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Sega Mega-CD (Sega CD)

The original Mega-CD was unveiled at the Tokyo Toy Show in 1991 for the first time to compete with NEC's TurboGrafx-16 PC Engine CD unit.  It was a hit in Japan as well as in the US, where it was known as the Sega CD.  It sold over 100,000 units in Japan in its first year and 50,000 units in three weeks in the US.  The unit connects to the Mega Drive via the extension interface card on the right and sits underneath it.  With the release of the updated Mega Drive II (Genesis 2) in 1993, the Mega-CD was redesigned to have a top-loading tray and sit side by side to the Mega Drive.

The Mega-CD's initial success was largely due to the medium it used.  CDs were a low-cost alternative to cartridges and had 500MB storage capacity; almost 500 times more than a cartridge.  It allowed audio CDs to be played as well as CD+G games.  CD+G (CD+Graphics) is a format that allows audio CDs to play graphics sequences simultaneously with audio tracks.  The Mega-CD did not become a total success for two main reasons: It had a high retail price and poor initial game support from third part companies.

The Mega-CD was redesigned for a third time in 1994 and released as the CDX.  The CDX was a single device that allowed CDs as well as cartridges to be played on it.  It retailed for $399.

About 148 games were released for the Sega CD in the US.  The Sega CD retailed for $299, the Mega Drive for •49,800 in Japan and for a very expensive £270 in the UK.

Technical Specs:

CPU: 16-bit Motorolla 68000 (12.5MHz)
RAM: 768kb
Colors: 512 (64 on screen)
Resolution: 320x224 pixels
Sound: 10-channel PCM sound
CD Speed: 150kb/s (1x)
Sprites: 80

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