Sega Megadrive / Genesis
- Released: October 1988
- CPU Speed: Motorola MC68000 7,7 MHz
- Memory: 64 KB RAM 64 KB VRAM
- Video: 320×448 / 512 colors
- Game Controller: Gamepad
The Sega Genesis Mega Drive was commonly known as simply, the Genesis. It was actually meant to be marketed as the Mega Drive, but Sega had some issues with the legal rights to that name and went toward the equally flashy Genesis moniker. It was a 1989 release and was the first system marketed as 16-Bit to really catch hold in Europe and North America. It was out for two years before Nintendo answered with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and was the direct competitor of the TurboGrafx-16. Ironically, its largest initial competitor was the original NES, an 8-Bit system far inferior to the Genesis.
The Genesis was madly popular when it was first released, evidenced not only by the 29 million systems sold, but also by the fact that many of its games have been re-released in bundles for newer gaming formats, such as the Xbox Live Arcade and the Virtual Console. Part of the reason Genesis was so successful, aside from its initial lack of viable competition, was its clever marketing. Titles such as Pat Riley Basketball, Joe Montana Football and Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker used celebrity name recognition to draw fans to the Genesis library of games. This was a direct and clever response to the fact that Nintendo owned the rights to most of the popular arcade gaming titles.
Once it had a good foothold, the Genesis forged ahead and released some now retro classics, such as the always popular 777 Casino, Frogger, Golden Axe, and of course a host of games starring Sonic the Hedgehog.