List of Sega video game consoles

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Sega is a video game developer, publisher, and hardware development company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with multiple offices around the world. The company has produced home video game consoles and handheld consoles since 1983; these systems were released from the third console generation to the sixth. Sega was formed from the merger of slot machine developer Service Games and arcade game manufacturer Rosen Enterprises in 1964, and it produced arcade games for the next two decades. After a downturn in the arcade game industry in the 1980s, the company transitioned to developing and publishing video games and consoles. [1] The first Sega console was the Japan-only SG-1000, released in 1983. Sega released several variations of this console in Japan, the third of which, the Sega Mark III, was rebranded as the Master System and released worldwide in 1985. They went on to produce the Genesis—known as the Mega Drive outside of North America—and its add-ons beginning in 1988, the Game Gear handheld console in 1990, the Sega Saturn in 1994, and the Dreamcast in 1998.

Sega Japanese video game developer and publisher and subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings

Sega Games Co., Ltd. is a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher headquartered in Tokyo. The company, previously known as Sega Enterprises Ltd. and Sega Corporation, is a subsidiary of Sega Holdings Co., Ltd., which is part of Sega Sammy Holdings. Its international branches, Sega of America and Sega of Europe, are respectively headquartered in Irvine, California and London. Sega's arcade division, once part of Sega Corporation, has existed as Sega Interactive Co., Ltd., also a Sega Holdings subsidiary, since 2015.

Video game electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a video device such as a TV screen or computer monitor

A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.

Video game development is the process of creating a video game. The effort is undertaken by a developer, ranging from a single person to an international team dispersed across the globe. Development of traditional commercial PC and console games is normally funded by a publisher, and can take several years to reach completion. Indie games usually take less time and money and can be produced by individuals and smaller developers. The independent game industry has been on the rise, facilitated by the growth of new online distribution systems such as Steam and Uplay, as well as the mobile game market for Android and iOS devices.

Contents

Sega was one of the primary competitors to Nintendo in the video game console industry. A few of Sega's early consoles outsold their competitors in specific markets, such as the Master System in Europe. Several of the company's later consoles were commercial failures, however, and the financial losses incurred from the Dreamcast console caused the company to restructure itself in 2001. As a result, Sega ceased to manufacture consoles and became a third-party video game developer. [2] The only console that Sega has produced since is the educational toy console Advanced Pico Beena in 2005. Third-party variants of Sega consoles have been produced by licensed manufacturers, even after production of the original consoles had ended. Many of these variants have been produced in Brazil, where versions of the Master System and Genesis are still sold and games for them are still developed.

Consoles

ConsoleRelease date(s)Discontinuation date(s)GenerationNotesPicture
SG-1000
  • JP: July 15, 1983 [3]
Third
  • Sega's first home console, created in an attempt to transition from the arcade game industry [5]
  • Also known as the Sega Computer Videogame SG-1000
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Computer version with a built-in keyboard which plays Sega Card games released as the SC-3000 [6]
  • Not commercially successful, because of the number of consoles on the market already and the release of the Famicom by Nintendo on the same day [4]
Sega-SG-1000-Console-Set.jpg
SG-1000 II
Third
  • Upgraded version of the SG-1000 with detachable controllers [7]
  • Can play Sega Card games in addition to ROM cartridges [4]
  • Computer version with a built-in keyboard which only plays Sega Card games released as the SC-3000H [8]
Sega-SG-1000-MkII-Console-FL.jpg
Master System
Third
  • Sega's second major home console, released worldwide
  • Initially released in Japan as the Sega Mark III, the third version of the SG-1000, before being redesigned and rebranded as the Master System [4]
  • Plays both Sega Card games and ROM cartridges [4]
  • Smaller and cheaper version of the console named the Master System II was released in 1990; it only plays ROM cartridges and sold poorly [10]
  • Unsuccessfully competed with the Nintendo Famicom in Japan and North America, but was commercially successful in Europe [10]
  • Still for sale in Brazil [13]
Sega-Master-System-Set.jpg
Genesis

