By 1991, compact discs had gained in popularity as a data storage device for music and software. PCs and video game companies had started to make use of this technology. NEC had been the first to include CD technology in a game console with the release of the TurboGrafx-CD add-on, and Nintendo was making plans to develop its own CD peripheral as well. Seeing the opportunity to gain an advantage over its rivals, Sega partnered with JVC to develop a CD-ROM add-on for the Genesis. Sega launched the Mega-CD in Japan on December 1, 1991, initially retailing at JP¥49,800. The CD add-on was launched in North America on October 15, 1992, as the Sega CD, with a retail price of US$299; it was released in Europe as the Mega-CD in 1993. In addition to greatly expanding the potential size of its games, this add-on unit upgraded the graphics and sound capabilities by adding a second, more powerful processor, more system memory, and hardware-based scaling and rotation similar to that found in Sega's arcade games. It provided battery-backed storage RAM to allow games to save high scores, configuration data, and game progress.
Gaming consoles are obviously a luxury, but they are rapidly becoming the center of living rooms and entertainment centers, since they combine gaming, listening to music, watching videos, chatting with friends, browsing the web, livestreaming, shopping and more. Consoles are a fantastic way to combine all of your digital entertainment into a single place. Consider your gaming habits, title preferences (past, present and future) along with your budget to ensure you find the perfect console for your needs.
It is worth highlighting here that this console does support 720p, high-definition graphics. For all its other faults, it does deliver on that promise. While AtGames continues to sell the composite-only Genesis models, which literally won’t function properly on many new television sets, the inclusion of HDMI here is worth celebrating. Yes, Nintendo’s consoles have HDMI, and yes, the goalposts have most certainly moved. Yes, a $30 Raspberry Pi has enough horsepower to run Genesis games and also comes with an HDMI port. Yes, this should really be table stakes, but it hasn’t been an option for AtGames’ offerings until this model, so it’s worth highlighting here.
Although Katz and Sega of America's marketing experts disliked the idea of Sonic, certain that it would not catch on with most American kids, Kalinske's strategy to place Sonic the Hedgehog as the pack-in game paid off. Featuring speedy gameplay, Sonic the Hedgehog greatly increased the popularity of the Sega Genesis in North America. Bundling Sonic the Hedgehog with the Sega Genesis is credited with helping Sega gain 65% of the market share against Nintendo.
^ The seventh generation of video game consoles began when Microsoft released the Xbox 360 on November 22, 2005, several months before Sony Computer Entertainment's release of the PlayStation 3 on November 17, 2006. The first console of this generation to be discontinued was the Xbox 360 on April 20, 2016, then the second console of this generation to be discontinued was the PlayStation 3 on May 29, 2017 and while Wii still remain in production. Potentaially, the seventh generation is partially still ongoing under temporary surpport.
The Nomad was released in October 1995 in North America only. The release was five years into the market span of the Genesis, with an existing library of more than 500 Genesis games. According to former Sega of America research and development head Joe Miller, the Nomad was not intended to be the Game Gear's replacement and believes that there was little planning from Sega of Japan for the new handheld. Sega was supporting five different consoles: Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico, and the Master System, as well as the Sega CD and 32X add-ons. In Japan, the Mega Drive had never been successful and the Saturn was more successful than Sony's PlayStation, so Sega Enterprises CEO Hayao Nakayama decided to focus on the Saturn. By 1999, the Nomad was being sold at less than a third of its original price.
In 1987, Sega faced another threat to its console business when Japanese computer giant NEC released the PC Engine amid great publicity. To remain competitive against the two more established consumer electronics companies, Ishikawa and his team decided they needed to incorporate a 16-bit microprocessor into their new system to make an impact in the marketplace and once again turned to Sega's strengths in the arcade industry to adapt the successful Sega System 16 arcade board into architecture for a home console. The decision to use a Motorola 68000 as the system's main CPU was made late in development, while a Zilog Z80 was used as a secondary CPU to handle the sound due to fears that the load to the main CPU would be too great if it handled both the visuals and the audio. The 68000 chip was expensive and would have driven the retail price of the console up greatly, but Sega was able to negotiate a sale with a distributor for obtaining the chips for a tenth of their price on an up-front volume sale with the promise of potentially more if the console was successful.
Video games have changed the way we tell stories – and with more and more possibilities to change a certain story in a game with an interactive narrative, where you as a player are faced with crucial decisions, more complex stories can be told. Games for Playstation, Xbox and PC give us the possibility to take risks that feel real without having the real world knock on the door with real world consequences. Part of what is so alluring about a first-person shooter game is that you as a player can shoot a heat-seeking missile at a building and see the results – without ending up in prison.
The first handheld game console with interchangeable cartridges was the Microvision designed by Smith Engineering, and distributed and sold by Milton-Bradley in 1979. Crippled by a small, fragile LCD display and a very narrow selection of games, it was discontinued two years later. The Epoch Game Pocket Computer was released in Japan in 1984. The Game Pocket Computer featured an LCD screen with 75 X 64 resolution and could produce graphics at about the same level as early Atari 2600 games. The system sold very poorly, and as a result, only five games were made for it. Nintendo's Game & Watch series of dedicated game systems proved more successful. It helped to establish handheld gaming as popular and lasted until 1991. Many Game & Watch games were later re-released on Nintendo's subsequent handheld systems.