese, European, Asian, Australian and Brazilian versions of the console. The South Korean version went by the name of Super Gam*Boy. That console was licensed and distributed by Samsung. World map showing location of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, defined by subtracting Europe from Eurasia. ... National motto: 널리 인간을 이롭게 하라 Translation: Bring benefit to all people Official language Korean Capital Seoul Largest city Seoul President Roh Moo-hyun Prime Minister Lee Hae-chan Area  - Total  - % water Ranked 107th 99,274 km² 0. ...

When NEC released the PC Engine in Japan on October 30, 1987, it posed a threat to Nintendo. While NEC overall did not achieve total dominace of the Japanese market, its earlier success meant the Mega Drive initially had a slower adoption than NEC's system did. NEC Corporation is a multi-national information technologies company headquarterd in Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan. ... The PC Engine was a video game console released by NEC, a Japanese company, in 1987. ... October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 62 days remaining. ... 1987 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; TSE: NTDOY) was originally founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ...

The Mega Drive was released in Japan in October 29, 1988 for ¥21,000. The European release was on November 30, 1990 in the United Kingdom, priced at £190. October 29 is the 302nd day of the year (303rd in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 63 days remaining. ... 1988 is a leap year starting on a Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the continent. ... November 30 is the 334th day (335th on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 31 days remaining, as the final day of November. ... 1990 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... As a unit of currency, the term pound originates from the value of a Troy pound weight (Latin libra), of high purity silver, and is the currency unit of a number of countries: Cyprus pound in Cyprus Egyptian pound in Egypt Lebanese pound in Lebanon Syrian pound in Syria British...

North American Release and further development

Sega announced their North American release date for the system in 1987, making a point of the fact that was the first true 16-bit console. U.S. sales began on January 9, 1989 in New York City and Los Angeles with an MSRP of $200 USD at launch. It was released in the rest of North America on September 15 with the price reduced slightly to $190. 1987 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... ... January 9 is the 9th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1989 is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Midtown Manhattan, looking north from the Empire State Building, 2005 New York City (officially named the City of New York) is the most populous city in the United States, the most densely populated major city in North America, and is at the center of international finance, politics, entertainment, and culture. ... This article is about the largest city in California. ... The United States dollar, or American dollar, is the official currency of the United States. ... September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ...

The Genesis initially competed against the 8-bit NES, over which it had superior graphics and sound. Nonetheless, it had a hard time overcoming Nintendo's ubiquitous presence in the consumer's home and the huge catalog of popular games already available for it. In an attempt to build themselves a significant consumer base, Sega decided to focus on slightly older buyers, especially young men in their late teens and early 20s who would have more disposeable income and who were anxious for more "grown-up" titles with more mature content and/or more in-depth gameplay. As such, Sega released titles such as Altered Beast and the Phantasy Star series. Although the NES and Nintendo's impending SNES were still threats to Sega's market-share, they had forced the theoretically competitive TurboGrafx 16 system in to realitive obscurity, thanks in part to NEC's poor North American marketing campaign. The Nintendo Entertainment System (North America, Europe, and Australia) The Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, is an 8-bit video game console released by Nintendo in North America, Europe and Australia. ... Altered Beast (獣王記 Jūōki, literally Beast Kings Chronicle, in Japan) is a 1988 arcade game developed and manufactured by Sega. ... Phantasy Star (Japanese: ファンタシースター) is the most famous RPG series by Sega. ... Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; TSE: NTDOY) was originally founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ... The European SNES design is identical to the Super Famicom. ... The initials NEC may stand for: NEC Corporation, Nippon Electric Co. ... Political highlights of North America North America is the third largest continent in area and the fourth ranked in population. ...

