Mega Play

From Sega Retro

This article is about the arcade system. For the US magazine, see Mega Play (magazine).
MegaPlay logo.png
Mega Play
Manufacturer: Sega
Variants: Mega-Tech System, System C, System 18, Mega Drive
Release Date RRP Code
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The Mega Play is the name of a JAMMA-based arcade board with the ability to run Sega Mega Drive games. It was the second attempt by Sega to bring the home console to the arcades, following the Mega-Tech arcade system. Mega Play hardware saw a release throughout Asia and the PAL regions, but was not released in North America.

On first glance, a Mega Play machine is very similar to a Mega-Tech one, but there are a number of key differences. Both allow the user to select from a number of built-in games via a menu, however whereas Mega-Tech can hold up to eight cartridges, Mega Play hardware can only store four. Mega-Tech and Mega Play cartridges are not interchangeable, and both systems contain modifications to stop arcade owners from purchasing and running cheaper retail Mega Drive cartridges instead. Also unlike Mega-Tech hardware, no Sega Master System games were released for Mega Play hardware.

Though there were fewer games released for Mega Play hardware than Mega-Tech hardware, each game was modified for use in the arcades. With Mega-Tech, the user inserts coins for time, and can die as often as he or she wants without repercussions. Mega Play differs in that a user pays for lives and is generally not hindered by time, similar to other arcade systems. All Mega Play games were modified to limit the number of extra chances (for example, Sonic the Hedgehog replaces all the extra life monitors).

The Mega Play system was seen as an upgrade to Mega-Tech, and could be housed within a Mega-Tech cabinet. Like Mega-Tech it was designed with two monitors in mind, one for game selection (top) and one for the game itself (bottom), however once a game is selected the top screen will display the contents of the bottom screen, allowing passers by to see the game in action and hopefully persuade them to have a go. EDIT: This was found out to be untrue. You only get video output from JAMMA and connector CN8 (JST 6P). CN8 is directly connected to the JAMMA video. On Mega Tech CN9 (JST 5P) would have the secondary video, however on Mega Play, that connector has data signals instead. Mega Play does not have a choice menu, and this is why the "Take Control" screen shows up before each demo when no credit inserted. And when there's credit inserted it just prompts you to press the Select button to cycle through games. So no second monitor unless you just want to mirror the first one. Mega Play is made compatible with the Mega Tech Cabinet because it was sold as conversion hardware. There was no "Mega Play Cabinet" but rather repurposed Mega Tech cabinets.

List of games

There are twelve games known to exist for the Mega Play hardware:

Magazine articles

Main article: Mega Play/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Photo gallery


Sega Arcade Boards
Originating in Arcades
76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08
Fonz Galaxian Zaxxon Appoooh X Board Model 2 Hikaru Atomiswave
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VCO Object LaserDisc System SP
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System 16
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Mega Play Lindbergh
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