The video game industry that we see and enjoy today is responsible for revolutionizing how we enjoy home entertainment and introducing an entire generation of kids to the one-of-a-kind joy that comes from playing video games. During the numerous console generations there were a lot of successes and also a lot of failures, and throughout all of that, there were a few pioneering companies that paved the way for the console generation that we see today. Sega was once the spearhead of the video game industry as they went from obscurity during the eighties to an entertainment powerhouse during the nineties. The Sega Genesis was a trailblazing console that really showed us how to enjoy video games the right way, and brought the power of arcade-quality graphics home to millions of gamers.
Sega started out in the arcade business, and thus, bringing the arcade quality graphics home to the masses was not a hard task. The Sega Genesis was such a revolution that it also introduced a bevy of new features to the video game industry, and this is what helped to pioneer the console to new heights that had not been reached in the video game industry before. The Sega Genesis was also one of the first consoles that really introduced peripherals to the mass-market, and as such there were a lot of interesting add-ons and things that gamers really don’t know that the Sega Genesis could do, such as being one of the first consoles to go on the Internet. We are going to be taking a look at some of the amazing and trailblazing things that the Sega Genesis could do, and these are things only a true Sega fan would know about.
25 The Sega Genesis Was Backwards Compatible With The SMS
First and foremost the Sega Genesis was a home console, but it was based on the arcade platform that Sega was famous for. Thus, the console could do a lot of things that the Sega Master System couldn’t. Sega knew that their core fanbase was loyal to the SMS, and thus they sold an add on which would allow the Genesis to be backward compatible with the extensive collection of SMS games which had been sold since the eighties, and this opened up a whole new level of gameplay.
24 The Sega Genesis Was The First Console Online With The Mega Modem
Even before the coveted X-Band modem of the nineties, the Sega Genesis was the very first console of the 16-bit generation to ever go online. Long before there was Xbox Live, and even before the advent of Sega Net, there was the Sega Genesis with the Mega Modem. A lot of gamers don’t realize that the Genesis was going online long before many of us thought that it was cool, and thus the console got a lot of praise from the gaming community for its one of a kind design that allowed the console to go online and give gamers a whole new level of gameplay that had not been seen before.
23 The Genesis Pioneered FPS Titles With The Menacer
Even before it was cool to have an FPS title the Genesis was blazing the way for new and innovative games to hit their stride, and thus the Menacer was one of the most coveted accessories for the Genesis. This opened up a whole new level of gameplay to consumers who would have otherwise not gotten to enjoy such as FPS at this high level of entertainment, and in a world where the Wii became a sensation, the Genesis was innovating the gameplay world long before Nintendo ever thought of it.
22 The Sega Genesis Could Play Audio CDs
Remember when compact disks were all the rage? Well, the Sega Genesis was playing toons for a whole generation of gamers right from their bedrooms. When the Sega-CD add-on hit the scene the Genesis was suddenly the most technologically advanced console on the market, and thus the Sega CD was responsible for birthing the home console entertainment mix that we see today. Of course, this was pioneered by the Sony PlayStation 2 in 2000, but long before that console came to fruition the Sega CD was doing its job as well. (Sega-16)
21 The Sega Activator Was Long Before The Wii
A lot of gamers think that the Nintendo Wii is responsible for igniting interest in the gaming industry from consumers who would have otherwise never picked up a controller. But, long before the Wii, there was the Sega Activator, which was known as a fun and interactive way to allow gamers to play their favorite fighting games in real life. The Activator was much like the Wii that we see today, and with that nineties flare, the Activator really helped the Sega Genesis to continue its dominant path of separation from more kid-friendly consoles like the Super Nintendo.
20 The Sega Channel Was An Online Service Long Before Xbox Live
Although Sega Dreamcast pioneered online gameplay and the Xbox made it massively popular with Xbox Live, the Sega Genesis was actually one of the first consoles to ever hit the internet. The Sega Channel was an innovative service that would allow gamers to download their favorite titles directly to their Sega Genesis console. Obviously, the thought of downloading a game on dial-up is a painful thing, but thousands of gamers did it with this innovative service until it was canceled due to a small user base.
19 The 32X Turned The Console Into A True 32-Bit System
Sega was a bit conflicted when it came to their Genesis console during the latter part of its life, and with all of the add-ons, the console was becoming weighed down from the original magic that made it so popular. The Sega 32X was another add-on for the console that was released to give it even more power, and this was actually one of the first 32-Bit consoles, which is pretty cool. Games for the 32-X were still powered by the cartridge, whereas the Sony Playstation really helped to pioneer the CD gaming revolution in a way that the Sega-CD couldn’t do it.
18 You Could Sing Karaoke on the Sega Genesis with Karaoke for Sega CD
There is no doubt that the Sega Genesis offered a ton of fun to do things and games, which is why the console is one of the best selling game consoles of all time. The Karaoke for Sega CD game was an innovative game and product combination that enabled you to turn your regular Saturday night of gaming into a fun Karaoke night. Obviously, the product didn’t take off how Sega had hoped, but the Karaoke for Sega CD was still an innovative game that really showed the depth of what the Sega Genesis could do with the cool add-ons that it had.