Eventually, the Genesis' main competition became Nintendo's 16-bit SNES, over which it had a head start in terms of user base and number of games, reversing the problem Sega had faced aganist the NES. The Genesis continued to hold on to a healthy fan base composed significantly of RPG fans and sports games fans, and 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. Sonic was released to replace former mascot Alex Kidd, and to provide the "killer app" that Sega needed. This sparked what was arguably the greatest console war in North American video gaming history, at least up until that point. The European SNES design is identical to the Super Famicom. ... A role-playing game (RPG) is a type of game in which players assume the roles of fictional characters via role-playing. ... Sonic the Hedgehog Title Screen Screenshot of Sonic The Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog is the platform game that started off the career of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Team. ... Title screen of Alex Kidd in Miracle World Alex Kidd is a monkey-like boy hero who was Segas mascot prior to Sonic the Hedgehog. ... A killer application (commonly shortened to killer app) is a computer program that is so useful that people will buy a particular computer hardware, gaming console, and/or an operating system simply to run that program. ... Console wars is a term used to refer to the various competition between video game consoles. ...

By 1992, Sega was enjoying a stronghold on the market, holding a 55% market share in North America. Faced with a slight recession in sales and a breif loss of market share to the SNES, Sega again looked to Sonic to rejuvenate sales. The release of the highly-anticipated Sonic the Hedgehog 2, coinciding with an aggressive ad campaign that took shots at Nintendo fueled Genesis sales a while longer and boosted Sega's marketshare percentage back up, to an astounding 65%. 1992 was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or simply Sonic 2, the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, is a platform game made by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis. ...

Less than a year later, in 1993, Sega released a redesigned version of the console under the name Genesis 2 at a newly reduced price. By consolidating the internal chipset onto a smaller, unified motherboard, Sega was able to both physically reduce the system's size but also bring down production costs through simplfying the assembly procedure and reducing the number of circuitboards needed for each unit. 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ...

Aside from the release of the 32x and CD add-ons for the Genesis/Mega Drive. Sega's last big announcement came in the form of a partnership with Time Warner in the U.S. to offer a subscription-based service called Sega Channel, which would allow subscribers to "download" games on a month-by-month basis. Sega Genesis 32X on top of regular Genesis, model 2 The Sega 32X (Japanese: スーパー32X) is a video game console by Sega. ... Three versions of Sega CD: The Mega-CD 1 and 2 and the CDX/Multimega. ... ... Sega Channel was a project developed by Sega for the Sega Genesis gaming system. ...

The system falls

The failures of the Sega CD and 32X, a lack of effective advertising and disputes between Sega of America and Sega of Japan had taken their toll on the company. By 1994 Sega's market share had dropped from 65% to 35% and the offical announcements of newer, more powerful consoles, such as the Saturn, Playstation and N64 signaled that the 16-bit era was drawing to a close. Interest in the Genesis suffered greatly as a result, compunding its already flailing sales. In 1996, less than a year after the debut of their Saturn console, Sega quickly ushered their participation in the 16-bit era to an end by discontinuing production of the Genesis and it's associated accesories. (see Video game market). This article is about the video game company. ... Sega (セガ) is a video game software and hardware developer, and a former console manufacturer. ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... The Sega Saturn (Japanese: セガサターン, Sega Saturn), a video game console of the 32-bit era, was released on November 22, 1994, in Japan and May 1995 in the United States; 170,000 machines were sold the first day of the Japanese launch. ... The original PlayStation was produced in a light grey colour; the more recent PSOne redesign sports a smaller more rounded case. ... An N64 (with Super Smash Bros. ... The Sega Saturn (Japanese: セガサターン, Sega Saturn), a video game console of the 32-bit era, was released on November 22, 1994, in Japan and May 1995 in the United States; 170,000 machines were sold the first day of the Japanese launch. ... A computer game is a game composed of a computer-controlled virtual universe that players interact with in order to achieve a defined goal or set of goals. ...

Resurgent popularity in North America

In recent years, the Genesis has had something of a revival, led largely by the grey market trade in both unlicensed cartridges (for instance, the biblically-themed output of Wisdom Tree) and dumped ROMs, which are played through emulators such as Gens. There is also a trend towards home programming of the Genesis, using the PC-based SGCC. The grey market (in U.S. spelling, gray market) refers to the flow of goods through distribution channels other than those authorized by the manufacturer or producer. ... Rom is also the name of a toy and comic book character Rom (Spaceknight). ... This article is about emulation in computer science. ... Gens is an emulator for the Sega Genesis also named the Sega Megadrive . ... The tower of a personal computer. ... Sega Genesis C Compiler. ...