(Mega Drive)

Fourth
  • Named the Mega Drive outside North America
  • Sega's third major home console, after the SG-1000 and Master System; released worldwide
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • A computer with an integrated Mega Drive was released in Japan as the Sega TeraDrive in 1991 [14]
  • A smaller, lighter version of the console named the Genesis II was released in 1993 [18]
  • The Genesis Nomad, a handheld version of the console that plays the same cartridges, released in 1995; an early version for use on Japanese airplanes was named the Mega Jet [19]
  • The Sega Meganet Internet service in Japan with the Mega Modem peripheral provided downloadable titles, some exclusive to the service, starting in 1990; it was replaced with the similar Sega Channel service in 1993 [20]
  • Although the system was officially discontinued in 1997, third-party variants have been released around the world as recently as 2009 [21]
  • Outsold by its main competitors Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine in Japan, [22] but was more successful in some other regions, such as the United States [23]
Sega-Mega-Drive-JP-Mk1-Console-Set.jpg
Game Gear
Fourth Game-Gear-Handheld.jpg
Sega CD

(Mega CD)

Fourth
  • Named the Mega CD outside North America
  • Add-on device for the Genesis with its own exclusive library
  • Adds CD-ROM support as well as more processing power [30]
  • Second version named the Sega CD 2 was released in 1993 to correspond with the second version of the Genesis [32]
  • Portable combination of the Genesis and Sega CD named the Genesis CDX in the United States and the Multi-Mega in the PAL region released in 1994 [33]
  • Sold poorly compared to the Genesis itself [34]
Sega-CD-Model2-Set.jpg
Sega Pico
Fourth Kids Computer Pico-01.jpg
32X
Fifth
  • Add-on for the Genesis with its own exclusive library
  • Adds more processing power and support for 32-bit games to the 16-bit Genesis [45]
  • Plays different ROM cartridges from the Genesis itself [45]
  • Combination release of the Genesis and the 32X codenamed "Neptune" was planned for release in late 1995, but was delayed and then cancelled when the 32X was discontinued [45]
  • Considered a commercial failure [43]
Sega-Genesis-Model2-32X.jpg
Sega Saturn
Fifth
  • Sega's fourth major home console and only release in the 32-bit console generation, released worldwide
  • Plays CD-ROM games
  • Released simultaneously with the 32X, which also plays 32-bit games
  • Sega NetLink accessory, released in 1996, provided Internet and multiplayer gaming access; in Japan it used the SegaNet Internet service [48]
  • Second version of the console codenamed Sega Pluto, with a built-in NetLink component, was planned but never released [50]
  • Considered a commercial failure; sold significantly fewer copies than its competitors the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64 [51]
Sega-Saturn-Console-Set-Mk1.jpg
Dreamcast
  • WW: March 30, 2001 [54]
Sixth
  • Sega's fifth and final major home console and only major release in the sixth console generation, released worldwide
  • Plays GD-ROM games
  • Includes a built-in modem, which could connect to the SegaNet Internet service in Japan and North America and the Dreamarena service in Europe [55]
  • VMU accessory serves as a combination memory card, second screen, and simple handheld console [56]
  • Considered a commercial failure; sold significantly fewer copies than its main competitor the Sony PlayStation 2 because of a poor Japanese launch and lack of DVD support [57]
Dreamcast-Console-Set.jpg
Advanced Pico Beena
N/A Sixth
  • Video game console aimed at young children, released only in Japan
  • Successor to the 1993 Sega Pico [38]
  • Plays ROM cartridges shaped like books [38]
  • Cheaper version named the Beena Lite was released in 2008. [58]
  • Still being produced
BeenaLiteConsole.jpg

Third-party variants

Licensed and unlicensed variants of Sega consoles have been produced by third-party companies. In Brazil, Tectoy created and released the Master System 3 Compact, which may function wirelessly with an RF transmitter. An SKU of this console targeted at female gamers, the Master System Girl, was molded in bright pink plastic. A more recent version, released in 2006 in Brazil as the Master System 3 Collection, contains 120 built-in games. [59] Another Master System variant, built as a handheld game console, was released by Coleco in North America in 2006. [60]

