Retro Game Consoles – Sega Genesis


Sega Genesis
1989-1996

In 1989, Sega Genesis was released in the US. The unit was a powerful machine sporting two processors and a multitude of other co-processors or supporting chips.

The added complexity, coupled with a lack of useful development tools, got the unit off to slow sales. The initial games were not impressive.

Sega Genesis 32X

Above: Sega 32X

However, the Sega Genesis did well, selling over 10 million units before being cancelled. Attributing to the success of the unit was the release of Sonic the Hedgehog. Sonic the Hedgehog pushed the graphics, animation and sound of the unit while delivering great speed and an excellent user experience.

Sega modified the console over the years making minor changes like offering a sleeker design. Moreover, in 1998, Majesco rereleased the Sega Genesis as Genesis 3 for $50.

In 1994, Sega released the 32X. The 32X was not an actual console, it was and add on to the Sega Genesis that permitted user to play 32-bit games on a 16-bit console.

Sega Genesis Game Console

Above: Sega Genesis Game Console

The design was to allow backward compatibility with existing 16-bit games while allowing users to take advantage of the 32-bit power. However, Sega goofed on several fronts:

1) The 32-bit games released did not meet the expectations of what was expected from a 32-bit system.

2) The device was rushed to out to meet the Christmas 1994 market and suffered from many issues with compatibility.

The device is largely considered a failure. BY the release of Sega Saturn in 1996, there was only about 40 games produced for the console.

In 1992, Sega release the Sega CD add on. The device was intended to retake lost market share from the release of the SuperNES game console released by Nintendo in 1991.

However, the Sega CD cost US$299.99 with very few games available to make use of the device. As a result sales suffered. However, the Sega CD faired better than the Sega 32X with about 150 titles being released before the add on was terminated in 1996.