Mega Drive consoles in North America
From Sega Retro
The Sega Mega Drive debuted in North America in August 1989, with a regionwide release in September of that year. Due to trademark issues, it was renamed the "Sega Genesis", and has always operated under this name under this region.
In the US, the console was distributed by Sega between 1989 and 1997. It was then passed to Majesco, who kept the system alive for an extra two years before it was shelved. In Canada, the Mega Drive was distributed by Irwin Toy in its early years, however Sega inevitably took back the distribution rights when the console proved successful. Many Canadian units and games were imported from the US.
All North American units output an NTSC signal.
Genesis (with Altered Beast)
The first release of the Genesis console, which was bundled with the arcade conversion of Altered Beast, one of the more popular arcade titles of the time.
Genesis (with Sonic the Hedgehog)
Like other regions, the Genesis was bundled with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game.
Genesis (Sonic System)
The above Sonic bundle must have been a success for Sega, as they decided to repackage the product under the name "Sonic System". It is currently unknown if there are any other changes.
Genesis: The Core System
During 1991, Sega released a bare-bones bundle after the Altered Beast package. "The Core System" contains nothing but the console, cables and a controller.
Genesis (Fighting System)
A bundle containing Streets of Rage 2, which was released in early 1993.
Genesis 2 (The Core System)
When the redesigned Genesis 2 came into production, packaging for both consoles and games adopted the new red/black color scheme. As with the model 1, "The Core System" contains nothing but the console, cables and one controller.
Genesis 2 (with Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
A Genesis 2 bundle containing Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Genesis 2 (Sega Sports System)
Genesis 2 (NFL Pack)
A Genesis 2 bundle containing NFL '95. For many of these bundles, the standard core system box was used with added stickers.
Genesis 2 (with The Lion King)
A Genesis 2 bundle containing The Lion King.
Genesis 2 (with Sub-Terrania and Sonic the Hedgehog 3)
Genesis 2 (with Sonic & Knuckles)
Genesis 2 (with 6-Pak)
A bundle containing the 6-Pak compilation was released in 1995, during the latter part of the system's lifetime.
Genesis 2 (The Core System; Majesco re-release)
After Majesco obtained the rights to distribute older Sega consoles in the US during 1997, they re-released this Core System bundle. It is almost identical to Sega's, though the back of the box talks about more recent games. The front of the box can be identified as one of Majesco's if the text reads "Great Games Available!". Original Core System bundles read "500+ Games Available!". It may have been foolish to claim 500+ Genesis games were still coming out of Sega's factories as late as 1997, although over 500 had been released up to that point.
Majesco also released a cut-down version of the console in 1998, titled the Genesis 3. Removal of certain lines on the cartridge port and the removal of the expansion port made it incompatible with many of the add-ons and as it was released so late, it failed to sell well.
Genesis (with Altered Beast)
Genesis 2 (Sonic 2 System)