Tectoy Brazilian video game and electronics company

Tectoy is a Brazilian toy and electronics company headquartered in São Paulo. It is best known for producing, publishing, and distributing Sega consoles and video games in Brazil. The company was founded by Daniel Dazcal, Leo Kryss, and Abe Kryss in 1987 because Dazcal saw an opportunity to develop a market for electronic toys and video games, product categories that competitors did not sell in Brazil at the time. The company stock is traded on the Bovespa.

Handheld game console lightweight, portable electronic device used for gaming

A handheld game console, or simply handheld console, is a small, portable self-contained video game console with a built-in screen, game controls, and speakers. Handheld game consoles are smaller than home video game consoles and contain the console, screen, speakers, and controls in one unit, allowing people to carry them and play them at any time or place.

Coleco Industries, Inc. was an American company founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg as The Connecticut Leather Company. It became a highly successful toy company in the 1980s, known for its mass-produced version of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and its video game consoles, the Coleco Telstar dedicated consoles and ColecoVision. While the company disappeared in 1988 as a result of bankruptcy, the Coleco brand was revived in 2005, and remains active to this day.

The Genesis was the first Sega console to receive third-party versions. Its first variants were released before any Master System variants, even though the Genesis was released three years after the Master System. Working with Sega Enterprises, JVC released the Wondermega, a Mega Drive and Mega CD combination with high quality audio, in Japan on April 1, 1992. The system was later redesigned by JVC and released as the X'Eye in North America in September 1994. [61] A Pioneer LaserActive add-on pack, developed by Sega, allows the system to play Genesis and Sega CD games. [62] Aiwa released the CSD-GM1, a combination Genesis/Sega CD unit built into a boombox. Several companies added the Genesis to personal computers, mimicking the design of Sega's TeraDrive; these include the MSX models AX-330 and AX-990 distributed in Kuwait and Yemen, and the Amstrad Mega PC distributed in Europe and Australia. [4] After the Genesis was discontinued, Majesco Entertainment released the Genesis 3 in North America as a budget version of the console in 1998. [63] Majesco also released a budget version of the Sega Pico in North America in August 1999. [64]

LaserActive video game console

The LaserActive is a converged device and fourth-generation home video game console capable of playing Laserdiscs, Compact Discs, console games, and LD-G karaoke discs. It was released by Pioneer Corporation in 1993. In addition to LaserActive games, separately sold add-on modules accept Mega Drive/Genesis and PC Engine/TurboGrafx 16 ROM cartridges and CD-ROMs.

Boombox

A boombox is a transistorized portable music player featuring one or two cassette tape recorder/players and AM/FM radio, generally with a carrying handle. Beginning in the mid 1980s, a CD player was often included. Sound is delivered through an amplifier and two or more integrated loudspeakers. A boombox is a device typically capable of receiving radio stations and playing recorded music. Many models are also capable of recording onto cassette tapes from radio and other sources. In the 1990s, some boomboxes were available with minidisc recorders and players. Designed for portability, boomboxes can be powered by batteries as well as by line current. The boombox was introduced to the American market during the late 1970s. The desire for louder and heavier bass led to bigger and heavier boxes; by the 1980s, some boomboxes had reached the size of a suitcase. Some larger boomboxes even contained vertically mounted record turntables. Most boomboxes were battery-operated, leading to extremely heavy, bulky boxes.

MSX home computer

MSX is a standardized home computer architecture, announced by Microsoft on June 16, 1983. It was conceived and marketed by Kazuhiko Nishi, then vice-president at Microsoft Japan and director at ASCII Corporation. Nishi conceived the project as an attempt to create unified standards among various home computing system manufacturers of the period.