In the 2000's, there came a trend toward plug and play tv games, and Radica has released a licensed, self-contained version of the 'Sega Genesis', for the North American market, called Play TV Legends Sega Genesis, which contains six popular games in a 'Genesis' control pad. It does not have a cartridge slot, and thus is a dedicated console. However, Benjamin Heckendorn, of Atari-Portablizing fame, has proven that is in fact possible to connect a cartridge slot to this with some soldering. The Atari Classic 10-in-1 TV Game A TV game is an interactive entertainment device designed for use on a television set that does not require the use of an actual video game console for operation. ... Radica Games Limited (NASDAQ: RADA) is a company that produces electronic games. ... Dedicated consoles are video game consoles that are dedicated to a built in game or games, and are not equipped for additional games, via cartridge or other media. ...

Variations of the Genesis

In 1997, one year after the Genesis was dropped in favor of Sega's new Saturn, Majesco announced that they wanted to make a budget version of the Genesis. In 1998, Majesco released the Genesis 3 for $50, although it was North America only product. Although smaller, lighter and less expensive than the oprevious Genesis 2, the G3 lacked the Sega expansion port, making it unable to connect to the Sega CD. The Sega Saturn (Japanese: セガサターン, Sega Saturn), a video game console of the 32-bit era, was released on November 22, 1994, in Japan and May 1995 in the United States; 170,000 machines were sold the first day of the Japanese launch. ... Majesco is a video game developer founded in 1986. ... Three versions of Sega CD: The Mega-CD 1 and 2 and the CDX/Multimega. ...

Variations of the Mega Drive

Two versions of the Mega Drive controller: three-button (top) and six-button (bottom) pads
Two versions of the Mega Drive controller: three-button (top) and six-button (bottom) pads
  • Sega Mega Drive 1 in Japan
    • Japanese-language settings
    • Headphone jack
    • AUX Port marked A/V OUT
    • 9-pin EXT. port
    • Supports Sega Mega-CD and Sega Super 32X
    • Had a cartridge lock
    • Gloss Black Finish
    • On the circular molding, in purple is the text "AV Intelligent Terminal High Grade Multipurpose Use". At the bottom of the circle is a purple square section with a red power indicator LED.
    • Cooling vents are located on the left side.
    • "Mega Drive" is printed in white on the lower right of the console to the left of the SEGA logo.
    • The reset button and start button on the joypad are blue.
  • Sega Mega Drive 1 in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand
    • Converted to display PAL 50-Hz signal
    • English-language settings
    • Cannot play Japanese Mega Drive games due to shape of cartridge and console (though adapters were sold to play Japanese games in the European model).
    • Cartridge lock removed
    • The text "High Definition Graphics · Stereo Sound" located behind cartridge port (only found on earlier models).
    • The reset button and the start button are white.
  • Sega Mega Drive 1 in Asia (variant to European Mega Drive and often mistaken for a Japanese Mega Drive)
    • No text printed around circle
    • Larger "16-Bit" logo used
    • "Start" and "Reset" button are blue
    • Identical to European Mega Drive with PAL output
    • Used Japanese Mega Drive logo and packaging similar to the Japanese version
    • Games packaged the same as European with the same labelling, however the cartridges are shaped like Japanese Mega Drive games.
  • Sega Mega Drive 2 in Japan
    • New squared shape
    • No headphone jack
    • one Custom multi output for picture and sound
    • Red Coloured flaps on Cartridge Port
    • The text "High Grade Multi Purpose Intelligent Terminal" located behind cartridge port.
    • Packaged with six-button controller standard.
    • No power LED
  • Sega Mega Drive 2 in Europe
    • New squared shape
    • No headphone jack
    • AV Port switched to one Custom multi output for picture and sound (previously, only Mono sound was used, as the Stereo Sound came to the headphone jack)
    • Push Button Power Switch
    • Power port smaller, different AC Adapter used
    • RF Out port removed
    • Auto-switching RF Lead Included


Sega Mega Drive game controllers. ... Sega Mega Drive game controllers. ... World map showing location of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of Eurasia, defined by subtracting Europe from Eurasia. ...

