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Sega Genesis/Mega Drive/Nomad

Info version 2.0

Sega Genesis - 1989-1997
(Also known as the Megadrive).It was 1989. Nintendo´s NES had reigned supreme in the videogame market for nearly five years, and it was time for a new system to take over the throne. Sega´s Master System, while graphically superior to the NES, failed to make any kind of lasting impression in the U.S. market (although it was very popular in Europe), and Sega knew that their next system would not only have to be superior to everything else out there, but they´d have to have a lot of third-party developers lined up. The lack of third-party support is cited as the main cause of the Master System´s demise.
After two years of development, Sega introduced their "next generation" system to the world in late 1989. Known as the Genesis in the West, and the Mega Drive in the east, Sega began an aggressive marketing campaign, not only to customers, but also to developers.
Although NEC´s TurboGrafx-16 had beat the Genesis to market by nearly four months, Sega quickly regained lost ground, thanks to their line-up of quality arcade conversions, killer sports games, and most of all, the full support of Trip Hawkins and Electronic Arts. Although the Genesis development kit was reportedly overly expensive and initially difficult to work with, by the end of 1990 there were over 30 third-party developers writing games for the new system, compared to four for the TG16.
From 1990 through to late 1991, the Genesis was pretty much the only kid on the block. The TG16, while boasting excellent games, hadn´t a hope of catching up, and Nintendo´s Super NES was delayed again and again. One reason for the numerous delays was that software was still being developed for the NES, and Nintendo didn´t want to risk losing any of those third-party developers to Sega.
When the SNES was finally released in September of 1991, Sega realized that the first real threat to their grip on the 16-bit market had surfaced. Sega spent a massive amount of money on advertising, promoting its superior game line-up and showing pictures of its "still-in-development" Sega CD. Although it would be nearly two years before the CD made it to market, this stopgap tactic was ingenious. Sales of Genesis consoles and games only dropped slightly in the Christmas season of 1991.
1992 was a turbulent year for the 16-bit systems. Early on, NEC announced that sales and distribution of the TG16 would be handled by a new company known as Turbo Technologies Inc. (TTI), made up of senior staff members of both NEC and Hudson Soft. Meanwhile, Sega and Nintendo battled it out for control of the videogame market. Despite the graphical splendor of the SNES, many critisized its slow processor speed, which was said to be rougly half of the Genesis´ 7mhz processor speed. Sega used this publicity well. In the summer of 1992, Sega unveiled its secret project. Known as Sonic The Hedgehog, its stunning visuals pushed the Genesis to the limit, and earned the title of the fastest videogame in history.
The arrival of Sonic was a major blow to Nintendo. It proved that the Genesis wasn´t as primitive as Nintendo wanted everyone to believe. New SNES software was slow to arrive in 1992, and Sega´s huge third-party support helped carry them through the year, despite the fact that the promised Sega CD had yet to arrive in stores.


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