Mega drive

HistoryEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Although the Sega Master System had proved a success in Brazil and Europe, it failed to ignite much interest in the Japanese or North American markets, which by the mid-to-late 1980s were both dominated by Nintendo with 95% and 92% market shares respectively. Hoping to dramatically increase their share, Sega set about creating a new machine that would be at least as powerful as the then most impressive hardware on the market — the 16-bit Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and the Macintosh II home computers.

The first name Sega considered for their console was the MK-1601, but they ultimately decided to call it the «Mega Drive». «Mega» had the connotation of superiority, and «Drive» had the connotation of speed and power. 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 GameBoy (수퍼겜보이) and Super Aladdin Boy (transliterated from 수퍼알라딘보이; this was the Korean version of Mega Drive 2).

The Korean-market consoles were licensed and distributed by Samsung Electronics. Since the Sega Saturn was on the way, the Sega Genesis got 2 Add-ons for life support to last long enought to bring the Saturn on the scene. One of these add-ons are the Sega 32X, A 32 bit add-on compatable with 16 and 32 bit games.

Japanese release Edit

The Mega Drive was released in Japan in October 29 1988 for ¥21,000, almost exactly a year after the first of the fourth generation consoles NEC’s PC Engine. Although this initially caused slow sales, the Mega Drive soon eclipsed the earlier machine in popularity. However, after the release of the PC Engine CD add-on and the Nintendo Super Family Computer, the Mega Drive soon lost ground. The Mega Drive was not as popular as the two aforementioned systems in Japan.

North American release Edit

In 1987, Sega announced a North American release date for the system of January 9 1989, making it the second console to feature a 16-bit CPU (the first one being the Mattel Intellivision) and the first to feature single-instruction 32-bit arithmetic. Sega was not able to meet the initial release date and U.S. sales began on August 14, 1989 in New York City and Los Angeles with a suggested retail price of USD $200 at launch. The Mega Drive was released in the rest of North America on September 15 of the same year with the price reduced slightly to $190.

The Mega Drive initially competed against the 8-bit NES, over which it had superior graphics and sound. Nonetheless, it had a hard time overcoming Nintendo’s ubiquitous presence in the consumer’s home and the huge catalogue of popular games already available for it. In an attempt to build themselves a significant consumer base, Sega decided to focus on slightly older buyers, especially young men in their late teens and early 20s who would have more disposable income and who were anxious for more «grown-up» titles with more mature content and/or more in-depth game play.

As such, Sega released titles such as Altered Beast and the Phantasy Star games. Although the NES and Nintendo’s impending SNES were still threats to Sega’s market share, they had forced the theoretically competitive TurboGrafx-16 system into relative obscurity, thanks in part to NEC’s poor North American marketing campaign.

European release Edit

The European release was on November 30, 1990. In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland it was priced at £189.99. The first UK shipment of 30,000 units was sold at retailers Comet, Dixons, Rumbelows and Toys R Us

Brazilian release Edit

The Mega Drive was released by Tec Toy in 1990, only a year after the Brazilian release of the Sega Master System. Tec Toy also released the internet service Mega Net, and made exclusive games including a port of . The Mega Drive is still manufactured in Brazil, with many games built into the console.

Trivia Edit

  • Majesco’s Genesis 3 (single-chip and dual-chip versions) retains the Mode 4 support but has the Master System compatibility removed from the bus controller logic. This renders the Power Base Converter or any other adapter useless. 68000 software can still disable and not use Mode 4.
  • One of the 68000’s instructions, TAS, is intended for semaphore communication in multiprocessor machines and locks the 68000 bus during memory access. The Sega hardware did not support this unusual bus cycle and ignored the write-back phase. Two games, Gargoyles from Buena Vista Interactive, and Ex-Mutants from Sega make use of the TAS instructions and expect it not to write to memory. As a result, these games work on original Sega machines but not the Majesco Genesis 3, which has correct support for TAS.
  • It is not possible to overclock the Motorola 68000 CPU in some cases in excess of 300% (the current known world record is 25.4 MHz), though it may not be completely stable beyond a certain point on each console. The result of overclocking the CPU does speed up the games any, but actually doesn’t eliminates slowdown that some games are plagued by.
  • Another possible modification is to replace the stock 68000 processor with a 68010. Since the CPU isn’t socketed, this requires the removal of the old CPU, and soldering in of the new. The 68010 is a pin-compatible enhanced version of the 68000, which is a bit more efficient internally and offers some new features. Also, the DAC’s digital audio output may sound cleaner and less distorted because the 68010 has a «loop mode» to run small loops faster, which may allow the Z80 to receive PCM data faster. However, the 68010 is not 100% object code-compatible with the 68000, so machines modified with a 68010 processor are not able to run certain games properly, such as Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Street Fighter II, Red Zone, and a few others.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Model MK-1631 (Mega Drive 2) doesn’t have a Z80 CPU.
  • One of Sega’s most famous advertisements in North American media was its slogan «Genesis does what Nintendon’t«, which showcased the graphics that the Genesis had against the NES.
  • By the time the SNES was released and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as well, Sega promoted the console with Blast Processing, which was a term that Sega coined because the Mega Drive/Genesis’s 68000 processor had a higher clock speed than the SNES’s 65c816.
  • A later slogan flashed text on the screen:
    WELCO
    METOT
    HENEX
    TLEVEL
It’s a fractured way of saying «WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL».

