|Fast facts on Sega Mega-CD|
As the names suggest, it allows a Mega Drive to run compact discs, be it proprietary Mega-CD software, audio CDs or CD+G discs. It also acts as an upgrade to the Mega Drive hardware, sporting an extra processor and extra RAM. The Mega-CD was first released in 1991 and was supported alongside regular Mega Drive cartridges.
The Mega-CD comes in many forms, but in all cases the hardware adds the capability of reading compact discs, technology which in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was becoming a more affordable storage option than the traditional video game ROM cartridge of previous console generations.
A traditional Mega-CD does not act as a stand-alone unit, and needs to be hooked up to a Mega Drive via the expansion port located on the right hand side of the console. Mega-CDs do, however, require their own AC adaptor, meaning that in order to play Mega-CD games, two sockets will be occupied by the upgraded console.
Though one would expect the Mega-CD to simply give the Mega Drive access to compact discs, it in fact adds extra processors, memory and audio features as well, all of which can only be utilised by CD software. The Mega-CD does not, however, solve the issue of graphics, which aside from the ability to scale and rotate sprites on the fly, remain identical to the standard Mega Drive system.
The Mega-CD also offers stereo sound RCA connectors. The Mega Drive on its own will output a monaural audio signal to the television, with stereo only being available through the headphone port located at the front of the console. An external connection from the Mega Drive to the Mega-CD will allow all games to play through the television in stereo.
Like the Mega Drive, there were two major revisions of the add-on by Sega and several special combination units.
The original Mega-CD utilises a CD tray, and sits underneath the Mega Drive (or Mega Drive 2). It is a reasonably large add-on designed to be permanently attached to the console at all times.
A cost-reduced model of the Mega-CD was produced and released around the same period as the cost-reduced Mega Drive 2. In Japan, the system debuted on the 23rd April, 1993, with a US release around Summer CES 1993 and August 1993 for Europe.
This version sits on the right hand side of the Mega Drive, though continues to act as a new base for the console, and is a top-loading device. Fewer mechanical parts means less is likely to go wrong with a Mega-CD 2, and is designed to look sleeker and more appealing. The Mega-CD 2 is designed primarily with the Mega Drive 2 in mind, however a plastic extension piece was included to add extra support with an original Mega Drive attached.
Combination Mega Drive/Mega-CD units were developed over the course of the Mega-CD's lifetime. The Wondermega and LaserActive are standalone consoles; the LaserActive also plays LaserDiscs. The Multi-Mega is a portable audio CD player that can play Mega Drive and Mega-CD games when plugged in to wall power and a TV. The Aiwa Mega CD is a Mega Drive/Mega-CD packed into Aiwa's consumer-level portable CD stereos.
The five games marked with an asterisk(*) were later released in enhanced form, requiring both the Mega-CD and 32X to be played, and taking advantage of the latter's improved graphics (see Sega Mega-CD 32X).
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|Sega Mega-CD Hardware|
|Mega CD Variations||Wondermega | LaserActive | Sega Multi-Mega | CSD-G1M|
|Misc. Hardware||CD BackUp RAM Cart | Mega-CD Karaoke | Pro CDX|
|Development Tools||SNASM Mega-CD, PsyQ Mega-CD SDK, PSY-Q CD Emulation System (Mega-CD)|
|Cancelled Hardware||Game Genie|
|Sega Mega Drive|
|Topics||History | List of games | Magazine articles | Blast processing|
|Hardware||Japan | North America | Europe | Brazil | Asia | South Korea | Australia|
EZ Games | Heartbeat Personal Trainer | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech System | Nomad | Teradrive | "Consoles on a chip" | Unlicensed clones
|Add-Ons||Power Base Converter | Mega-CD | 32X (Mega-CD 32X) | Mega Modem | Demo System DS-16|
|Controllers||Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | Arcade Power Stick 6B | Konami Justifier | MK-1470|
Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad
|Accessories||4 Way Play | Cleaning System | Control Pad Extension Cord | Genesis Speakers | Region converter cartridges | Mega Terminal | Miracle Piano Teaching System | Nomad PowerBack | RF Unit (Mega Drive 2) | SCART Cable (Mega Drive 2) | Stereo Audio Video Cable | Team Player | Video Monitor Cable|
|Network services||Sega Channel | Sega Meganet (Sega Game Toshokan | Mega Anser) | Tectoy Mega Net | Telebradesco Residência | XB∀ND|
|Development tools||ERX 308P | ERX 318P | Sprobe | SNASM68K | SNASM2 (Mega Drive) | SNASM2 (32X)|
|Unreleased||Floppy Disk Drive | Mega Play 1010 | Sega VR | Video Jukebox|
|Sega Home Video Game Systems|
|SG-1000||SG-1000 II||Mega Drive||Mega Drive II|
|SC-3000||Mega-CD||Mega-CD II||Genesis 3|
|Sega Mark III||32X||Dreamcast|
|Master System||Master System II|
|AI Computer||Game Gear|