List of Sega Consoles In Order
If you were to look at all of the Sega Consoles History in order you'd find out that Sega was way ahead of their time in terms of graphics, sound and technology. Sega did stumble along the way, making some questionable choices at times. This ultimately lead to why Sega failed in the early 2000s.
Sega was often considered to be the main competitor to the heavyweight Nintendo and put up some incredible runs, even to overtake Nintendo in sales at some point.
Sega is a legendary company that should be brought up during any video game discussion about hardware and software in respect to video game history.
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Let's take a look at Sega Consoles Timeline and look back at all of the Sega consoles by their release date.
Here are the consoles we will be discussing:
- Sega SG-1000
- Sega Master System (1985)
- Sega Genesis / Mega Drive (1988)
- Sega Game Gear (1990)
- Sega CD / Mega CD (1991)
- Sega Pico (1993)
- Sega 32X (1994)
- Sega Saturn (1994)
- Sega Nomad (1995)
- Sega Dreamcast (1998)
- Sega Advanced Pico Beena (2005)
- Sega Genesis Mini (2019)
- Sega Game Gear Micro (2020)
- Sega Genesis Mini 2 (2022)
Table of Contents
- 1. Sega SG-1000 (1983)
- 2. Sega Master System (1985)
- 3. Sega Genesis / Mega Drive (1988)
- 4. Sega Game Gear (1990)
- 5. Sega CD / Mega CD (1991)
- 6. Sega Pico (1993)
- 7. Sega 32X (1994)
- 8. Sega Saturn (1994)
- 9. Sega Nomad (1995)
- 10. Sega Dreamcast (1998)
- 11. Sega Advanced Pico Beena (2005)
- 12. Sega Genesis Mini (2019)
- 13. Sega Game Gear Micro (2020)
- 14. Sega Genesis Mini 2 (2022)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- How many Sega consoles are there?
- What is the first Sega console?
- What order did the Sega consoles come out?
- What is the last Sega console?
- What is the rarest Sega console?
- What is Sega's most famous console?
- What is the most successful console of all time?
- What is Sega's most sold game?
1. Sega SG-1000 (1983)
The first Sega console was the Sega SG-1000. Sega's first home console attempt brought to the market. It was Marketed to Japanese consumers in 1981 and finally released in July 1983. It featured some advanced technology for the time and boasted some impressive technical features. The system would be sold for a short period of time (1985) and was only released in certain markets throughout Europe and Austrasia.
In 1984, Sega updated the SG-1000 hardware and released the Mark II. This variation used gamepads instead of joysticks and featured mounts to store the controllers on each side.
It also gave you a slot for a keyboard attachment labelled the SK-1100 and was able to be played with Sega Game Cards using a special adapter.
The SG-1000 ultimately couldn't compete with the likes of Nintendo's NES hardware and needed to shake things up with the release of the Master System.
2. Sega Master System (1985)
In 1986 the Sega Master System was launched in North America. Sega needed something to compete with the almighty NES. The Master System was a rebranded version of the SG-1000. Sega upgraded the processor to an 8-Bit CPU.
The Master System resembled home theatre devices of the 80s. A cartridge slot was added and kept the card slot. The Sega Master System had superior hardware to the NES and Sega gave Nintendo a run for it's money in the 8 bit console war.
In 1990, Sega redesigned the Master System labelled the Master System II. They removed the card slot, reset button, power light and expansion port in order to reduce costs.
The controller resembles the NES design and had multiple peripherals such as the phaser light gun and 3d glasses.
The Master System games came in two formats, cartridges and cards. Cards were easier to produce but were eventually discontinued. Unfortunately the SMS library only consists of 312 games. Compared to the NES library of over 700 games, you can see why the NES was more popular.
The Master System did offer better graphics and more colors that still hold up today. Check out some great Master System Games:
3. Sega Genesis / Mega Drive (1988)
The Sega Genesis was a groundbreaking Sega console that offered 16 bit graphics and sound and started the legendary console wars that would go toe to toe with the Super NES in the 1990s.
In 1988, the Genesis was a far superior hardware to Nintendo's NES console. In North America, the Genesis was often marketed as the older kids console that did not censor out blood and gore in it's games.
With licensed athletes coming to Sega such as John Madden or Tommy Lasorda or even stars like Michael Jackson the Genesis brought the arcade experience home and launched at a reasonable price of $189 and came with the pack in title Altered Beast.
Sonic was created as a rival to Mario and instantly became a household name. Sega pushed for Sonic to come out with all consoles in North America that lead to disagreements over in Japan. Sonic eventually became a pack in title for the Genesis which pushed Sega's console to become the leading seller for four consecutive years.
Sega had a couple of hardware revisions to the Genesis, The Genesis Model 2 as well as Genesis Model 3. Each of them in cost cutting measures, notably in the sound department. The Genesis model 1 has the best sound chips produced by Sega in a Genesis console.
