The Sega Mega - CD (JapaneseメガCD, Mega - CD, Sega CD in North America ) is a CD -ROM drive for the Sega Mega Drive games to CDs to play. The first time in 1991, published in Japan device is connected underneath the Mega Drive and has an extendable CD compartment. This version was published in 1992 in the United States. In 1993, the highly cost-reduced Sega Mega - CD II was released worldwide, which does not include the extendable loading and replacing it with an opening upward. This device is connected to the right side of the Mega Drive.
While Nintendo still modules used (and should continue to do this even to the Nintendo 64), Sega went with the Mega - CD the step in the direction CD -ROM use in game consoles and set this path with the Sega Saturn continues. Was the price of the device but with 580 DM ( about 290 € ) most players too expensive, which meant that the sales of the console remained below expectations.
The Mega - CD is connected to the expansion port of the Mega Drive. When older Mega Drive I must additionally the headphone output via the supplied cables are connected to the Mega - CD.
The Mega - CD has its own, clocked at 12.5 MHz 68000 processor. In addition, the console features an additional graphics chip, which allows scaling and rotation effects. The audio characteristics of the Mega Drives are also extended to 8 PCM channels.
Up to a separate RCA output for audio data, the connections of the Megadrives be used.
The built-in CD -ROM drive running at normal speed ( single-speed ). In addition to games and music CDs and CD Gs can be played. This is music CDs that contain additional data such as texts or images.
The console has no copy protection, so that burned without mod chip games can be played.
The console has a battery - backed memory of 64 kbit can be stored on the Scores. Later, separate memory modules, which offered considerably more space than the internal memory of the Mega - CD and were inserted into the module slot of the Mega Drive appeared.
Due to the higher CPU performance of the second 68000 CPU and the additional graphics chip could technically sophisticated games to be developed for the console. Examples are Thunderhawk, Battle Corps and Soul Star dar. also the racing game Jaguar XJ220 made good use of the variable Rotate & zoom function of the Mega - CD. Frequently, however, was criticized that the Mega - CD just like the Mega Drive maximum of 64 colors could be displayed simultaneously. In particular, full-motion video suffered from this limitation.
Versions and variants
Mega - CD and Sega CD
The first version of the Mega - CD was released only in Japan and North America in large numbers. The relatively few devices for the European market were sold mainly in the United Kingdom.
Mega - CD II Sega CD and II
The second version of the Mega - CD dispensed electrical drawer and instead uses a top-loaded drive. Therefore, the Mega - CD II is in contrast to its predecessor, the side mounted next to the Mega Drive. Furthermore, the number of the status LEDs is reduced to one. This version was the first to be published everywhere in Europe.
Wondermega / X'Eye
From JVC manufactured systems, a Mega Drive and Mega - CD are each in a stylish body together. In addition, there are microphone ports to operate as a karaoke home device Wondermega RG -M1 even has a MIDI output.
In North America, the Wonder Mega RG -M2 was sold as JVC X'Eye, the wireless controller and the S -video connector have been made redundant and the two controller ports mounted again on the front panel. A Sega 32X can not be used due to lack of RGB outputs.
In Europe, none of the devices was officially sold.
Very compact version with an integrated Mega - CD, Sega CDX in North America known as. This version can be used as a portable CD player. The power supply in this case runs on two AA batteries. A small liquid crystal screen displays information such as the current track number. But to play the console must still be connected to a TV and the power grid.
Especially for the Mega - CD games developed represent the exception rather, in most games is module conversions that have been enhanced by CD music or additional video sequences. A total of about 210 games were released. The best-selling game for the console was Sonic CD copies sold around 1.5 million.