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7/21/2016

Sega SG-1000 Shenanigans

If you're a gamer, you've doubtlessly at least heard of Sega.  While they continue to be a sizable contender in the industry today, they were one of the biggest names in gaming throughout the 80s and 90s, producing wave upon wave of beloved arcade titles, consoles and games that still have an enormous fan following.  But before there was Sonic, Alex Kidd or even Opa-Opa, there was the SG-1000, their first foray into the console market which was released exclusively in Japan in 1983.

The system was released the same day as Nintendo's Famicom, seemingly as a direct competitor to it.  However, the SG-1000 never became very popular for a number of reasons, chief among them being the number of competing systems available at the time, the Famicom's superior hardware and, of course, the Video Game Crash of 1983.  This led to Sega retiring the SG-1000 in 1987 so that they could refocus their efforts on the Mark III (aka the Sega Master System) instead.  That later got followed up by the mega-hit Sega Genesis in late 1988, and as they say, the rest is history.

Despite its short life and lack of popularity, the SG-1000 acquired a library of about 100 titles across two formats (cartridges and cards), and Sega even went so far as to make the Mark III backwards compatible with all of its games.  As its entire library also takes up less than two megs zipped, I figured "why not?" and decided to check them all out.