Sega Genesis vs Mega Drive Differences & Versions

Sega Genesis vs Mega Drive

Sega Genesis is a 16-bit 4th generation home video game console developed and sold by Sega. It was distributed in North America as Sega Genesis. However in some parts of the world, like its home country Japan, Europe, Australia and Brazil, it was sold as Sega Mega Drive. In South Korea, it was distributed by Samsung as the Super Gam*Boy and later the Super Aladdin Boy.

Sega released the gaming console in 1988 in Japan, and in 1989 in North America. Some games were regionally locked so you could only play in specific regions. The Genesis console is near and dear to many young gamers growing up in the 90s and who can forget the Sega mascot that was created as a video game for the console, Sonic the Hedgehog!

Another difference other than name of the console is that the European Mega Drive outputs video in PAL format but the Japanese Mega Drive and North America Genesis outputs video in NTSC. Specs wise, they are exactly the same.

To extend the life of Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, Sega also released two add-ons to increase the Genesis capabilities. They released a CD peripheral called Sega CD (Mega-CD outside North America and Brazil) in 1992, and a 32-bit peripheral called Sega 32X in 1994.

In addition to the add-ons, Sega also revised Genesis with smaller versions known as Model 2 (Model #MK-1631) in 1994 and Model 3 (#MK-1461) in 1998. Model 2 offers stereo sound and is compatible with CD and 32X add-ons while model 3 is significantly smaller in physical size and is not compatible with the add-ons.

Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Regional Versions

Sega Genesis Revision Versions


What year was the first Sega Genesis made?
The Sega Genesis, also known as the Mega Drive outside North America, was released in October 29, 1988 in Japan as the Mega Drive, and in August 14, 1989 in North America as the Genesis.

How much did a Sega Genesis cost?
The Sega Genesis was pricesd at $200 when it released in NA in 1989.

Does Sega Geneses 32X improve Genesis games?
The 32X add-on was an inexpensive upgrade for the Sega Genesis that allowed it to play advanced 32-bit arcade games in 1994. When putting 16-bit games into 32X slot, it would improve the video quality depending on the board variation and the video chip used on that board.

When was the Sega CD discontinued?
The Sega CD was a 16-bit machine with a Compact Disc peripheral able to read games, audio CDs, and CD+G cds. The add-on console to the Genesis debuted in 1991 and ended production in 1995.

How to Connect Sega Genesis to Smart LCD TV Sega logos history