Some of our new and old customers ask what the words SG-1000, SMS, SS, DC and SCG mean, which are actually the names of Sega’s consoles and game simulators.
Sega. It’s the video game developer known worldwide, renowned for its popular consoles and innovative video games. In this article, we’ll dive a little deeper into Sega’s history and just how influential their products are within the gaming industry.
Let’s get started.
Sega was brought into existence in the 1960s, its main headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, but with other branches dotted in cities all over Europe. It came about after the slot machine developer ‘Service Games’ merged with ‘Rosen Enterprises’, a creator of arcade games. And so, it originally began within the arcade industry. However, as we entered the 1980s, the arcade business fizzled out and Sega turned its attention towards developing video game consoles.
So, let’s take a closer look at what they released.
The first console was the SG-1000. Released in 1983, this third generation model was an attempt to bring an element of the arcade to the gaming world. It played ROM cartridges and was updated several times. Its later models included the SC-3000 and the SC-3000H. The upgrades also came with a detachable controller. Although Sega’s first venture into console-making, the SG-1000 faced tough competition against Nintendo’s Famicom, which was brought out on the same day.
Next, we have the Sega Master System (SMS). It was initially released in Japan in 1985, brandishing the name ‘Sega Mark III’. It was later redesigned and brought out as the Master System, however, and was sold worldwide. It played both ROM cartridges and Sega Card games. This console was still battling against Nintendo’s models. but its sale rates were high in Europe especially.
The Genesis model, (or Mega Drive/MD, as it’s known outside of North America), was released in 1988, playing ROM cartridges like the others. This model sparked the creation of several break-off products, such as the Sega TeraDrive, (a computer featuring Mega Drive), the Genesis II (a mini version of the console) and the Genesis Nomad (a handheld version of Genesis, occasionally seen on Japanese airplanes). Production was officially stopped in 1997 – its competitors, yet again, outsold it.
The following console was Sega Game Gear (SGG). This was Sega’s very first handheld console, creating anticipation around the globe. It can be compared to the SMS, although it’s unable to play Master System games without the converter accessory. It used ROM cartridges and was extremely popular, despite being up against Nintendo’s Game Boy.
The Sega Saturn was a relatively successful model, released in 1994. As Sega’s fourth home console and their only 32-bit console release, it was sold worldwide. This time, it could play CD-ROM games and was released alongside the 32X. Secretly, a second model of the SS was planned…Sega Pluto. This, however, never came to be.
Lastly, we have Dreamcast (DC). Introduced in 1998, this was Sega’s final home console and only major release in the sixth generation. Playing GD-ROM games, its accompanying VMU accessory provided a memory card, a second screen and gave the console its simple, handheld form. Due to lack of publicity, it wasn’t as successful as it could’ve been.
As with every trend within society, consoles started to fade. Sega decided to walk down a new avenue in order to keep up their relevancy – video games.They’ve developed a wide variety of games, but let’s focus on a couple of the main ones.
Sonic the Hedgehog is perhaps Sega’s most famous creation. Based on a blue hedgehog with lightning speed, this supersonic creature has been adopted and adapted by the whole world. Although centering around the original video game, Sonic has entered a new realm of media, including comics and even Hollywood films!
Phantasy Star is another Sega series, featuring role-playing with an element of magic and science fantasy. With spaceships, planets and solar systems, this galactic world is popular with many who want a brief escape.
Sakura Wars is based on a Japanese steampunk brand, set in a fictional part of the Taishō period. In the game, magical women use steam-powered ‘mecha’ to battle the threats of creatures, and since 2010, it has sold over four million copies!
Last but not least, let’s talk about Shining. This is another role-playing game that includes random turn-based fights. It’s a tactical game of wizardry, science fiction and exploration, much like Sega’s other creations.
As you can tell, Sega has had a huge influence on the gaming industry, not only bringing out several consoles, (both home video and handheld), but video games too. After reading this article, we hope you’ve learnt some more about this prestigious developer.