The Wondermega/X'eye and Multi-Mega

Wondermega (named X'eye in North America) - A combined Mega Drive and Mega-CD sold by Victor (known as JVC outside Japan) - Never released in Europe The Victor Company of Japan, or Japan Victor Company, JVC, is a large international corporation with its headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, which produces audio, video, and consumer electronics products. ...

    • Improved sound capabilities
    • MIDI Port
    • 2 Microphone Inputs
    • S-video out
    • Packaged with a CD called Game Garden that had Flicky a (quiz game) and Pyramid (a puzzle game.) The CD is compatible with CDG (CD and Graphics) enabled CD Players.
    • Later Japanese pack had a platform game called 'Wonderdog' by Core.
    • Supported the "Wonder CD" pheripheral that allows someone to create music and connect to MIDI-enabled devices.
    • Supported a music keyboard called the "Piano Player" that allowed you to create music and learn to use the keyboard.
    • Later given a redesign with a softer, more curved look. Some of the extra features were removed, and the joypads were remodeled infra red joypads.

Sega Multi-Mega (named CDX in North America) - An integrated Mega Drive and Mega-CD console with portable CD Player abilities, aimed at the more affluent market. The British release sold at £350.

    • No built-in screen.
    • Could double as a portable CD player. CD control buttons (play, stop, etc.) are on the front of the console. A backlit LCD provided the track number. An extra line-out port was provided for stereo equipment.
    • Charged by 2 AA batteries that can only run the CD player. The unit must be powered by a mains adapter to play video games.

The Mega-Tech and Mega Play

Mega-Tech - An arcade machine that featured 10 interchangeable Mega Drive or Master System games in an arcade cabinet.

    • First released in 1989 with some of the best titles at the time, such as Thunderforce II, Altered Beast, Tetris, Last Battle, Space Harrier II, and Golden Axe.
    • Games could be changed at any time, and more titles, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, were made available. The games were identical to their original counterparts, and the cheats also worked.
    • Games were supplied by a Japanese-shaped Mega Drive cart, although slightly heavier. The labels were silver and red and only had "Mega-Tech" printed on them. These carts are not compatible with a regular Mega Drive/Genesis due to the extra information on them stored to run the second monitor, a different length edge connector, number of pins, pinouts, and spacing.
    • A second, smaller nine-inch monitor is located at the top of the cabinet. It displayed instructions for each of the games. The user pays to play for a certain length of time. When time was starting to run out, the screen flashed green to notify the user that additional credits are needed should he or she want to play more of that game.

Mega Play - Another arcade system like the Mega-Tech, but this only had 4 cartridge slots and could not play Master System games. Thunderforce (also spelled Thunder Force) is a series of scrolling shooter type video games developed by the Japanese software company Technosoft (a. ... Sonic the Hedgehog Title Screen Screenshot of Sonic The Hedgehog Sonic the Hedgehog is the platform game that started off the career of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Team. ...

    • Cartridges were Japanese Mega Drive in shape, but incompatible with consumer Mega Drive or Mega-Tech systems

The Mega Jet and Nomad

The original technology behind the Genesis Nomad traces back to the Mega Jet, a semi-portable version of the Mega Drive that was used for in-flight entertainment by Japan Airlines. The devicelacked its own screen but could olay Mega Drive cartridges when hooked up to a small monitor used on JAL flights. The unit featured a directional pad on the left side and six buttons on the right, similar to the layout of a game controller.