In Brazil, where the Genesis never ceased production, Tectoy released a portable version of the Genesis with twenty built-in games on December 5, 2007. [65] Another Tectoy variant of the console called "Mega Drive Guitar Idol", released in 2009 in Brazil, includes two six-button joypads and a guitar controller with five fret buttons. [66] That year, AtGames began producing two new Genesis variants in North America and Europe: the Firecore, which can play Genesis cartridges as well as preloaded games; and a handheld console, the Sega Gopher, as well as a dedicated motion console, the Sega Zone, preloaded with 20 Genesis games. [67] Companies such as Radica Games have released compilations of Genesis games in "plug-and-play" packages resembling the system's controller. [68]

Guitar controller

A guitar controller is a video game controller designed to simulate the playing of the guitar, a string musical instrument. Guitar controllers are often used for music games such as UmJammer Lammy: NOW!, GuitarFreaks, Guitar Hero, and the Rock Band series. The controllers are played by holding down a colored fret button that matches a colored, on-screen note, while pressing the strum bar as the note passes through the target. The controllers also feature a whammy bar, which is used to bend notes and collect each game's equivalent of bonus energy. Different games and models of controllers have introduced additional features, such as effects switches, additional fret buttons, and fret touch pads. The fret buttons are colored usually in the order of green, red, yellow, blue, and orange.

Fret musical instrument part

A fret is a raised element on the neck of a stringed instrument. Frets usually extend across the full width of the neck. On most modern western fretted instruments, frets are metal strips inserted into the fingerboard. On some historical instruments and non-European instruments, frets are made of pieces of string tied around the neck.

The Sega Zone, also known as Sega Reactor is a dedicated video game console released under license from Sega in summer 2010. It has 20 built-in classic games from the Mega Drive/Genesis library. Of these 20 games, 16 of them have motion-control enabled. When released, it cost £49 in the UK.

Related Research Articles

Sonic Team, currently Sega CS Research and Development #2 (CS2), is a video game development division of the Japanese company Sega. Sonic Team is best known for the long-running Sonic the Hedgehog series and games such as Nights into Dreams and Phantasy Star Online.

Game Gear handheld game console

The Game Gear is an 8-bit fourth generation handheld game console released by Sega on October 6, 1990 in Japan, in April 1991 throughout North America and Europe, and during 1992 in Australia. The Game Gear primarily competed with Nintendo's Game Boy, the Atari Lynx, and NEC's TurboExpress. It shares much of its hardware with the Master System, and can play Master System games by the use of an adapter. Sega positioned the Game Gear, which had a full-color backlit screen with a landscape format, as a technologically superior handheld to the Game Boy.

32X add-on for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", the 32X was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. Independent of the Genesis, the 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. The add-on was distributed under the name Super 32X in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.

Sega CD add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console

The Sega CD, released as the Mega-CD in most regions outside North America and Brazil, is a CD-ROM accessory for the Sega Genesis video game console designed and produced by Sega as part of the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was released on December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and 1993 in Europe. The Sega CD lets the user play CD-based games and adds hardware functionality such as a faster central processing unit and graphic enhancements. It can also play audio CDs and CD+G discs.

A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.

Master System video game console

The Sega Master System (SMS) is a third-generation home video game console manufactured by Sega. It was originally a remodeled export version of the Sega Mark III, the third iteration of the SG-1000 series of consoles, which was released in Japan in 1985 and featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors. The Master System launched in North America in 1986, followed by Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. A Japanese version of the Master System was also launched in 1987, which has additional features over the Mark III and other regional variants of the console, namely a built-in FM audio chip, a rapid-fire switch and a dedicated port for the 3D glasses. A cost-reduced model known as the Master System II was released in 1990 in North America and Europe.

Genesis Nomad handheld game console

The Genesis Nomad is a handheld game console by Sega released in North America in October 1995. The Nomad is a portable variation of Sega's home console, the Sega Genesis. Based on the Mega Jet, a portable version of the home console designed for use on airline flights in Japan, Nomad served to succeed the Game Gear and was the last handheld console released by Sega. In addition to functioning as a portable device, it was designed to be used with a television set via a video port. Released late in the Genesis era, the Nomad had a short lifespan.

