Retro Game Consoles – Sega Master System


Sega Master System
1986-1992

In 1986, Sega released the Sega Master System three months after the NES. However, Sega went to Tonka Toys for distribution and marketing. Sega also encounter Nintendo software restrictions that prevent game developers from making games for any other console makers. As a result, the Sega Master System did not reach the same level of success as the NES.

Sega Master System game console

Above: Sega Master System game console

Nintendo was proving once again that gaining market dominance in this market was not all about price and features, it was locking in software restrictions that prevented its companies like Sega from accessing top selling games.

Sega Master System game console

Above: Sega Master System game console pal version

While Sega was not that successful in North America, it was extremely popular in the UK and Brazil mainly due to currency premiums that made the NES much more expensive.

Sega Master System game console

Above: Sega Master System game controllers

By the time the second generation games came out, Sega started to show off its superior technical ability, which insured them a spot in the market for several generations.

Specifications

The Sega Master System was powered by the Zilog Z80 processor. Video was capable of up to 32 colors and screen resolutions of 256 x 192 with a maximum of 64 sprites. Audio was mono but supported up to 10 octaves, with three tone generators.