A consumer version of Mega Jet was released by Sega of Japan on March 10, 1994 at the cost of $123 USD. It was essentially the same as the unit that was used on JAL flights, meaning that it still lacked a screen and couldn't be powered on with an AC adapter, other than the addition a mono DIN plug cord and the neccesary AC adapter, no other additions or improvements were made. Sega followed it up in October 1995 with the Genesis Nomad for the American market, essentially a Mega Jet featuring a 3.25 inch color LCD screen and room for six AA-batteries, making it completely portable as opposed to simply being a small Genesis system. In addition to it's other imporvments over the Mega Jet, an A/V Out plug was added at the top of the unit, letting owners play games on a television screen with a separate A/V cable. One particularly interesting feature was the ability for one player to play using a connected TV while another watched on the Nomad. The directional pad on the unit controlled all one-player games, and a port on the bottom allowed a second pad to be plugged in for two-player games. This meant that the Nomad could be a fully functional home system as well as a completely portable hand-held solution with a pre-existing library of games available for it. The United States dollar, or American dollar, is the official currency of the United States. ...

While the Nomad won praise for its screen resolution and features, there were some problems. The 32X and Sega CD were not compatible with the unit and Sega's Power Base Converter - used to play Sega Master System games on the Genesis/Megadrive - was also incompatible. On paper, the Nomad was the perfect color portable, it had a full-color, backlit display and supported an estimated 600 titles already on the shelves in addition to being a functional home-system. But despite the price falling from $179 to $79.99, quelshing complaints of overpricing, the handheld did not garner enough support to continue.

For more information, see the pages on the Sega Nomad and Sega Mega Jet. The Sega Nomad was essentially a portable Sega Genesis The Sega Nomad was a handheld game console sold in North America, essentially a mini-Genesis console, based on the Japanese Mega Jet and feturing a built-in color screen . ... The Sega Mega Jet The Sega Mega Jet was a handheld version of the Mega Drive video game console. ...

Pioneer LaserActive with Genesis/Mega Drive capability

LaserActive - A LaserDisc player from Pioneer that can plug in modules. One of these modules allow users to play Mega Drive, Mega-CD and Mega LD games. It can display Mega Drive graphics over streamed video from compatible LaserDiscs. Pioneers LaserDisc Logo The laserdisc (LD) was the first commercial optical disc storage medium, and was used primarily for the presentation of movies. ...

    • Only a handful of games were released on the Mega LD format.
    • 3D Glasses have been produced for compatible discs.
    • Other modules could play the PC Engine games and add karaoke functionality.

The Teradrive

Teradrive, a hybrid 80286 personal computer with Mega Drive hardware embeded.
Teradrive, a hybrid 80286 personal computer with Mega Drive hardware embeded.
  • Teradrive - A 286 PC manufactured by IBM with an integrated Mega Drive. Released in Japan only.
    • Three models were available, ranging from ¥148,000 to ¥248,000. Only the top-of-the-range model was supplied with a hard disk.
    • A special monitor (sold separately) was available, which could display both 15kHz RGB video signals from the Mega Drive hardware and the 31kHz VGA output of the PC hardware, both from the VGA connector.
    • Also had composite NTSC video and stereo RCA jacks for connection to a TV.
    • Mega Drive games can be played at the same time as the PC section is being used.
    • It was possible for the Mega Drive and PC hardware to interact with each other, as shown with the Puzzle Construction program. It was possible for Mega Drive software to be run from the PC's RAM. (Reference)

The Mega PC

Mega PC - A system made by Amstrad with Mega Drive and IBM-compatible PC functionality in one - similar to the Teradrive, but by no means a related project. Produced under license from Sega. Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Intel 80286 is an x86-family 16-bit microprocessor that was introduced by Intel on February 1, 1982. ... One of the first PCs from IBM - the IBM PC model 5150. ...

