25 years ago today, the SEGA Genesis ushered us into the next level of gaming

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While we’re in the midst of 32X Month here at SEGAbits, we’re momentarily removing the black plastic mushroom to pay tribute to the console that changed how SEGA was perceived in North America – the SEGA Genesis. While the Master System failed to make a dent in the US market, SEGA’s Genesis (known as the Mega Drive outside of North America) hit the scene with jaw dropping graphics and impressive stereo sound capabilities. In the early days before Sonic the Hedgehog, marketing highlighted all the things Genesis did that Nintendo did not – more eloquently phrased as “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t!”. Rather than focus on their stable of characters, early Genesis ads featured celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Pat Riley, Buster Douglas, and Joe Montana – all who appeared in their own Genesis games.

When SEGA of America leadership made the transition from Michael Katz to Tom Kalinske, emphasis returned to in-house characters with the establishment of Sonic the Hedgehog as the company mascot, relaunching the Genesis with a new campaign and video game star. From there the console wars heated up, and thanks to the efforts of SEGA employees, SEGA attained 65% of the market in North America for period of time, making Nintendo number two. If you’d like to hear the story of the console wars from the men and women themselves, we urge you to watch the Console Wars panel that we had the honor of attending and recording at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.

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Earlier this year, we started the celebrations early with a month devoted to the Genesis, and since then we’ve had the privilege to collaborate with Darren Wall to promote his book SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works, we also interviewed SEGA legends Tom Kalinske and Al Nilsen who appear in Blake J. Harris‘s book Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation. Suffice to say, we’ve been talking about the SEGA Genesis a lot over the past month, which is why we now want to turn it over to you the reader!

In the comments section below, share with us your SEGA Genesis memories, and make sure to read what our Twitter followers had to say about SEGA’s 16-bit console that could. Happy 25th Anniversary, SEGA Genesis!

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4 responses to “25 years ago today, the SEGA Genesis ushered us into the next level of gaming

  1. I think the “Joe Namath” should be “Joe Montana” in reference to Joe Montana Football. Unless there was another big football game (I could easily be wrong, as I only played the Joe Montana franchise).

  2. Fernandeath says:

    I had a SNES in the 90s 🙁
    I regret that.

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