There is an extremely rare version of the console called the Mega Jet, which was originally available only for rent by JAL passengers, but later sold in small quantities. Though classified as a portable, having no screen and requiring a plug-in power source, it’s no wonder it was a commercial failure.

Технические характеристики


Материнская плата Mega-CD 2

Sega CD может использоваться только в сочетании с системой Mega Drive, и подключается к ней через разъем расширения сбоку приставки. Хотя Sega CD является дополнительным модулем расширения, она требует наличия отдельного источника питания. Помимо воспроизведения собственной библиотеки игр на дисках формата CD-ROM, Sega CD также может воспроизводить Audio-CD, караоке диски формата , а также может использоваться в сочетании с устройством Sega 32X для проигрывания 32-разрядных игр, которым нужны оба модуля. Вторая модель, называемая Sega CD 2, включает в комплект стальную соединительную пластину, которая ввинчивается в нижнюю часть Mega Drive II, а также распорку для работы с самой первой моделью Mega Drive.

Основным процессором Sega CD является 16-разрядный процессор Motorola 68000, работающий на частоте в 12,5 МГц, что на 5 МГц быстрее основного процессора Mega Drive. Устройство содержит 1 Мбит загрузочной ПЗУ, предназначенной для BIOS, программного обепечения CD-проигрывателя, и совместимости с CD+G дисками. 6 Мбит оперативной памяти отведёно под данные для программ, изображений и звуков; 512 Кбит под память для импульсно-кодовой модуляции; 128 Кбит — под память кэша данных привода дисков; и ещё 64 Кбит отведёно под игровые сохранения. Также дополнительная память для игровых сохранений была доступна в виде картриджа с перезаписываемой памятью объемом в 1 Мбит. Звук может подаваться через чип Ricoh RF5C164, а два RCA разъема позволяют Sega CD выводить стереофонический звук отдельно от Genesis. Сочетание стереозвука от Mega Drive с любой из версий Sega CD требует подключения кабеля между гнездом для наушников у Mega Drive и входным гнездом на задней панели Sega CD. Для второй модели Mega Drive этого не требуется.

Хотя Sega CD позволяет использовать более быстрый процессор, чем в Mega Drive, её основной целью является увеличение размера игр. В то время как современные ей игровые картриджи обычно содержали от 8 до 16 мегабит данных, CD-ROM диск может содержать более 640 мегабайт данных, что в 320 раз превышает среднюю емкость картриджа для Mega Drive. Это позволяет Sega CD запускать игры, содержащие full motion video.

Игры



Основная статья: Список игр на Sega Mega-CD


HistoryEdit

DevelopmentEdit

Although the Sega Master System had proved a success in Brazil and Europe, it failed to ignite much interest in the Japanese or North American markets, which by the mid-to-late 1980s were both dominated by Nintendo with 95% and 92% market shares respectively. Hoping to dramatically increase their share, Sega set about creating a new machine that would be at least as powerful as the then most impressive hardware on the market — the 16-bit Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and the Macintosh II home computers.

The first name Sega considered for their console was the MK-1601, but they ultimately decided to call it the «Mega Drive». «Mega» had the connotation of superiority, and «Drive» had the connotation of speed and power. 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 GameBoy (수퍼겜보이) and Super Aladdin Boy (transliterated from 수퍼알라딘보이; this was the Korean version of Mega Drive 2).

The Korean-market consoles were licensed and distributed by Samsung Electronics. Since the Sega Saturn was on the way, the Sega Genesis got 2 Add-ons for life support to last long enought to bring the Saturn on the scene. One of these add-ons are the Sega 32X, A 32 bit add-on compatable with 16 and 32 bit games.

