Here’s the console that many gamers would praise as Sega’s best system. Originally called the Mega Drive in Japan but changed to Genesis in America due to Sega of America not being able to secure legal rights on the name. It was a 16 bit console which succeeded in the numbers of graphics compared to what the Nintendo Entertainment System had. It was backwards compatible to Master System games with the help of the Power Base Converter sold separately at the stores. The console was the first to achieve a notable market share in both Europe and America. The console was so proud of having 16 bits that it even labels 16-bits on top of the first version of Genesis. The smaller version made later had no label.
The console was originally released in Japan back in October 29, 1988. It was released in America the following year. Originally Sega was going to team up with Atari to distribute the console however Atari didn’t agree to the terms to Sega decided to distribute it themselves. The average price for the console was $189.99, $10 less than originally intended. This is the system where Sonic the Hedgehog would gain his popularity and for the rest of Sega’s career he was ranked as their own mascot. Business was good for Sega until Nintendo revealed their newest console called the Super Nintendo in 1990, 1991 for the US release. This lead to the start of the console wars which was the same console wars that made the Atari Jaguar dead in the water. I made a really long article in the past on how unfortunate that console was. Sega funded a good number of ads with the slogan “Gotta Get Genesis” & “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” as a way to tackle Nintendo in the market. Unfortunately they weren’t able to push Nintendo off the top of the mountain of fame. This lead to the invention of the Sega CD & 32x add-ons which was the start of Sega’s down fall.
In the end, over 41 million units have been sold and the console was retired back in 1997. A total of 915 Genesis games were made in the end. That excludes prototype and unreleased games alone. Despite the console’s struggle in the market it did fairly well it’s just that the competition made the company thick-headed when it comes to trying to beat Nintendo. If they only focused on what they are good at they would have maintain good business in the gaming market however the Sega CD & 32x add-ons proved to show that they know no better. Read the next article to learn more about those two consoles. As well as the Angry Black Guy, the products’ main mascot.