Sega Master System
After the relative failures of the Sega SG1000 and mark II consoles, Sega launched their Mark III console, which also could not put a dent in Nintendo’s market share in either its native country or the US, largely due to third party games developers not being allowed to produce games for other companies if they had a license from Nintendo, so Sega looked to a third territory, where there was little or no competition from its rival.
It chose Europe, a territory Nintendo had made only a lethargic attempt to launch the NES in, and after initial problems with demand over supply late in 1987, the Sega Master System hit the ground running, especially after Virgin Mastertronic took over Europe wide distribution of the console, and was soon attracting the top European software houses to produce games for it, Sega themselves concentrated on getting ports of Sega’s arcade classics to the system, Virgin Mastertronic marketed the it as a technologically superior alternative to the ageing ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64.
The Master System held a strong market position for Sega in Europe, to launch their new Megadrive console in 1990, after this a redesigned, simpler machine was launched at a low price point, to counter the late successes of the NES in the European territories.
It featured a handy reset button, a card slot (allowing the use of some pretty wacky peripherals such as the 3d glasses and a small variety of card-only games) and a very 80s, very interesting pyramid shaped design.
* CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A
Other Systems Related To Sega Master System:
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH4034. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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