Japanese release Edit

The Mega Drive was released in Japan in October 29 1988 for ¥21,000, almost exactly a year after the first of the fourth generation consoles NEC’s PC Engine. Although this initially caused slow sales, the Mega Drive soon eclipsed the earlier machine in popularity. However, after the release of the PC Engine CD add-on and the Nintendo Super Family Computer, the Mega Drive soon lost ground. The Mega Drive was not as popular as the two aforementioned systems in Japan.

North American release Edit

In 1987, Sega announced a North American release date for the system of January 9 1989, making it the second console to feature a 16-bit CPU (the first one being the Mattel Intellivision) and the first to feature single-instruction 32-bit arithmetic. Sega was not able to meet the initial release date and U.S. sales began on August 14, 1989 in New York City and Los Angeles with a suggested retail price of USD $200 at launch. The Mega Drive was released in the rest of North America on September 15 of the same year with the price reduced slightly to $190.

The Mega Drive initially competed against the 8-bit NES, over which it had superior graphics and sound. Nonetheless, it had a hard time overcoming Nintendo’s ubiquitous presence in the consumer’s home and the huge catalogue of popular games already available for it. In an attempt to build themselves a significant consumer base, Sega decided to focus on slightly older buyers, especially young men in their late teens and early 20s who would have more disposable income and who were anxious for more «grown-up» titles with more mature content and/or more in-depth game play.

As such, Sega released titles such as Altered Beast and the Phantasy Star games. Although the NES and Nintendo’s impending SNES were still threats to Sega’s market share, they had forced the theoretically competitive TurboGrafx-16 system into relative obscurity, thanks in part to NEC’s poor North American marketing campaign.

European release Edit

The European release was on November 30, 1990. In the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland it was priced at £189.99. The first UK shipment of 30,000 units was sold at retailers Comet, Dixons, Rumbelows and Toys R Us

Brazilian release Edit

The Mega Drive was released by Tec Toy in 1990, only a year after the Brazilian release of the Sega Master System. Tec Toy also released the internet service Mega Net, and made exclusive games including a port of . The Mega Drive is still manufactured in Brazil, with many games built into the console.

Trivia Edit

  • Majesco’s Genesis 3 (single-chip and dual-chip versions) retains the Mode 4 support but has the Master System compatibility removed from the bus controller logic. This renders the Power Base Converter or any other adapter useless. 68000 software can still disable and not use Mode 4.
  • One of the 68000’s instructions, TAS, is intended for semaphore communication in multiprocessor machines and locks the 68000 bus during memory access. The Sega hardware did not support this unusual bus cycle and ignored the write-back phase. Two games, Gargoyles from Buena Vista Interactive, and Ex-Mutants from Sega make use of the TAS instructions and expect it not to write to memory. As a result, these games work on original Sega machines but not the Majesco Genesis 3, which has correct support for TAS.
  • It is not possible to overclock the Motorola 68000 CPU in some cases in excess of 300% (the current known world record is 25.4 MHz), though it may not be completely stable beyond a certain point on each console. The result of overclocking the CPU does speed up the games any, but actually doesn’t eliminates slowdown that some games are plagued by.
  • Another possible modification is to replace the stock 68000 processor with a 68010. Since the CPU isn’t socketed, this requires the removal of the old CPU, and soldering in of the new. The 68010 is a pin-compatible enhanced version of the 68000, which is a bit more efficient internally and offers some new features. Also, the DAC’s digital audio output may sound cleaner and less distorted because the 68010 has a «loop mode» to run small loops faster, which may allow the Z80 to receive PCM data faster. However, the 68010 is not 100% object code-compatible with the 68000, so machines modified with a 68010 processor are not able to run certain games properly, such as Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Street Fighter II, Red Zone, and a few others.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Model MK-1631 (Mega Drive 2) doesn’t have a Z80 CPU.
  • One of Sega’s most famous advertisements in North American media was its slogan «Genesis does what Nintendon’t«, which showcased the graphics that the Genesis had against the NES.
  • By the time the SNES was released and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as well, Sega promoted the console with Blast Processing, which was a term that Sega coined because the Mega Drive/Genesis’s 68000 processor had a higher clock speed than the SNES’s 65c816.
  • A later slogan flashed text on the screen:
    WELCO
    METOT
    HENEX
    TLEVEL
It’s a fractured way of saying «WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL».

There is an extremely rare version of the console called the Mega Jet, which was originally available only for rent by JAL passengers, but later sold in small quantities. Though classified as a portable, having no screen and requiring a plug-in power source, it’s no wonder it was a commercial failure.

