Master System Floppy Disk Drive

From Sega Retro

SMSProto Floppy.jpg
Master System Floppy Disk Drive
Made for: Sega Master System
Manufacturer: Sega

The Sega Master System Floppy Disk Drive is an unreleased peripheral for the Sega Master System. It seems that at one point, as well as being able to run cartridges and Sega Cards, Sega had planned for their console to be able to run 3½-inch floppy disks. It can be seen as a spiritual successor to the Super Control Station SF-7000.

The floppy disk drive would have been attached underneath the Master System console (Power Base), similar to the relationship between its successor, the Sega Mega Drive and the original Sega Mega-CD. It is thought that the Master System might have been designed with this (or a similar) peripheral in mind, as it has an unused expansion port on the bottom of the console (which is blocked off in retail units), and mounting holes, suggesting something was planned to be housed underneath the system.

While a 3½-inch floppy disk could have provided greater storage capacity for games, it would have come at the cost of slow disk access times, and a greater chance of failure due to the addition of moving parts. In 1986 3½-inch floppy disks were still expensive to produce (at least in comparison to other media formats) - the price would drop rapidly towards the end of the 1980s, but it was perhaps not cost effective for when the console was first launched. The majority of Master System games by 1988 were 256kB in size, with 512kB becoming more common as the 1990s rolled on - this was presumably deemed a sufficient amount of space by Sega's hardware teams.

Little else is known about the peripheral, and we do not know if a Sega Mark III version was planned.

Sega would plan a floppy disk drive for the Sega Mega Drive too, though again this would not be released, however a floppy disk drive for the Sega Saturn would eventually see a release in Japan.

Magazine articles

Main article: Master System Floppy Disk Drive/Magazine articles.


Sega Master System
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Unreleased Floppy Disk Drive
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