The Sega Mega (Japanese: メガCD) is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive released in Europe, Australia and Japan. The North American version is called the Sega CD. The device allow the user to both play CD audio discs and specially designed game CDs. It can also play CD+G discs.
The development of the Mega-CD was top secret; game programmers didn't know what they were designing for until the Mega-CD was finally revealed at Tokyo Toy Show in Japan. The Sega Mega-CD in Japan was designed to compete with the PC Engine, which had a separate CD-ROM drive.
The Sega Mega-CD was not meant to compete with the Super Famicom (Super Nintendo Entertainment System outside Japan).
At first, the Mega-CD was a CD tray unit that sat under the console. The Sega Mega-CD 2 was a smaller, cheaper top loading drive that plugged next to the Sega Mega Drive.
The Sega Mega-CD was released first in Japan in 1st December 1991. Its retail price was about ¥49,800. Initially, it was a great success because of the inherent advantages of CDs (high storage capacibility and the low cost of media). The fact that it had a nice RPG catalog also helped.
The system sold 100,000 units during the first year of release in Japan. However, cost issues prevented more units from being sold.
Sega of Japan did not speak to Sega of America about their Mega-CD plans for that market until a few months later.
The Sega CD had been announced at the Chicago CES on November 1992.
In the end, the Sega CD failed to convince American gamers, mostly due to the cost of the console. There just was not enough value for the price. Moreover, the game experience was little improved.
Sound was likely to be better if it included some CD audio tracks, but on the average, conventional games looked the same. Sega wanted to showcase the power of the Sega CD, and so focused on the "FMV" games rather than importing "extended" games that only expanded ordinary games by taking advantage of the extra storage space of the CD media. Sega insisted on licensing and producing primarily "full motion video" games similar to earlier laserdisc games, that were universally panned by game reviewers.
The single speed CD drive added load times to all games, and the 64-color graphics and underpowered processor (for video rendering) made these full-motion games look terrible.
In Europe the Mega-CD was overpriced. It was released in April 1993 in the United Kingdom for £270 (over €400 now). Only 4% of European Mega Drive owners bought a Mega-CD because of its price. Unlike The Mega Drive, which was a very successful console in Europe, only 60,000 of the 70,000 Mega-CD's shipped to Europe were sold by August 1993.
Some European countries (Spain for instance), wouldn't get the original Mega-CD, but the Mega-CD 2, which also slowed sales.
The Australians got their Mega-CD on 19 April 1993.
The following models were released:
- Sega Mega-CD I (Sega CD I in North America)
- Sega Mega-CD II (Sega CD II in North America). Designed for the Mega Drive/Genesis II and to reduce manufacturing costs
- JVC Wondermega (Xeye in North American release, never released in Europe), was a all-in one Genesis /Sega CD unit
- Sega Multimega (called Sega CDX in North America). A portable CD player that plays both Mega Drive and Mega-CD games
- Pioneer LaserActive Sega CD module, an add-on device you could add to a Laseractive Pioneer Laserdisc player
| || || || |
|Battlecorps ||Dune ||Road Avenger ||Sewer Shark |
|Core Design (1994) ||Cryo (1994) ||Wolfteam (1992) ||Digital Pictures (1992) |
Main CPU: Motorola 68000 16 bit processor running at 12.5 MHz
(Same as the Mega Drive/Genesis. Acts as a coprocessor along with the Genesis CPU. One must note that the Genesis clock speed is slower (7.67 MHz))
- Graphics Processor: Custom ASIC
- Number of simultaneous colours on screen: 64 (Using programming tricks, this limit is increased to 128 colours via HAM "Hold and Modify")
- Colours available in Cinepak and TruVideo modes: 128 to 256 colours
- Video size from 1/4 to full screen
- Advanced compression scheme
- Software-based upgrade
- Main RAM: 6 Mbit
- PCM samples: 512 Kbit
- CD-ROM data cache: 128 Kbit
- 64 Kbit Internal Backup RAM
The Mega-CD also features sprite enhancement effects such as scaling and rotation, similar to that of the Super Famicom/SNES Mode 7.
- 500 MB CD-ROM discs (equivalent to 62 min of audio data)
- 1/4 screen B/W footage video: 1.5 to 4 hours
- 1/4 screen color footage: 45 minutes
- CD-ROM drive transfer rate: 150 Kbytes/s (1x)
(Above specs prior to compression)
- Size: 1 Mb
- Used for games, CD player, CD+G and karaoke
- Access time: 800 ms
|Bios Version ||Machine |
|1.00 ||Original Mega-CD |
|2.00 ||Mega-CD 2 (Sega CD 2 in North America) |
|2.05 ||Mega-CD 2 |
|2.10 ||Mega-CD 2 |
|2.21 ||Sega Mega LD (Japan), Sega Multimega (Europe), CDX (North America) |
The Mega-CD adds 10 extra sound channels to the existing Mega Drive Z80 SPU.
- Sound format: Stereo PCM
- Sound channels: 8
- Maximum sample rate: 32 KHz (44.1 KHz for CD-DA)
- 16 bit DAC
- 8x internal over-sampling digital filter
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 KHz
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 900 dB @ 1K
- Channel Separation: > 900 dB
- Output: RCA stereo Pin Jack x2 (L/R) / SCART cable
Dimensions: 301mm x 212.5 x 112.5
Weight: 1.4 kg (3.1 lbs)
- Console Database (http://www.consoledatabase.com/consoleinfo/segamegacd/index.html) - Sega Mega-CD/Sega CD
- SegaCD.org complete game listing (http://www.segacd.org/expression/site_3/segabase/CD/SegaBase-SegaCDGames.html)