Retro Gaming: Sega Mega Drive Model 1


It has been far too long since my last retro gaming update, but unfortunately for the first half of the year I just have not had the time to expand my video game console collection. Luckily now though I have the means to continue my collection and what better way to do so than with a Sega Mega Drive Mk 1.

I was lucky enough to find a near-mint condition Sega Mega Drive model 1 for about $50 which is awesome (I also picked up a Mega Drive model 2 for about the same price which I’ll cover in my next post). Comes with the brilliant Sega Mega Drive 3-button controller, AV cables, power cables, everything you need to get up and running quickly. No need to scrounge around on EBay trying to track those down. For collectors trying to find old consoles in excellent condition you know how difficult that actually is so I’m very very impressed with myself for being able to find such a well looked after Mega Drive.

The Sega Mega Drive model 1 was released by Sega in 1988 in Japan, followed by a north american released in 1989 as the Sega Genesis then in PAL regions (including Australia, UK, etc) in 1990. It was one of the first 16-bit consoles to hit the market and allowed Sega to gain some market share of the home video game scene from the popular Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which came out years before in 1985. The extra power of the Mega Drive’s 16-bit architecture showed some stunning graphics of its time far surpassing its rival Nintendo’s offering on the 8-bit NES. However shortly after worldwide release, Nintendo would release the successor to the NES the Super Nintendo (SNES) in 1991. For most of the early 90’s Sega and Nintendo both shared roughly equal market share (around 40%) during the 16-bit era. Some say the 16 bit gaming days showcased some of gamings greatest games of all time.

If you are a vintage/retro collector and are looking to buy a Sega Mega Drive I’d definitely recommend the model 1 over the smaller more slimmer model 2. The model 2 looks good but actually the model 1 has a few extra features over the model 2. For starters, the model 1 has a nice stereo headphone jack in the front. When coupled with stereo RCA to mini stereo jack cable you can play your Mega Drive games in STEREO sound instead of the mono sound you get from the standard RF-switch or AV connections on the back of the unit. The second benefit is that the audio processor in the model 1 is better than in the model 2. The audio is more crisp and cleaner than in the model 2 but if you didn’t know that you probably would not have picked up on it by listening to the difference.

All in all I’m very happy with the addition to my console collection of the Mega Drive model 1. I was a Super Nintendo kid back in the 90’s not playing many Sega games but looking at this console now and playing some great games like Sonic, Columns, Alex Kidd, Altered Beast, etc it’s easy to see why Sega was able to give Nintendo such a run for their money.

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