Sega Genesis (Mega Drive)
The Sega Genesis, known as Mega Drive in Japan and Europe, was first released in 1988 (1989 in the USA). The Genesis was the 16-bit successor to the Master System and was also backwards compatible with Master System games with purchase of the Power Base Converter. Although the Genesis did not fare well in Japan, where it received stiff competition from the Super NES, it did sell very well in the USA and in Europe. Once the Super NES was released in the USA and the U.K., the market for Sega quickly tightened.
Much of the Genesis' success can be attributed not only to many of its unique game franchises, such as Sonic the Hedgehog, but also by the sheer number of games that were developed (some 900 games all together). The Genesis can also be credited with the birth of video game ratings, given that many people criticized Sega for violent games like Night Trap and Mortal Combat. By the end, and after the release of 32-bit systems like the Dreamcast, the Sega Genesis had sold well over 40 million units. Above is a screen shot of the game Golden Axe, and below a shot of the game Sonic the Hedgehog.