Mega Drive consoles in North America

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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.

Contents

United States

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis with Altered Beast)
SgenAB US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSgenAB US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

Genesis (with Sonic the Hedgehog)

Like other regions, the Genesis was bundled with the first Sonic the Hedgehog game.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis with Sonic the Hedgehog)
SGenS1 US Box Back.JPGNospine-small.pngSGenS1 US Box Front.JPG

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis, "Sonic System")
MD US Box Back SonicSystem.jpgNospine-small.pngSGenTSS US Box Front.JPG

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis, "The Core System")
SGenTCS US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSGenTCS US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

Genesis (Fighting System)

A bundle containing Streets of Rage 2, which was released in early 1993.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis, "Fighting System")
SGenFightingSystem US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2, "The Core System")
SGen2TCS US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (with Sonic the Hedgehog 2)

A Genesis 2 bundle containing Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2, with Sonic the Hedgehog 2)
SGen2S2 US Box Back.JPGNospine-small.pngSGen2S2 US Box Front.JPG

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (Sega Sports System)

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2, "Sega Sports System")
MD2 US Box Front SegaSportsSystem.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console
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"Stadium Cusion"

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2, "NFL Pack")
SGen2NFL US Box Front.JPG

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (with The Lion King)

A Genesis 2 bundle containing The Lion King.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2 with The Lion King)
MD2 US Box Front LionKing.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (with Sub-Terrania and Sonic the Hedgehog 3)

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2 with Sub-Terrania and Sonic the Hedgehog 3)
SGen2S3ST US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (with Sonic & Knuckles)

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2 with Sonic & Knuckles)
MD2 US Box Front SaK.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2 with 6-Pak, older)
MD2 US Box Back 6Pak Alt.jpgNospine-small.pngMD2 US Box Front 6Pak Alt.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console
Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2 with 6-Pak, newer)
SGen26Pak US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

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.

Mega Drive, US (Genesis 2, "The Core System", Majesco re-release)
SGenTCS Majesco US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSGenTCS Majesco US Box Front.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console

Genesis 3

Main Article: Genesis 3

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.

Canada

Genesis (with Altered Beast)

Mega Drive, CA (Genesis with Altered Beast)
MD CA Box Back AlteredBeast.jpgNospine-small.pngMD CA Box Front AlteredBeast.jpg

Cover

Genesis1.jpg
Console

Genesis 2 (Sonic 2 System)

Mega Drive, CA (Genesis 2, "Sonic 2 System")
MD2 CA Box Back Sonic2System.jpgNospine-small.pngMD2 CA Box Front Sonic2System.jpg

Cover

Genesis2.jpg
Console
Sega Mega Drive Hardware
Console Variations Japan | North America | Europe | Brazil | Asia | South Korea

Heartbeat Personal Trainer | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech | Nomad | Teradrive

Add-ons Mega CD (Multi-Mega | Wondermega | CSD-G1M) | 32X (Mega CD 32X)

Demo System DS-16 | Master Mega Converter | Mega-CD Karaoke | Mega Modem | Nomad PowerBack | Power Base Converter | Super Magic Drive

Controllers Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | MK-1470

Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad

Network Services Sega Channel | Sega Meganet (Sega Game Toshokan) | Tectoy Mega Net | TeleBradesco | XB∀ND
Misc. Hardware 4 Way Play | Action Replay | Game Genie | Mega Anser | Power Plug | StuntMaster | Super Multi-play |Team Player | Tototek MD-Pro
Unreleased Hardware Floppy Disk Drive | Video Jukebox
Built-in Cartridge Hardware J-Cart | Sonic & Knuckles Lock-On
Cartridge Chips Sega Virtua Processor
Consoles on a Chip Arcade Classic | Arcade Master | Arcade Motion Classic | Arcade Motion Dual | Arcade Nano Series | Arcade Portable | Arcade Ultimate | Genesis Gencore | GenMobile | Legends series | Mega Drive 3 (2000) | Mega Drive 3 (2007) | Mega Drive 3 (2008) | Mega Drive 4 | Mega Drive Twin Pads | Micro Drive | Sega Zone