The Sega Genesis is a 16-bitvideo game console which was developed and sold by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. It is also known as Mega Drive in most regions outside North America. The Genesis is Sega’s third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega first released the console as the Mega Drive in Japan in 1988, followed by a North American debut under the Genesis moniker in 1989. In 1990, the console was released as the Mega Drive by Virgin Mastertronic in Europe, by Ozisoft in Australasia, and by Tec Toy in Brazil. it was distributed by Samsung and was first known as the Super Gam*Boy and later as the Super Aladdin Boy in South Korea.
The Genesis library was initially modest, but eventually grew to contain games to appeal to all types of players. The initial pack-in title was Altered Beast, which was later replaced with Sonic the Hedgehog. Top sellers included Sonic the Hedgehog, its sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2, andAladdin. During development for the console, Sega of Japan focused on developing action games while Sega of America was tasked with developingsports games. A large part of the appeal of the Genesis library during the console’s lifetime was the arcade-based experienced of its games, as well as more difficult entries such as Ecco the Dolphin, and sports games such as Joe Montana Football.
In order to produce more visually appealing graphics, companies began adding special processing chips to their game cartridges to effectively increase the console’s capabilities. On the SNES, these include DSP chips and RISC processors, which allow the console to produce faster and more accurate pseudo-3D graphics. In particular, the Super FX chip was designed to offload complex rendering tasks from the main CPU, enabling it to produce visual effects that the console cannot produce on its own. The chip was first used in Star Fox, which rendered 3D polygons in real time, and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island demonstrated the chip’s ability to rotate, scale, and stretch individual sprites and manipulate large areas of the screen.
In 2009, Chinese company AtGames produced a new Sega Genesis/Mega Drive-compatible console, the Firecore. It features a top-loading cartridge slot and includes two controllers similar to the six-button controller for the original Genesis. The console has 15 games built-in, and is region-free, allowing cartridge games to run regardless of their region of origin. AtGames also produces a handheld version of the console.
He Sega Genesis, or Mega Drive, has often been considered among the best video game consoles ever produced. In 2009, IGN named the Sega Genesis the fifth best video game console, citing its edge in sports games and better home version of Mortal Kombat, and lauding “what some consider to be the greatest controller ever created: the six button”. In 2007, GameTrailers named the Sega Genesis as the sixth best console of all time in their list of top ten consoles that “left their mark on the history of gaming”, noting its great games and solid controller, and writing of the “glory days” of Sonic the Hedgehog.In January 2008, technology columnist Don Reisinger proclaimed that the Sega Genesis “created the industry’s best console war to date”, citing Sonic the Hedgehog, superior sports games, and backwards compatibility with the Sega Master System. GamingExcellence also gave the Sega Genesis sixth place in 2008, declaring “one can truly see the Genesis for the gaming milestone it was”. At the same time, GameDaily rated it ninth of ten for its memorable games. Of the console, Retro Gamer stated, “It was a system where the allure was born not only of the hardware and games, but the magazines, playground arguments, climate, and politics of the time.”