Технические характеристики

Материнская плата Mega-CD 2

Sega CD может использоваться только в сочетании с системой Mega Drive, и подключается к ней через разъем расширения сбоку приставки. Хотя Sega CD является дополнительным модулем расширения, она требует наличия отдельного источника питания. Помимо воспроизведения собственной библиотеки игр на дисках формата CD-ROM, Sega CD также может воспроизводить Audio-CD, караоке диски формата , а также может использоваться в сочетании с устройством Sega 32X для проигрывания 32-разрядных игр, которым нужны оба модуля. Вторая модель, называемая Sega CD 2, включает в комплект стальную соединительную пластину, которая ввинчивается в нижнюю часть Mega Drive II, а также распорку для работы с самой первой моделью Mega Drive.

Основным процессором Sega CD является 16-разрядный процессор Motorola 68000, работающий на частоте в 12,5 МГц, что на 5 МГц быстрее основного процессора Mega Drive. Устройство содержит 1 Мбит загрузочной ПЗУ, предназначенной для BIOS, программного обепечения CD-проигрывателя, и совместимости с CD+G дисками. 6 Мбит оперативной памяти отведёно под данные для программ, изображений и звуков; 512 Кбит под память для импульсно-кодовой модуляции; 128 Кбит — под память кэша данных привода дисков; и ещё 64 Кбит отведёно под игровые сохранения. Также дополнительная память для игровых сохранений была доступна в виде картриджа с перезаписываемой памятью объемом в 1 Мбит. Звук может подаваться через чип Ricoh RF5C164, а два RCA разъема позволяют Sega CD выводить стереофонический звук отдельно от Genesis. Сочетание стереозвука от Mega Drive с любой из версий Sega CD требует подключения кабеля между гнездом для наушников у Mega Drive и входным гнездом на задней панели Sega CD. Для второй модели Mega Drive этого не требуется.

Хотя Sega CD позволяет использовать более быстрый процессор, чем в Mega Drive, её основной целью является увеличение размера игр. В то время как современные ей игровые картриджи обычно содержали от 8 до 16 мегабит данных, CD-ROM диск может содержать более 640 мегабайт данных, что в 320 раз превышает среднюю емкость картриджа для Mega Drive. Это позволяет Sega CD запускать игры, содержащие full motion video.

Игры

Основная статья: Список игр на Sega Mega-CD

Игра Sonic CD для своих «Special Stage» этапов использовала расширенные графические возможности Sega CD

Для Sega CD было выпущено более 200 игр, созданных как компанией Sega, так и рядом сторонних издательств. В эту библиотеку входят шесть игр, которые получили и версии только для Sega CD, так и версии, требующие использования и Sega CD, и 32X. Среди игр, выпущенных для дополнения, был ряд FMV игр, включавший и Fahrenheit. Среди хорошо известных игр для приставки были Sonic CD, и Lunar: The Silver Star, и Snatcher, а также , которая вызвала широкие разногласия вокруг её содержимого. Изначально Sega разработала игру Streets of Rage для Mega Drive для конкуренции с игрой Final Fight для SNES, но несмотря на это Final Fight была переиздана на Sega CD, а критики похвалили переиздание за преданность оригинальной аркадной версии. Игра была отмечена критиками за «впечатляющее» использование аппаратного обеспечения системы, а также за её жестокое содержимое. Sonic CD, в частности, получила признание критиков за свою графику и новые элементы путешествий во времени, которые улучшили традиционную формулу серии игр Sonic. На Sega CD также появились усовершенствованные порты игр с Mega Drive, такие как Batman Returns и Ecco the Dolphin.

Основную часть игр для приставки составляли FMV игры и порты с Mega Drive, и из-за этого она критиковалась за недостаточную глубину. Также качество видео в играх было низкого качества из-за плохого программного обеспечения для сжатия и ограниченной цветовой палитры системы, а сам концепт FMV игр так и не нашёл отклики у публики. По словам Тома Зито, основателя Digital Pictures, «Sega CD могла отображать только 32 цвета за раз, поэтому у изображений был такой ужасный зернистый вид», хотя по документации система могла отображать 64 цвета одновременно. Аналогичным образом, большинство портов игр c Mega Drive на Sega CD отличались дополнительными видеороликами, дополнительными игровыми уровнями и улучшенным звуком, но в остальном они были идентичны своим изданиям для Mega Drive. Качество видео в этих играх также подвергалось критике как сравнимое со старой VHS-кассетой.


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