Sega Megadrive Video Games & Consoles

Originally Intended as direct competition to popular Japanese console TurboGrafx-16, and eventually the SNES, the Mega Drive (Genesis in US) would become a force to be reckoned in the “console war” of the early 90s thanks to the help of one person… a small, blue, speedy mammal known as Sonic the Hedgehog.

Initially going under the codename MK-1601, Sega’s entry into the 16-bit generation of gaming consoles eventually became know as the “Mega Drive”, and was released in Japan in 1988, America in 1989, and Europe in 1990. The console sold moderately well in its first year, but it was nowhere near the breakthrough success in the west that Sega had hoped for it to be.

It would take a man by the name of Tom Kalinske to send the Mega Drive’s popularity through the stratosphere. His game-plan? Cut the console’s price, create a US team to develope games that appealed to western tastes, push aggresive advertising, and bundle every single console with Sonic The Hedgehog.

The company’s Japanese board labeled Kalinske as mad, but they would soon eat their words. By 1992, Sega owned a 55% to 45% share of the market over Nintendo, and had ten times as many games on its system, including exclusive classicsd such as the Sonic franchise, Streets of Rage, Golden Axe, and many others.

The early 90s were Sega’s most successful years in the console market. Unfortunately for Sega, their next console, the Sega Saturn, would see a quick end to their time in the limelight…