The Sega Mega Drive (or Sega Genesis) was released in September 1990 in Europe as part of the 4th generation of home consoles. It’s main feature was the vast amount of arcade games that were ported to the console.
With the Mega Drive’s early sales lagging behind Nintendo’s SNES console, Sega soon realised that that the machine needed a mascot to match the success of the Mario series. Sega held a company-wide contest to create a mascot character and Sonic The Hedgehog was born. After the release of Sonic The Hedgehog, the Mega Drive began to rapidly erode Nintendo’s market lead in the US, and increase its already huge lead in the European market.
With over 29 million units sold, the Mega Drive became Sega’s most successful console, its library of arcade game ports, the popularity of Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog series, several popular sports franchises, and aggressive youth marketing positioned the system as the cool console for adolescents.
This console was my childhood. I was a firm Sega fanboy when I was a kid and I loved the Mega Drive. I would spend every minute I could playing all the classics Sonic The Hedgehog, E-Swat and Alien Storm to name a few. I can’t tell you how many arguments erupted between my brother and I, when one of us would accidentally punch the other in Streets Of Rage.
The console itself looks great, it really was designed to make an impact with it’s appearance. The large “16-Bit” logo emblazoned front and centre, the 99% all black colour scheme and its sleek curved bulge on the front all combine to form a look that looks great to this day.
The Mega Drives controller was a more ergonomic evolution of the Master System’s, and it’s rounded structure is a lot more comfortable to hold and it’s buttons placed in more comfortable to reach positions than the Master Systems pad.