In the history of computer and video games, the fourth generation of game consoles began on October 30, 1987 with the Japanese release of NEC Home Electronics' PC Engine. Although NEC released the first console of this era, sales were mostly dominated by the rivalry between Nintendo's and Sega's consoles in North America: the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sega Genesis. Handheld systems released during this time include the Nintendo Game Boy, released in 1989, and the Sega Game Gear, first released in 1990.

Sega Meganet, also known as the Net Work System, was an online service for the Mega Drive in Japan and later Brazil. Utilizing dial-up Internet access, Meganet was Sega's first online multiplayer gaming service, and functioned on a pay to play basis. The system functioned through the use of a peripheral called the Mega Modem and offered several unique titles that could be downloaded, and a few could be played competitively with friends. In addition, it shared technology and equipment with more serious services such as the Mega Anser, used for banking purposes. Though the system was announced for North America under the rebranded name "Tele-Genesis", it was never released for that region. Ultimately, the Meganet service would be short-lived, lasting approximately a year before it was discontinued, but would serve as a precursor to the Sega Channel and XBAND services, as well as a predecessor to online gaming services for video game consoles. Retrospective feedback praises the attempt by Sega to introduce online gaming, but criticizes the service for its logistical issues and lack of titles.

The fifth-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld gaming consoles dating from approximately 1993 to 2002. For home consoles, the best-selling console was the PlayStation (PS) by a wide margin, followed by the Nintendo 64 (N64), and then the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation also had a redesigned version, the PSOne, which was launched in July 2000.

<i>Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure</i> 1999 video game

Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure is a platform game developed and published by SNK and released for the Neo Geo Pocket Color in 1999. The game is based on Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992) for the Sega Genesis, borrowing much of the stage themes and gameplay elements, but featuring unique stage layouts, elements from other Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog games, and extra game modes. Sega's Yuji Naka and the rest of Sonic Team supervised over production.

Sega Channel online game service

Sega Channel was an online game service developed by Sega for the Genesis video game console, serving as a content delivery system. Launching in December 1994, Sega Channel was provided to the public by TCI and Time Warner Cable through cable television services by way of coaxial cable. It was a pay to play service, through which customers could access Genesis games online, play game demos, and get cheat codes. Lasting until July 31, 1998, Sega Channel operated three years after the release of Sega's next generation console, the Sega Saturn. Though criticized for its poorly timed launch and high subscription fee, Sega Channel has been praised for its innovations in downloadable content and impact on online services for video games.

Sega Genesis Fourth-generation home video game console and fourth developed by Sega

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive in regions outside of North America, is a 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega released it as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by North America as the Genesis in 1989. In 1990, it was distributed as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, Ozisoft in Australasia, and Tec Toy in Brazil. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

<i>Tanglewood</i> (2018 video game)

Tanglewood is a homebrew platformer video game developed and published by Big Evil Corporation for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. The game was successfully funded through Kickstarter and was released on 14 August 2018, with emulated versions available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. A Dreamcast port is also planned.

History of Sega

The history of Sega, a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher, spans from 1960 to the present day, with roots back to Standard Games in 1940 and Service Games of Japan in the 1950s. The formation of the company is traced back to the founding of Nihon Goraku Bussan, which became known as Sega Enterprises, Ltd. following acquisition of Rosen Enterprises. Sega began developing coin-operated games in 1966 with Periscope. In 1969 Gulf and Western Industries bought Sega, which continued its successful arcade-game business.

<i>Yu Yu Hakusho Makyō Tōitsusen</i> 1994 fighting game

Yu Yu Hakusho Makyō Tōitsusen is a 1994 fighting game developed by Treasure and published by Sega for the Mega Drive. It is based on the manga series Yu Yu Hakusho by Yoshihiro Togashi. The plot follows the protagonist Yusuke Urameshi, who is tasked by the ruler of the afterlife with solving detective-style cases involving both humans and demons threatening the living world. The story begins to focus heavily on martial arts battles as it progresses.

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