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HomeRetro GamingConsole History: SEGA SG-1000 | GamesYouLoved

Console History: SEGA SG-1000 | GamesYouLoved

The late Seventies/early Nineteen Eighties in Japan discovered a market, like many different international locations on the time, with the thought of a house online game console solely rising, with many stepping as much as money in.

Article by Drew McCabe

With quite a few gamers abound, the world was populated by the likes of Epoch’s Cassette-Vision and Bandai’s Arcadia (a licensed model of the North American Emerson Arcadia console), and thus Sega, after having a lot success within the arcades, determined to step in.


Born on July 15, 1983, Sega’s first entry into the house online game console market was often known as the SG-1000. Running on 8-bits of superior, the console really used the identical inside parts because the Colecovision, giving each vibrant colours and recreation play.

However as destiny would have it, it was launched on the identical day because the Nintendo Famicom (higher recognized world large because the NES), offering Sega with what would develop into an extended up hill battle for dominance within the markets, one they would not win till a lot in a while throughout a time frame with the Mega Drive.


Initially launched in Japan, the system would quickly attain each Taiwan and New Zealand. The unit got here with one exhausting wired controller, but curiously had a second controller port on the again to purchase a further and plug in.

With the Famicom having what the Japanese thought-about a extra engaging library upon its launch, combined in with feed again regarding the SG-1000 itself, Sega instantly went again to the drafting board and from there would give us a flurry of updates over the subsequent few years.


Sega by December of 1983 would launch the SC-3000, a house laptop mannequin. This self contained key board might assist you be taught BASIC or do quite a few enterprise capabilities, but additionally had a rom-cartridge slot on it is proper hand facet which might play the SG-1000 video games. SC-3000 expanded the SG-1000 video games presence additional world large with releases in Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, France and Finland.

Soon after in 1984 Sega would launch the SG-1000 II, an enchancment on the unique, the SG-1000 II removed the hardwired controllers, altering each to be plug-ins, altering the controller itself to resemble nearer to that of a Famicom controller, and at last an enlargement port for the Sega SK-1100 keyboard, which additionally allowed SC-3000-only video games to be performed on the SG-1000 II. The SG-1000 II is presently thought solely to have been launched in Japan and Taiwan, the place in Tawain it took the lead because the primary console for a brief time frame, solely notable as a result of it is the primary time Sega took primary for house online game consoles in a market, and the one time for the SG-1000 sequence.

Frustration being quantity two to Nintendo elsewhere world large would lead Sega to enhance the console and launch an up to date model but once more because the Sega Mark III in 1985. That stated, the Mark III is not really thought-about a part of the SG-1000 line, and would show as the bottom for the Sega 1986 world large console often known as the Master System.


 Looking on the SG-1000, the inner core was made up of three key parts, a 8-bit Zilog Z80 central processing unit, a Texas Instruments TMS9928A for video processing, and a Texas Instruments SN76489 for its sound processing. As talked about this was the precise guts of the Colecovision, and when evaluating the programs facet by facet, the video games actually do look alike.

In truth in 1986 in Taiwan, Italy and North America, a system known as the Dina-2-In-One was launched, which might play each Colecovision and SG-1000 cartridges. However in North America till the brand new millennium, for 20 some odd years the cartridge slot which might play SG-1000 video games remained a puzzle being they had been by no means launched there and the thriller was solely solved because of the delivery of each the web and eBay. The programs similarities has additionally lead in recent times to quite a few SG-1000 titles being ported over to Colecovision by homebrewers.

The SG-1000 initially used rom based mostly cartridges. Upon the discharge of the SG-1000 II, the system additionally had a tool known as the Sega Card Catcher. which plugs into the rom slot after which might play a flat-shaped rom card, much like the PCE’s playing cards. Sega made a transfer to see if these Sega Cards would assist enhance the system being they had been cheaper to make and thus cheaper to promote, nevertheless Sega would abandon the thought someday into the Master System’s life.

A present documented complete of 68 cartridges and 29 Sega Cards have been recognized to be launched for it, and though there have been no mascot characters for it on the time to dominant and supply notable franchise titles, like Sonic or Alex Kidd, it did have fairly a number of cool licensed titles based mostly on widespread Japanese anime/manga, akin to “Golgo 13” and “Orgus”. The SG-1000 did additionally obtain some third celebration help, closely from Konami, however oddly sufficient a lot of the arcade hits Sega insisted on programming themselves. Example “Galaga” was a reasonably devoted port however Sega did the programing themselves and barely retitled it as “Sega Galaga”, and an identical case for “Lode Runner”. Sega additionally ported their very own quite a few arcade hits as properly, like “Congo Bongo” and “Zaxxon”. Also of word all cartridges and playing cards could possibly be performed on the Sega Mark III, nevertheless the Sega Mark III’s cartridges and playing cards couldn’t be performed on both SG-1000 mannequin. This would permit the Mark III to develop into one of many first backwards appropriate programs, solely crushed by the 1984 Atari 7800.

In abstract the SG-1000 is a superb system with a nasty rap. By the tip of it is run it offered over 2 million models world large between the 2 variations (add one other 120,000 models for those who then lump the SC-3000 on high of it). Does it have much less video games, in points of each amount and people who nonetheless maintain as much as be replayed even in the present day, when evaluating to the NES: Yes.

However, when evaluating to the opposite programs of the time, it certainly beats the hell out of the Atari 2600, and though the library is smaller, it supplies higher recreation performs than both the Intellivision or Colecovision. The previous 5 years there was a nostalgia resurgence for Sega’s physique of labor and the quite a few used SG-1000 and SG-1000 IIs floating across the second hand market have created a brand new cult across the machine.

If you may have the time or the money, I’d enterprise to see what the enchantment is and nab this one.

Article by Drew McCabe



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