List of Sega video game consoles

Sega's official logo

Sega is a video game developer, publisher, and hardware development company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, with multiple offices around the world. The company has produced home video game consoles and handheld consoles since 1983; these systems were released from the third console generation to the sixth. Sega was formed from the merger of slot machine developer Service Games and arcade game manufacturer Rosen Enterprises in 1964, and it produced arcade games for the next two decades. After a downturn in the arcade game industry in the 1980s, the company transitioned to developing and publishing video games and consoles.[1] The first Sega console was the Japan-only SG-1000, released in 1983. Sega released several variations of this console in Japan, the third of which, the Sega Mark III, was rebranded as the Master System and released worldwide in 1985. They went on to produce the Genesis—known as the Mega Drive outside of North America—and its add-ons beginning in 1988, the Game Gear handheld console in 1990, the Sega Saturn in 1994, and the Dreamcast in 1998.

Sega was one of the primary competitors to Nintendo in the video game console industry. A few of Sega's early consoles outsold their competitors in specific markets, such as the Master System in Europe. Several of the company's later consoles were commercial failures, however, and the financial losses incurred from the Dreamcast console caused the company to restructure itself in 2001. As a result, Sega ceased to manufacture consoles and became a third-party video game developer.[2] The only console that Sega has produced since is the educational toy console Advanced Pico Beena in 2005. Third-party variants of Sega consoles have been produced by licensed manufacturers, even after production of the original consoles had ended. Many of these variants have been produced in Brazil, where versions of the Master System and Genesis are still sold and games for them are still developed.

Consoles

Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Generation Notes Picture
SG-1000
Third
  • Sega's first home console, created in an attempt to transition from the arcade game industry[5]
  • Also known as the Sega Computer Videogame SG-1000
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Computer version with a built-in keyboard which plays Sega Card games released as the SC-3000[6]
  • Not commercially successful, because of the number of consoles on the market already and the release of the Famicom by Nintendo on the same day[4]
Sega-SG-1000-Console-Set.jpg
SG-1000 II
Third
  • Upgraded version of the SG-1000 with detachable controllers[7]
  • Can play Sega Card games in addition to ROM cartridges[4]
  • Computer version with a built-in keyboard which only plays Sega Card games released as the SC-3000H[8]
Sega-SG-1000-MkII-Console-FL.jpg
Master System
Third
  • Sega's second major home console, released worldwide
  • Initially released in Japan as the Sega Mark III, the third version of the SG-1000, before being redesigned and rebranded as the Master System[4]
  • Plays both Sega Card games and ROM cartridges[4]
  • Smaller and cheaper version of the console named the Master System II was released in 1990; it only plays ROM cartridges and sold poorly[9]
  • Unsuccessfully competed with the Nintendo Famicom in Japan and North America, but was commercially successful in Europe[9]
  • Still for sale in Brazil[13]
Sega-Master-System-Set.jpg
Genesis

(Mega Drive)

Fourth
  • Named the Mega Drive outside North America
  • Sega's third major home console, after the SG-1000 and Master System; released worldwide
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • A computer with an integrated Mega Drive was released in Japan as the Sega TeraDrive in 1991[15]
  • A smaller, lighter version of the console named the Genesis II was released in 1993[18]
  • The Genesis Nomad, a handheld version of the console that plays the same cartridges, released in 1995; an early version for use on Japanese airplanes was named the Mega Jet[19]
  • The Sega Meganet Internet service in Japan with the Mega Modem peripheral provided downloadable titles, some exclusive to the service, starting in 1990; it was replaced with the similar Sega Channel service in 1993[20]
  • Although the system was officially discontinued in 1997, third-party variants have been released around the world as recently as 2009[21]
  • Outsold by its main competitors Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine in Japan,[22] but was more successful in some other regions, such as the United States[23]
Sega-Mega-Drive-JP-Mk1-Console-Set.jpg
Game Gear
Fourth Game-Gear-Handheld.jpg
Sega CD

(Mega CD)

Fourth
  • Named the Mega CD outside North America
  • Add-on device for the Genesis with its own exclusive library
  • Adds CD-ROM support as well as more processing power[30]
  • Second version named the Sega CD 2 was released in 1993 to correspond with the second version of the Genesis[32]
  • Portable combination of the Genesis and Sega CD named the Genesis CDX in the United States and the Multi-Mega in the PAL region released in 1994[33]
  • Sold poorly compared to the Genesis itself[34]
Sega-CD-Model2-Set.jpg
Sega Pico
Fourth Kids Computer Pico-01.jpg
32X
Fourth
  • Add-on for the Genesis with its own exclusive library
  • Adds more processing power and support for 32-bit games to the 16-bit Genesis[45]
  • Plays different ROM cartridges from the Genesis itself[45]
  • Combination release of the Genesis and the 32X codenamed "Neptune" was planned for release in late 1995, but was delayed and then cancelled when the 32X was discontinued[45]
  • Considered a commercial failure[42]
Sega-Genesis-Model2-32X.jpg
Sega Saturn
Fifth
  • Sega's fourth major home console and only release in the 32-bit console generation, released worldwide
  • Plays CD-ROM games
  • Released simultaneously with the 32X, which also plays 32-bit games
  • Sega NetLink accessory, released in 1996, provided Internet and multiplayer gaming access; in Japan it used the SegaNet Internet service[48]
  • Second version of the console codenamed Sega Pluto, with a built-in NetLink component, was planned but never released[50]
  • Considered a commercial failure; sold significantly fewer copies than its competitors the Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64[51]
Sega-Saturn-Console-Set-Mk1.jpg
Dreamcast
  • WW: March 30, 2001[54]
Sixth
  • Sega's fifth and final major home console and only major release in the sixth console generation, released worldwide
  • Plays GD-ROM games
  • Includes a built-in modem, which could connect to the SegaNet Internet service in Japan and North America and the Dreamarena service in Europe[55]
  • VMU accessory serves as a combination memory card, second screen, and simple handheld console[56]
  • Considered a commercial failure; sold significantly fewer copies than its main competitor the Sony PlayStation 2 because of a poor Japanese launch and lack of DVD support[57]
Dreamcast-Console-Set.jpg
Advanced Pico Beena
N/A Sixth
  • Video game console aimed at young children, released only in Japan
  • Successor to the 1993 Sega Pico[39]
  • Plays ROM cartridges shaped like books[39]
  • Cheaper version named the Beena Lite was released in 2008.[58]
  • Still being produced
BeenaLiteConsole.jpg