Sega SG-1000

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The SG-1000 (Sega Game 1000) was Sega's first product for the home video game market, it was developed due to the downturn in revenue from arcades.

It was only ever available in Japan and Australia and in limited numbers in Italy and Spain, the machine internally is based on off the shelf parts for cheapness, some of which came from the Colecovision.

The machine launched on the same day as the Nintendo Famicom, and was on the back foot from the start. Nintendo had put in place agreements with third party publishers that licensed them to produce games only for their machine.

This left Sega with only their own arcade conversions, and other titles from companies such as Tekhan and Activision who did not enter into these agreements with Nintendo.

Sega did have a couple of strokes of luck in 1983, the Famicom only managed to release 9 games and had a recall due to a circuit fault, the SG-1000 release schedule picked up, and the company managed to sell 160,000 consoles on the back of all that, this far exceeded Sega's expectations of 50,000 units.

1983 had not been a good year for Sega otherwise, having to sell their US arcade hardware business to Bally, but retaining the US research and development, and the Japanese division Sega Enterprises.

The machine's library is not extensive, but has good takes on Sega's arcade heritage such as Super Monaco GP, FLicky, and Congo Bongo. Third party games such as Bombjack and H.E.R.O. can be sought out too, but many of the SG-1000 titles now are rare and expensive to find.

Most games came on cartridges, but the Sega Mark III My card Range could be played through an adapter called the Card Catcher, these games, and all the carts can be played on both the Mark II and III machines as well, the latter having separate slots for both. Oddly the colour schemes of SG-1000 games are different on the Mark III to the original hardware.

The console has a wired in joystick, and is the machine's achilles heel, it is not terribly responsive, and the fire button seated awkwardly. There is a second joystick port on the right side of the console. An edge connector on the rear is for a separate keyboard to turn the machine into the computer equivalent, the SC-3000. A steering wheel was also available.

Also on the rear of the console is the RF socket, and the power switch, and as usual for Japan a channel switch for each of the two main islands.

Although selling far less than its rival, the SG-1000 is important as the first tentative step into the console market for Sega that would eventually bear fruit with the Master System in Europe and South America, in 1986 and 1987 and the Genesis/Mega Drive in 1990.

This machine has been modded for composite.



Manufacturer: Sega
Date: 15th July 1983 to July 1984

Other Systems Related To Sega SG-1000:

Item Manufacturer Date
Sega MegaTech Arcade Cabinet Sega 1986
Alien Syndrome Arcade Cabinet Sega 1987
Sega Naomi Sega 1998

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH27836. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Sega SG-1000

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