Sega also had expansions to it's hardware in the 32X as well as the Sega CD. Sega also had outsourced their hardware to other companies to play Sega Genesis games.
The Genesis also featured some fantastic games:
4. Sega Game Gear (1990)
The Sega Game Gear was a direct competitor to the Nintendo Game Boy in 1989. It featured superior hardware by having a colored front lit screen. Sega made the Game Gear wider and easier to hold.
It retailed for less than the Game Boy at $149.99 and featured an updated Sega Master System console on the go. It came with a headphone jack, an output to a wall outlet for portable gaming while stationary.
Although the screen was bright, the Sega Game Gear was a battery hog. Taking up 6 AA batteries that didn't last very long.
The Game Gear had some interesting peripherals such as the TV tuner where your Game Gear could act as a portable TV. A battery pack that you could bring along with you and get more battery on the go.
Buying a Sega Game Gear today is a bit risky. Bad electrical components were prevalent in the 1990s. If you have a Game Gear that has no video or poor sound, it's often related to bad capacitors.
5. Sega CD / Mega CD (1991)
In 1991, Sega released the Sega CD. There were two revisions to the Sega CD, one that sat below the Genesis and one that sat beside the Sega Genesis. Any variation of the Sega CD does require the Sega Genesis to be present as it uses the expansion port of the Sega Genesis.
The Sega CD was designed to enhance the hardware of the Sega Genesis to the already perfectly capable hardware. It offered CD quality sound and full motion video (FMV) to their games.
With releases such as Konami's Snatcher, the Sega CD offered fantastic adventure games with voiceovers and cutscenes, otherwise known as graphical adventure games.
I would have loved to see Sega CD do a Streets of Rage spinoff or enhance games like Outrunners or a new Shinobi game.
Overall the Sega CD is an underrated system and I encourage you to go out and give it a fair shot. Please consider picking up a Sega CD as it's a fine choice for a Sega console. You may find that the system has quite a bit to offer.
6. Sega Pico (1993)
The Sega Pico is Sega's take on a Fisher Price toy. It's built so rugged and was meant to be tossed around and take a heavy beating from kids.
The Pico folds out like a laptop and comes with built in games. Using the stylus you can navigate around and click the stylus to start up a game.
The games combined both books and video games into a single device. The best Sega Pico Game is Sonic the Hedgehog's Game World where you play as Sonic, Tails or Amy to compete against Egg Head in a carnival themed world.
Although the product was clearly marketed to kids, Sega did end up selling 3.4 million Pico consoles worldwide. Clearly the Pico wasn't a horrible idea it just didn't resonate with the cooler audience that the Genesis was trying to capture.
7. Sega 32X (1994)
The Sega 32X was released in 1994, unfortunately on the same day that Donkey Kong Country was released on the Super Nintendo. While Nintendo would go on and sell tons of copies of DKC, Sega didn't have a similar fate when it came to the 32X. It was an addon device to Sega's 16 bit hardware to include new 32 bit games on the console.
Sega was in trouble with the pending release of the true 32 bit hardware in the Sega Saturn. Many software developers would pull the plug on the 32x port in favor of waiting for the Sega Saturn.
Sega lost credibility at this point pending the launch of the Sega Saturn. Fans were outraged, having bought the $150 device to ultimately find out that there was a true 32 bit machine coming out shortly after.
In a last ditch effort, Sega was planning on releasing a Genesis/32X all in one device called the Neptune. As the 32x was falling quickly and the launch date of the Saturn rolled around, the Neptune was ditched.
The 32X had only 40 games to date. A handful of which required both the 32X, Genesis and Sega CD in order to play. This was incredibly confusing to consumers often leading them to have a ton of wires and power supplies plugged into the back of the TV.
8. Sega Saturn (1994)
Knowing that the Sega CD wasn't a success, The 32X was a downright failure, Sega would not give up on a 32bit CD based hardware.
The Saturn had dual 32 bit architecture, eight processors and coupled as a cd player. Truly remarkable hardware for the time.
During E3 of 1995, shortly before the release of the Saturn that was originally released in the US for $399.99. Sony hit hard with their infamous statement of $299. Indicating that the console to wait for would be significantly cheaper to purchase come launch.
The Sega Saturn went on to sell only 9 million units worldwide. A colossal failure compared to the N64 that went on to sell approximately 33 million units.
The Sega Saturn faired much better in Japan than it did in the US. Countless arcade perfect ports were make available in Japan that felt for the first time to bring the true arcade experience home.
9. Sega Nomad (1995)
The Sega Nomad is a portable Sega Genesis released in 1995. It was yet another attempt to extend the shelf life of the Sega Genesis. It was only released in North America and retailed at $180.
The Sega Nomad was in full color in backlit. It's slightly blurry when staring at it for long periods of time. A full 6 button controller is built in to the device. There's also a DC power and AV power out (it uses the same cables as the Genesis Model 2). You can even plug in a second controller to play with a friend.
The Nomad requires 6 AA batteries and you can even purchase an extended battery pack separately.
