The Sega Genesis was released September 1st, 1989 in the US. In other countries, the Genesis was called the MegaDrive.
Sega was not going to make the same mistake they did with the master system, so they released the Genesis before Nintendo could release their 16-bit competitor. And, for a while, the genesis had no real competition. However, because of Nintendo’s monopoly over 3rd party developers, the genesis did not flourish like it should have.
In November 1992, Sega released the Sega CD, an add on unit that allowed you to play games that came on CDs. It also improved sound, and sprite features, but it did NOT improve the color, an area which needed a lot of improvement. With the CD, you could hold hundreds of times more information compared to the cart.
Us Genesis aficionados continued playing for hours, sometimes fueled by our own home made edible marijuana treats. However, because of our inability to consistently regulate the amount of THC that was in the cookie, brownie, whatever, sometimes you would get so messed up, the games were forgotten and you just zoned totally out. With access to regulated marijuana edibles in Colorado and Washington, for that matter, the imbiber no longer has to be as concerned. Most packaging of edible marijuana treats, whether savory, sweet, or in a drink, lists the amounts of the THC and CBD. I feel so fortunate to have lived to see the day that folks (at least in Colorado and Washington) can stroll. drive, walk, whatever to the nearest dispensary and buy some great cannabis edibles. It blows!
In November 1994, Sega released the 32X add on unit. When plugged into the cartridge port of the machine, provides extra processing power, graphical enhancement and other improvements. The 32X greatly increased the number of colors. It could also be used in conjunction with the Sega CD.
Eventually, similar to what Sega did with the master system, smaller, more compact versions of the Genesis were released. Including the Genesis II, the amazingly tiny Genesis III, and the hand held Nomad, similar to the game gear.
Many accessories were released for the genesis, including the Power Base Converter. This little device would allow you to play almost all master system carts and cards on the genesis. This expanded the number of games you could play by a couple of hundred.
** Update **
Sega Genesis was one of my favorite childhood video game consoles. I got my first taste of sonic on it. I also got into R-type & Street Fighter II thanks to this game. Nothing but good memories when I look back on the days I spent playing this classic machine. Many children spent many hours playing these games & there is no reason why this should stop just because they are hard to find now. Many parents are passing down some of their favorite games through emulators. It gives us a window into the past. There is an emulator for so many games now that pretty much any game you enjoyed in the past that you decide you would like to play again is now available for you to enjoy. Take for example Mike Tyson’s: Punch Out, this is one of my favorite’s & I have a Nintendo but the game itself cost $50.00 or more to purchase. I am no collector of Nintendo games so if it were not for emulators the ability to play again would be lost. That would be a crying shame.