Sega Genesis (Sega)
1989 - 1999
"Genesis does what Nintendon't."
It was a loud and clear challenge to Nintendo by Sega as the console wars officially began in August of 1989. Yes there had been prior console skirmishes ever since Magnavox's Odyssey in 1972, and yes Sega had first stepped into the ring in 1986 with their original Sega Master System, but many a gamer don't feel that the true war for the number one spot of video game console began until the Genesis Vs. Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) era of gaming.
The Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive in Japan) was the first 16 bit console of the eighties released in the US, being released just five days prior to NEC's Turbografx 16 - Though technically the Turbografx 16 was released first in Japan in 1987, with the Sega Genesis being released there in 1988. The console brought with it twice the graphics capabilities of the NES as well as Sega's own mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog. This in turn sparked the schoolyard debate of which mascot was better - Sonic or Mario.
The Genesis brought with it a unique concept of upgrades which were released periodically as an add on throughout 1989 to 1999. The first was the Sega CD, which brought with it a whole new era of compact disc gaming. The second, the not so popular 32X which showcased 32 bit cartridge and a few CD games.
Because Nintendo was court ordered to release its developers from their contractual obligation of only producing games for their system, many games that were available on the NES were also available on the Sega Genesis. However, in a lot of cases, both games were very different from each other.
Over nine hundred games were produced for the console. Below is a visual guide to all of those which were released in the US.
Though Nintendo inevitably came out on top of the console wars, there's no doubt that Sega didn't give them a run for their money. Many a gamer was lured away from Nintendo by the additional graphics, and what many felt were games for a more mature audience. It may have not been number one, but there's not question about it - Sega Genesis was a fantastic gaming machine.
Join us next time when we continue our look at Sega with their add on console, the Sega CD!
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