The Amstrad 80386 IBM PC-Mega Drive hybrid announcements.
The Amstrad 80386 IBM PC-Mega Drive hybrid announcements.
    • PC section used an Intel i386SX running at 25 MHz. It had 1 MB of RAM and a 40-MB IBM-compatible hard disk drive.
    • Released in Europe around 1992-3
    • Coloured cream instead of the dark grey Teradrive, with a sliding cover on the front to change between Mega Drive and PC "mode".
    • Output from the Mega Drive section was only available through the VGA connector, to the supplied dual-scan (15kHz/31kHz) monitor.
    • Though the PC section is always running when the system is switched on, Mega Drive software cannot be used at the same time as PC software as there is only one video output.
    • Could also be used with a Mega CD with the use of a special connector only available from Amstrad.
    • Most of the Mega Drive hardware is contained on an 8-bit ISA card, with AdLib-compatible sound on the same board.
    • The Mega Plus was an updated version of the Mega CD. It used an i486 at 33 MHz and 4 MB of RAM.
  • Some MSX machines released only in Arab countries by a company named Universal, which along with MSX software could also (allegedly) play Mega Drive games.
    • The A330 MSX had a cartridge port on the top of the machine. It has 'Painting', 'Calendar', 'Arabic Writing', and 'English Writing' as its programs.
    • The AX990 had 50 programs. They are likely to be an unofficial multicart or other MSX programs.

Screenshots

Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Amstrad Consumer Electronics plc, usually known as Amstrad, is a company formed in 1968 by Sir Alan Michael Sugar in the UK, and based in Brentwood in Essex, England. ... The Intel 80386 is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 1994 and later. ... IBM PC (IBM 5150) with keyboard and green screen monochrome monitor (IBM 5151), running MS-DOS 5. ... International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... MSX is the name of a standard for home computers in the 1980s (see also The Home Computer Era in the History of computing hardware). ... MSX is the name of a standard for home computers in the 1980s (see also The Home Computer Era in the History of computing hardware). ...

More screenshots can be found in the gallery of Sega Genesis screenshots. This page contains screenshots of some of the most important Sega Genesis/Megadrive games, ordered by release year. ...

Technical specifications

CPU

  • Main processor: 16-bit Motorola M68000 (or equivalent)
    • runs at 7.61 MHz in PAL consoles, 7.67 MHz in NTSC consoles
  • Sound processor: 8-bit Zilog Z80a (or equivalent)¹
    • runs at 3.55 MHz in PAL consoles, 3.58 MHz in NTSC consoles
    • used as main CPU in Master System compatibility mode.
  • note¹: Contrary to popular misconception, Model MK-1631 (Mega Drive/Genesis 2) does have a Z80 CPU. Depending on the board revision, the system either has a Zilog Z84C00 or a Custom Sega 315-5676 or similar. Some people thought the this machine had no Z80 because the Power Base Converter did not work on it. The Power Base Converter does in fact function - the only prohibiting factor is the shape of the device, as the new cartridge port is too far forward on the system to connect them without first removing the plastic housing of the Power Base Converter. Since, however, the Z80 is needed for sound production, it had to be included to play games.

Memory

  • Boot ROM: 2 KB
    • runs when console is first switched on
    • contains "copyright check" code for locking out unlicensed games
    • displays message "Produced by or under license from Sega Enterprises Ltd." when a licensed game is detected
    • Boot ROM is not present on earlier versions of the Mega Drive 1
    • The name Sega gave this boot ROM was the TMSS (TradeMark Security System)
  • Main RAM: 64 KB
    • part of M68000 address space
  • Video RAM: 64 KB
    • cannot be accessed directly by CPU, must be read and written via VDP (Video Display Processor - see below)
  • Sound RAM: 8 KB
    • part of Z80 address space
    • used as main RAM in Master System compatibility mode
  • Cartridge memory area: up to 4 MB (32 Megabits)
    • part of M68000 address space
    • Game cartridges larger than 4 MB must use bank switching

