Sega Mega Drive II
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The Mega Drive is a fourth-generation video game console released by Sega in Japan in 1988 and Europe, Australia and other PAL regions in 1990. The console was released in North America in 1989 under the name Sega Genesis, since Sega was unable to secure legal rights to the Mega Drive name in that region. The Mega Drive was Sega's third home console and the successor to the Sega Master System, with which it is electronically compatible.
The Mega Drive was the first of its generation to achieve notable market share in Europe and North America. The Mega Drive was originally launched in Japan to compete with the Nintendo Entertainment System and NEC's PC-Engine. Two years later, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the competition between the two would dominate the 16-bit era of video gaming. The Mega Drive began production in Japan in 1988 and ended with the last new licensed game being released in 2002 in Brazil.
The Mega Drive II was a redesign in 1993 to be a cut cost version, both in manufacture and retail. It was much smaller and square in shape compared to the original.
It did not have the headphone jack, volume control or RF TV output. The A/V port changed to a custom multi out port that now provided stereo sound to T.V's (previously only mono was output by the Mega Drive, the headphone jack had to be used for stereo sound). The sound however was not as good quality as the original. The power lead port was made smaller as a different value AC adapter was used, this was to prevent damage by using the older PSU.
Finally the power switch was changed to a push button, and was on the opposite side to a reset button.
Both the original Mega Drive and the Mega Drive II could be connected to a Mega CD and 32X add-ons. The Mega CD was remodelled at the same time to better fit the design of the Mega Drive II. It had a proper cradle for the MD II to sit side by side.
The original machine also worked on the new MCD, but did over hang the cradle. A specific version of the Mega Adapter/Master System Converter was also designed.
Not considered by many users as the best of the Mega Drives, it has always been much cheaper to source on the second hand market as a result.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH15476. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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