Sega SG-1000: Available in limited markets
Sega SG-1000 II: Updated version of the SG-1000, includes a keyboard
Sega Mark III: Available in limited markets (Japan/Australia/New Zealand)
Sega SC-3000: A computer version of the SG-1000
Sega SC-3000H: An updated version with more RAM and keyboard (the original keyboard was of the low-end membrane type).
Sega Master System: Essentially the same as the Mark III only with a different name and a few minor adjustments
Sega Master System II: An update to the Master System with a new smaller redesigned frame, as well as inbuilt game “Alex the Kidd in Miracle World.
Sega Mega Drive: Known as the Sega Genesis in North America due to another company owning the Mega Drive trademark in that region.
Sega Mega-CD: Known simply as the Sega CD for the North American market, it allowed CD based games as well as Audio CDs to be played on the Mega Drive.
Sega 32X: Hardware update to the Mega Drive allowing 32-bit based games to be played
Sega Multi-Mega: a portable CD player with the functionalities of a Sega Mega Drive and Sega Mega CD. Following the Mega … brands, its name was Multi-Mega in most of the world and Genesis CDX in North America.
Sega TeraDrive: A 16-bit PC with an integrated Mega Drive. Came with a Software Development Kit to allow creation of Mega Drive games. The system was only released in Japan.
Sega Neptune: A Sega Mega Drive/32X hybrid. It never passed the prototype stage. Only two empty cases are known to exist.
Sega Saturn: Sega’s other 32-bit console released before the 32X in Japan, but after the 32X in North America and Europe.
Sega Dreamcast: First 128-bit (sixth generation) console, also Sega’s last console.
Sega Pico: an educational gaming system.
Sega Advanced Pico Beena: Successor of the Sega Pico
Amstrad Mega PC: Although not actually produced by Sega themselves, the Mega PC is Amstrad’s version of the TeraDrive for European and Australian markets, thus includes electronics for Sega’s Mega Drive console built-in.
SEGA History Videos
Sega was founded in 1940 as Standard Games (later Service Games) in Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, by Marty Bromely, Irving Bromberg, and James Humpert to provide coin-operated amusements for American servicemen on military bases. Bromely suggested that the company move to Tokyo, Japan in 1951 and in May 1952 “SErvice GAmes of Japan” was registered.
In 1954, another American businessman, David Rosen, moved to Tokyo and established the company Rosen Enterprises, Inc., in Japan to export art. When the company imported coin-operated instant photo booths, it stumbled on a surprise hit: The booths were very popular in Japan. Business was booming, and Rosen Enterprises expanded by importing coin-operated electro-mechanical games.
Rosen Enterprises and Service Games merged in 1965 to create Sega Enterprises. Within a year, the new company released a submarine simulator game called Periscope that became a smash hit worldwide.
In 1969, Gulf+Western purchased Sega, and Rosen was allowed to remain CEO of the Sega division. Under Rosen’s leadership, Sega continued to grow and prosper. Sega’s current logo dates back to the mid 1970s. In 1976, they released a large screen TV, Sega-Vision (not to be confused with their portable media player, Sega Vision).
With the introduction of the Mega Drive/Genesis, Sega of America launched an anti-Nintendocampaign to carry the momentum to the new generation of games, with its slogan “Genesis does what Nintendon’t.” This was initially implemented by Sega of America President Michael Katz. When Nintendo launched its Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1991, Sega changed its slogan to “Welcome to the next level.”
The same year, Sega of America’s leadership passed from Michael Katz to Tom Kalinske, who further escalated the “console war” that was developing. As a preemptive strike against the release of the Super Nintendo, Sega re-branded itself with a new game and mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. With his hip attitude and style, he was marketed to seem “cooler” than Mario, Nintendo’s mascot. This shift led to a wider success for the Genesis and would eventually propel Sega to 65% of the market in North America for a brief time. Simultaneously, after much previous delay, Sega released the moderately successful Sega CD as an add-on feature, allowing for extra storage in games due to their CD-ROM format, giving developers the ability to make longer, more sophisticated games, the most popular of which was Sega’s own Sonic CD.Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was also released at this time, and became the most successful game Sega ever made, selling six million copies as of June 2006.
Despite their massive advances in the arcades, Sega’s share of the home market plummeted to 35% by 1994. That year, Sega released theSega 32X in an attempt to upgrade the Mega Drive/Genesis to the standards of more advanced systems. It sold well initially, but had problems with lack of software and hype about the upcoming Sega Saturn and Sony‘s PlayStation. Within a year, it was in the bargain bins of many stores.Also in 1994, Sega launched the Sega Channel, a subscription gaming service delivered by local cable companies affiliated with Time-WarnerCable or TCI through which subscribers received a special cartridge adapter that connected to the cable connection. At its peak, the Sega Channel had approximately 250,000 subscribers.
On May 11, 1995, Sega released the Sega Saturn (with Virtua Fighter) in the American market, which utilized two 32-bit processor and preceded both the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. However, poor sales in the West (including the traditional stronghold markets in Europe) led to the console being abandoned. Notable titles include several titles exclusive to the Japanese market, like Radiant Silvergun andSakura Taisen, involving fighting games like Last Bronx, rail shooters, such as Panzer Dragoon and The House of the Dead and a few well regarded RPGs; Panzer Dragoon Saga, Grandia, and Shining Force 3.
In 1997, Sega entered into a short-lived merger with Bandai. However it was later called off, citing “cultural differences” between the two companies. Entertainment fun center GameWorks was founded in 1997 as well as the now defunct Sega World theme parks.
On November 27, 1998, Sega launched the Dreamcast game console in Japan. The Dreamcast was competitively priced, partly due to the use of off-the-shelf components, but it also featured technology that allowed for more technically impressive games than its direct competitors, theNintendo 64 and PlayStation. An analog 56k modem was also included, allowing gamers to play multi-player games online on a home console for the first time, featuring titles such as the action-puzzle title Chu Chu Rocket, Phantasy Star Online, the first console-based MMORPG, and the innovative Alien Front Online, the first console game with online voice chat. The Dreamcast‘s launch in Japan was a failure. Launching with a small library of software and in the shadow of the upcoming PS2, the system would not gain great success, despite several successful games in the region. The Western launch a year later was accompanied by a large amount of both 1st party and 3rd party software and an aggressive marketing campaign. It was extremely successful and earned the distinction of “most successful hardware launch in history,” selling a then-unprecedented 500,000 consoles in its first week in North America. Sega was able to hold onto this momentum in the US almost until the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 2. The Dreamcast is home to several innovative and critically acclaimed games of the time, including one of the first cel-shaded titles, Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in North America); Seaman, a game involving communication with a fish-type creature via microphone; a rhythm game involving the use of maracas, Samba de Amigo; and Shenmue, an adventure game of vast scope with freeform gameplay and a striking attempt at creating a detailed in-game city. Despite receiving critical acclaim, these titles failed to garner much public attention in the face of the upcoming PlayStation 2 launch.
Faced with debt and competition from Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, Sega officially discontinued the Dreamcast hardware in 2001. The final game Sega released for it was Puyo Puyo Fever in 2004.
AND ITS BEEN DOWN HILL SINCE THEN
Tech nerd Read more from this author