Graphics

The Mega Drive has a dedicated VDP (Video Display Processor) for playfield and sprite control. This is an improved version of the Sega Master System VDP, which in turn is derived from the Texas Instruments TMS9918. Motorola NYSE: MOT (TYO: 6686) is a global communications company based in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb. ... The Motorola 68000 is a CISC microprocessor, the first member of a successful family of microprocessors from Motorola, which were all mostly software compatible. ... ZiLOG, often seen as Zilog, is a manufacturer of 8-bit CPUs, and is most famous for its Intel 8080-compatible Z80 series. ... The Zilog Z80 is an 8-bit microprocessor designed and manufactured by Zilog from 1976 onwards. ... Rom is also the name of a toy and comic book character Rom (Spaceknight). ... Look up RAM and random access memory in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Different types of RAM. From top to bottom: DIP, SIPP, SIMM 30 pin, SIMM 72 pin, DIMM, DDR DIMM Random access memory (sometimes random-access memory), commonly known by its acronym RAM, is a type of computer storage... Bank switching (also known as paging, but only loosely related to the ordinary meaning of this term in computing) was a technique common in 8-bit microcomputer systems, to increase the amount of addressable RAM and ROM without extending the address bus. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... Sega Master System The Sega Master System (SMS for short) (Japanese: マスターシステム), is an 8-bit cartridge-based gaming console manufactured by Sega. ... Texas Instruments (NYSE: TXN), better known in the electronics industry as TI, is a company based in Dallas, Texas, renowned for developing and commercializing semiconductor and computer technology. ...

  • Planes: 4 (2 scrolling playfields, 1 sprite plane, 1 'window' plane)
  • Sprites: up to 80 on-screen, depending on display mode
  • Palette: 512 colours
  • Onscreen colours: 64 × 9-bit words of colour RAM, allowing 61 on-screen colours (up to 1536 using raster effects and Shadow/Hilight mode)
  • Pixel resolution: depends on display mode
    • up to 320×240 (40×30 cells) for PAL
    • up to 320×224 (40×28 cells) for NTSC
    • interlaced modes can provide double the vertical resolution (i.e. 320×448 for NTSC). Used in Sonic 2 for two-player split screen

Sound

  • Main sound chip: Yamaha YM2612 six-channel FM
  • Additional sound chip: Texas Instruments SN76489 four-channel PSG (Programmable Sound Generator)
    • three sound generators, four octaves each, one white noise generator

Inputs and outputs

  • RF output: connects to TV aerial input
    • exists on European and Asian Mega Drive 1 only
    • other models must use external RF modulator which plugs into A/V output
  • A/V output: DIN connector with composite video, RGB, and audio outputs
    • Mega Drive 1 has 8-pin socket (same as Master System), supports mono audio only
    • Mega Drive 2, Multimega, and other models have 9-pin mini DIN socket with both mono and stereo audio, and s-video
  • Power input: requires 9–10 volts DC, 0.85–1.2 A depending on model
  • Headphone output: Amplified 3.5-mm stereo jack on front of console with volume control (Mega Drive 1 only)
    • Also suitable for passive speakers
  • "EXT" port: 9-pin D socket for Meganet modem connection
    • exists on all Japanese and Asian Mega Drive 1 units, and on early European Mega Drive 1 units
  • Control pad inputs: 2 × 9-pin D connectors on front of console
  • Expansion port: Edge connector on bottom right hand side of console for Sega Mega-CD connection

Miscellaneous

  • Signal/Noise Ratio: 14 dB
  • Emulation software can save game music to a format known as GYM. It works by recording the operation of the sound system to a destination file (the .gym file). The internal state of the emulator's sound chip code is sampled 60 times per second, and dumped to the file. While initially popular, it's considered obsolete by the more-complete VGM format.
  • The EXT port on the original Genesis/Mega Drive console is used with a modem peripheral that was only released in the Japanese market. The port operates identically to the two joystick ports, but has a female DB9 connector instead of a male DB9 one.
  • The Stereo Headphone port on the front of the first model was either used for stereo headphones or speakers and/or used for mixing stereo sound for the Sega CD.
  • The Expansion port used with the Sega CD most of the time was also used for the Sega Genesis 7 Cart Demo Unit in stores.
    Sega Genesis Demo Unit
    Sega Genesis Demo Unit