It only sold 1 million units and was discontinued after only a year. Since the short shelf life of the Nomad, it's become a collectors item among the retro gaming community.
10. Sega Dreamcast (1998)
9/9/99 will forever live on in Sega fans heads. The commercials for the North American release of the Dreamcast were so ahead of their time.
The Dreamcast was the first console to feature built in internet connectivity with the use of it's 56K modem. Phantasy Star Online was a great experience on the Sega Network.
The VMU or Virtual Memory Unit was a removable memory card that allowed the owner to take their memory card on the go and interact with the game saves. Often incorporating mini games into the memory card.
Piracy and lack of a DVD player were ultimately the demise of the Dreamcast as online forums and chat boards had countless ISOs floating around that you could just burn to a CD-R without any sort of copy protection built into the hardware of the Dreamcast. Sony's Playstation 2 came to the table with a built in DVD player that did not require any sort of peripherals to use. While DVDs might not sound like a key selling feature in today's day and age, they were cutting edge in the early 2000s.
With the death of the Dreamcast looming in 2001, Sega would clear out the Dreamcast to $99 and then later reduced to $79 and eventually $49. The Dreamcast would only sell 9.13 million units. Unfortunately this was unable to surpass the number of Saturn units.
Sega had announced that they would go in another direction and become a third party software developer. Often seeing Sega based software on Microsoft's Xbox console.
11. Sega Advanced Pico Beena (2005)
The Advanced Pico Beena is the successor to the Pico released in 1993. This was the second educational device aimed towards children and offering the ability to learn how to read and write.
The Pico Beena was able to be taken on the go coupled with a built in screen on the console. The console was never fully taken off the market, it just stopped receiving new games for the unit.
12. Sega Genesis Mini (2019)
Just when you thought a children's device would be Sega's last hurrah, Sega came back to cash in with the craze of mini consoles that other console manufacturers were cashing in on. Nintendo had the NES and SNES Classic consoles and Sega took notice and gave the world their variation of the 16 bit Genesis Mini in 2019.
It came with two fantastic controllers, unfortunately the 3 button versions are included here. The menu screen and interface is fantastic. With a custom track featured by Streets of Rage's composer Yuzo Koshiro.
With a library of 42 games, and a wide release span. It features all the classics such as Sonic 1 and 2, but dives into more obscure hidden gems like Alisia Dragoon or even Dynamite Headdy. It also featured games that were never released on a physical cartridge such as Mega Man: The Wily Wars, an enhanced collection of Mega Man 1 - 3 that were released on the NES.
The Sega Genesis Mini is a fantastic piece of hardware. With it's shiny interface and an insane amount of quality games, this piece of hardware belongs on everyone's shelf and is consider to be the best mini console released to date.
13. Sega Game Gear Micro (2020)
The Sega Game Gear Micro came at a bit of a surprise to the masses. The attention to detail is quite impressive on this unit. Almost everything you would expect is here. A similar shell (although in micro size), a headphone jack that Sega surprisingly managed to fit on this micro sized device.
Sega did offer a "Big Window" device to amplify the screen size to make things a bit more clearer. There's unfortunately a catch with this, Sega wants you to buy all four color combinations for approximately $200 to have it included.
Overall, the Sega Game Gear Micro is a neat little device, it just came out at a time that wasn't expected from Sega.
14. Sega Genesis Mini 2 (2022)
Set to be released on Oct 27th, 2022, Sega is releasing their Mini 2 console. Featuring the slim Genesis Model 2 design and over 60 games (Including Sega CD titles)
The Genesis Mini 2 will come with the updated 6 button controllers, something fans of the original Mini console had to live without in favor of the bulky 3 button counterparts that were originally released with the Mega Drive.
Games that you would have missed are included on version 2 of the Genesis Mini such as Splatterhouse 2, Ristar, Outrun and many others.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many Sega consoles are there?
Sega has released a total of 12 consoles throughout its history.
What is the first Sega console?
The first Sega console was the SG-1000, which was released in Japan in 1983.
What order did the Sega consoles come out?
The order of Sega consoles' release is as follows: SG-1000, Sega Mark III, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis (Sega Mega Drive outside North America), Sega Game Gear, Sega CD (Sega Mega-CD outside North America), Sega 32X, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, Sega NAOMI, Sega NAOMI 2.
What is the last Sega console?
The last Sega console was the Dreamcast, which was discontinued in 2001.
What is the rarest Sega console?
The rarest Sega console is considered to be the Sega Neptune, a never-released console that was supposed to combine the Genesis and 32X into one unit.
What is Sega's most famous console?
Sega's most famous console is the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive), which was a hugely popular console during the 16-bit era and is still beloved by many fans today.
What is the most successful console of all time?
The most successful console of all time is the PlayStation 2, which sold over 155 million units worldwide during its lifespan.
What is Sega's most sold game?
Sega's most sold game is Sonic the Hedgehog, which has sold over 150 million copies across various platforms since its debut in 1991.