Sega Genesis

Published: August 12, 2021
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The Sega Genesis is a 16-bit video game console released by Sega in Japan in 1988, North America in 1989, and the PAL region in 1990. It was sold under the name Sega Mega Drive in the PAL region as Sega was unable to secure legal rights to the Mega Drive name in North America. The Genesis was the successor to the Sega Master System and was Sega's third home console and second to be sold outside of Japan.

original sega genesis

The Genesis is part of the fourth generation era of consoles, and the first of its generation to achieve notable market share in Europe and North America. It was the direct competitor of the SNES by Nintendo, although the Genesis was released two years earlier. Production began in Japan in 1988 and ended with the last new game being released in 2002 in Brazil. Although the Sega Master System had proved a success in Brazil and Europe, it failed to ignite much interest in the North American or Japanese markets, which, by the mid-to-late 1980s, were both dominated by Nintendo's large market shares. Meanwhile in the arcades, the Sega System 16-bit became a success. Hayao Nakayama, Sega's CEO at the time, decided to make its new home system utilize a similar 16-bit architecture. The final design was eventually also used in the Mega-Tech, Mega-Play and System-C arcade machines.

The first name Sega considered for its console was the MK-1601, but it ultimately decided to call it the "Sega Mega Drive". Sega used the name Mega Drive for the Japanese, European, Asian, Australian and Brazilian versions of the console. The North American version went by the name "Genesis" due to a trademark dispute, while the South Korean versions were called Super Gam*Boy and Super Aladdin Boy. The Korean consoles were licensed and distributed by Samsung Electronics.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sega held a company-wide contest to create a mascot character to compete with Nintendo's Mario series. The winning submission was a blue hedgehog with red shoes, Sonic, spawning one of the best-selling video game franchises in history. The gameplay of Sonic the Hedgehog originated with a tech demo created by Yuji Naka, who had developed a prototype platform game that involved a fast-moving character rolling in a ball through a long winding tube.

Best Sega Genesis games

According to the internet, the following games are among the most popular games for the Sega Genesis console:

  • Alternate Beast
  • Castlevania: Bloodlines
  • Comix Zone
  • Disney's Aladdin
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • Earthworm Jim
  • Ecco The Dolphin
  • Ghouls 'N Ghosts
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Jurassic Park
  • Mortal Kombat


  • Model Number: MK-1601 (r1), MK-1631 (r2), MK-1641 (r3)
  • CPU: Motorola 68000 at 7.61 MHz
  • ROM: 1 MByte (8 Mbit)
  • RAM: 64 KByte
  • Co-processor: Z80 @ 4 MHz (n/a for MK-1631)
  • Sound RAM: 8 KBytes
  • Colors Available: 512
  • Colors on screen: 64
  • Pixel Resolution: 320 x 224
  • Graphics: VDP (Video Display Processor) dedicated VDP, controls playfield & sprites. 3 Planes, 2 scrolling playfields, 1 sprite plane
  • VRAM: 64 KBytes (Video Ram)
  • CRAM: 64 x 9-bits (Color RAM)
  • Sound: PSG (TI 76489 chip), FM chip (Yamaha YM 2612), 6-channel stereo 8 KBytes RAM Signal/Noise Ratio: 14dB

Sega Genesis value and price guide

What's your Sega Genesis worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items with prices.

Item Title Date Price
Sega Sega Mega Drive II Original Sega Mega Drive II Original Mortal 09/2021 $ 12 972.92
Sega Sonic Hedgehog 1 Sega Genesis Sonic Hedgehog 1 Sega Genesis WATA 9 2 07/2021 $ 3 514.53
Sega NBA Jam Factory Sealed Brand NBA Jam Factory Sealed Brand New Sega 08/2021 $ 3 515.69
Sega Doom Sega Genesis 32X Sealed A Doom Sega Genesis 32X Sealed A WATA 9 8 07/2021 $ 1 992.22
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices09/2021-.--

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