The Sega CD (known as the Mega-CD in most areas outside North America) is a CD-based add-on for the Sega Genesis designed and produced by Sega. The Sega CD was the first attempt by Sega to prolong the life of the Genesis, along with the Sega 32X.
The way that the Sega CD was designed to work was that the Genesis system would handle the gameplay and the controls, while the Sega CD system would handle any cenematics, music and sound effects.
Note: Many of the ways that the 32X failed were identical to the failings of the Sega CD.
- The Sega CD had its own AC adapter. Yes, it's one of those plugs that incorporates the power brick. This meant if you owned this, you'd also have to own a Genesis and a TV: that's three plugs (four if you had a 32X). The plug was so large that outside of the most generously-spaced multi-sockets, it would prevent anything from being plugged into any adjacent socket.
- Sega's solution to this was offering their own 5 outlet power strip to plug in all the add-on's power adapters sideways including the TV and the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive itself.
- While the Sega CD did have good games, (including Sonic CD, arguably the best Sonic game) it heavily focused on FMV games, the way that the 3DO or the CD-i did, which were a fad at the time and lacked real interactivity.
- In order to play the Sega CD you have to own a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. To make matters worse there were no third-party systems that allowed you to play Sega CD alone.
- There are six games that requires you to own both the Sega 32X and the Sega CD simultaneously. Examples that required to do so was Corpse Killer and Night Trap.
- The FMVs couldn't even render to the entire screen and were rather poor quality. The aforementioned Sega CD 32X games looked okay enough for the time, but few people owned this combination.
- The loading times for games were way too long. Even the 32X didn't have this problem.
- Competition from consoles like the Super Nintendo and the then-upcoming PlayStation meant that very few people were interested in the Sega CD. Even the Genesis itself was doing fine.
- Very overpriced: the Sega CD's introductory price was 49,800 yen / US$299 / £270 on top of the initial price of the Genesis.
- There is a terrifying warning if you put a Sega CD disk in a normal CD Player.
- It did have some good games, such as the Lunar series, The Terminator, Earthworm Jim Special Edition, Night Trap, Sonic CD, Final Fight CD, Mortal Kombat, Lords of Thunder, Ecco the Dolphin CD, Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side, Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures Of Mickey Mouse and the only version of Snatcher that was released outside of Japan.
- It is one of the higher quality CD add-ons that were made during the 90's.
- It did show gamers and companies the possibilities that CDs had, in comparison to ROM cartridges (which included; larger games, better audio, full motion video, cheaper production costs).
- A few alternatives that included both the Sega CD and Genesis built into one single device such as the Victor Wondermega/JVC X’Eye and Sega’s own CDX/Multi-Mega were released.
The Sega CD was initially praised for its ability to play CD games, however interest in the add-on quickly plummeted due to the abundance of poor quality FMV games with little to no gameplay. By the end of its lifespan in 1995, the Sega CD had sold just 2.7 million units total.
- A year after the Model 1 Sega CD (shown in the picture above in the infobox), Sega would release a top-loading Model 2 Sega CD, being significantly cheaper ($230) and smaller.
- This model is the more recognized version, while the Model 1 is rarer.
- In 1994, Sega eventually released the Sega CDX (known as the Multi-Mega in PAL regions), a hybrid system that combined the Genesis, Sega CD and 32X all into one sleek package.
- Ironically, even though the Sega CD was created to extend the Genesis' lifespan, the original console ended up outliving it. In fact, the Genesis 3 doesn't even support the Sega CD.