Trivia

The cartridge header checking was added to later versions of the original machine and all versions of the Mega Drive/Genesis 2 and 3 consoles. This did *not* affect compatibility with officially licensed games; some unlicensed games were missing the header information and would not run. Sonic the Hedgehog 2, or simply Sonic 2, the sequel to Sonic the Hedgehog, is a platform game made by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis. ... YM2612 is a 6 channel FM synthesis (Frequency Modulation) sound synthesizer IC produced by Yamaha. ... The SN76489 Programmable Sound Generator (PSG) is a TTL compatible four-channel sound chip from Texas Instruments. ... 5 pin 180° DIN connector 4 pin Mini-DIN S-Video connector Speaker DIN line socket (left) and plug DIN connectors are multi-pin electrical connectors based on a DIN standard. ... The volt is the SI derived unit for electric potential and voltage (derived from the ampere and watt). ... Direct current (DC or continuous current) is the continuous flow of electricity through a conductor such as a wire from high to low potential. ... In physics, the ampere (symbol: A, often informally abbreviated to amp) is the SI base unit used to measure electrical currents. ... The Sega Meganet was a network service in Japan for people using the Sega Megadrive. ... An edge connector is a type of electrical connector for use with PC boards. ... The Sega Mega (Japanese: メガCD) is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive released in Europe, Australia and Japan. ... Modern indoor gymnasium with pull-down basketball hoops Gym is a shortened form of gymnasium and refers to facilities intended for indoor sports or exercise. ... This article is about the sound format. ... Three versions of Sega CD: The Mega-CD 1 and 2 and the CDX/Multimega. ... Three versions of Sega CD: The Mega-CD 1 and 2 and the CDX/Multimega. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1152x864, 296 KB) The Sega Genesis Demo Unit. ... ImageMetadata File history File links Download high resolution version (1152x864, 296 KB) The Sega Genesis Demo Unit. ...

There has never been a Game Gear adapter/converter as the hardware is incompatible in multiple ways that cannot be remedied by additional hardware in a cartridge.

There is no missing Z80 in any version of the hardware, it is simply built in to the custom chips which incorporate many other "missing" components in later systems.

The Power Base Converter does not contain any part of the Sega Master System hardware to support games. The Mega Drive/Genesis hardware is overwhelmingly backwards compatible with the SMS with the exception of a Master System cartridge slot and "PAUSE" button. Third-party Master System cartridge adapters are simply rewirings of the cartridge port with no additional logic.

The compatibility is implemented in two ways; the VDP contains an implementation of the Master System VDP "Mode 4" display capability. The bus controller chip (later integrated with the I/O chip into a single multi-purpose ASIC) can put either put the Z80 or 68000 in primary control of the system.

The Majesco Genesis 3 (single-chip and two-chip versions) retains the Mode 4 support but has the Master System compatability removed from the bus controller logic. This renders the Power Base Converter or any other adapter useless. 68000 software can still enable and use Mode 4, however.

One of the 68000 instructions, TAS, locks the 68000 bus during memory access. The Sega hardware did not support this unusual bus cycle and ignored the write-back phase. One game, Disney's Gargoyles, uses the TAS instructions and expects it not to write to memory. As a result it works only on original Sega machines, but not the Majesco Genesis 3 which has a correct support for TAS.

See Also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Sega of America (1824 words)
You should first try the Genesis console on a TV with a vertical or horizontal adjustment knob to determine whether a Zenith Modification will be necessary.
If the Genesis works on the TV (with a vertical or horizontal adjustment knob), then a Zenith Modification would be necessary in order to play the Genesis on the TV with the bouncing screen problem.
Test Genesis by plugging in a pair of working headphones or mini speakers with an 1/8 inch plug into the headphone jack on the Genesis console.
Sega - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3945 words)
Sega's European division, Sega of Europe, is headquartered in the Chiswick area of London, England, United Kingdom.
In 1993, the Genesis was redesigned and released as the "Sega Genesis 2".
Sega was attempting to "lock out" game companies from making Genesis games unless they paid Sega a fee (ostensibly to maintain a consistent level of quality of games for their system.) Their strategy was to make the hardware reject any cartridge that did not include a Sega trademark.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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