17 The Sega Genesis Had A Mouse!
As previously stated, the Sega Genesis was one of the first consoles to ever go online, and as such a mouse was needed to do certain things. The Mega Mouse was an exclusive mouse that was manufactured and sold by Sega for the Genesis, and this peripheral is extremely rare. In addition to the added online capabilities, the Sega Mega Mouse was also compatible with a few choice RPG games as well. The Sega Mega Mouse is a highly coveted collectible, and the unit was actually reborn with the Sega Dreamcast Mouse which came later on.
16 The Sega Genesis Was Also Sold As The Rare CDX console
Toward the end of its life, the Sega Genesis was offered in quite a few different console variations from the Nomad to the Sega Genesis 3, and one rare console that comes into existence every now and then is the Sega CDX. This rare console was a combination of the Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and 32X all wrapped up into one attractive console. We like what the CDX had to offer, and the console has been exploding in value as of late. The CDX could also play audio CDs, which was a rarity at a time when home entertainment was just beginning to evolve.
15 The Genesis Six Button Controller Was Released Later On
Although the more common incarnations of the Sega Genesis all feature the unique six-button controller, there was a time when the original console was released that the Six Button controller was only a thought. In fact, Sega only ended up releasing the six-button controller to compete with the Super Nintendo's updated controllers which featured six-button gameplay. These controllers are the most common variety, and this was one of the more unique features of the console. Many gamers don’t realize that the Six-Button controller will actually unlock new moves in gameplay on older titles as well.
14 The Version of Shaq FU For the Sega Genesis Had More Fighters Available
Because Nintendo was a more kid-friendly console, and the Nintendo brand didn’t believe in blood, the Sega Genesis version of most fighting games were a lot more intense. The popular fighting game Shaq Fu, for instance, featured quite a few more characters that you could fight with, as well as the added blood throughout the gameplay. Shaq FU for the genesis also had an increased move-set thanks to the six-button controller, and this was just a few of the additions that made Shaq FU for the Genesis a much better title in most ways.
13 The Sega Genesis Could Offer Far More Intense Games Then The SNES
During the heyday of the Sega Genesis, politician Ralph Nader was on his crusade against the gaming industry, and Sega was the particular target of his claims. Still, Sega pushed ahead and the vast variety of Sega Genesis games are far more intense than what you would find on the SNES. The Genesis also had a wider variety of fighting games available, and with the Sega Activator, these games were brought to life in a way that gamers would have never done on the SNES.
12 The Sega Genesis Could Play Many 3D Capable Games
Although the Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo 64 are generally credited with revolutionizing the game industry and bringing us the titles that we see today, the Sega Genesis was actually the first console to really attempt to bring 3D gaming to the masses. There were many titles, such as Sonic 3D Blast, which introduced a whole new 3D world to the gaming masses, and there was also the title Doom, which became one of the most popular FPS games in the world and is still revered to this day.
11 The Sega Genesis Also Brought Arcade Quality Home
While the new Generation of gamers is pretty stoked with the flashback consoles that have been released as of late, including the Sega Genesis flashback console. But, back in the time when the Sega Genesis was first being developed arcades were still a popular part of everyday life, and thus the Sega Genesis brought the arcade gaming experience home. Many gamers don’t realize that much of the hardware that is found inside of the Sega Genesis was actually a variation of the same hardware that Sega was using in arcades across the country.
10 The Sega Genesis Had an Adapter For Four Controllers
The Nintendo 64 was the console that really brought four-person gaming to the masses, but the Sega Genesis actually allowed gamers to play four-on-1 thanks to an adapter that was sold by Electronic Arts. While this is a very rare feature and many gamers don’t even realize it existed, this was a revolutionary feature that the hardcore Sega Genesis fans of the world got to experience. The four-person adapter is an extremely rare peripheral, and if you can find one you will be in for something that is extremely fun.
9 The Genesis Could Play Six Games Simultaneously With The Jukebox
For anyone who grew up in the eighties and the nineties, there was nothing worse than having to get up and blow a cartridge out when you wanted to play a different game, but luckily there was a unit that was called The Jukebox which allowed gamers to play six different titles at once. This unit is known for being quite rare although it was featured in quite a few gaming publications when it was new, finding The Jukebox is not an easy task by any means. Being able to swap out six different games back at a time before streaming was a cool novelty, and many gamers don’t realize that the Genesis could do this.
8 The Sega Genesis Birthed Many Classics That We See Today
The Sega Genesis was not just the first true 16-bit console to hit the market, it was also the console that pretty much innovated the entire gaming industry and brought true arcade gaming straight to the living room. The Genesis not only birthed Sonic The Hedgehog, but there was also Madden NFL, Road Rash, NHL Hockey, and hundreds of other titles that have lived on generation after generation. Heck, Sonic The Hedgehog has even been featured in his own TV shows, just to show you how significant the Genesis has been to gaming culture in general.
7 The Sega Genesis Featured A Game With The 7-UP Cool Spot
The Sega Genesis transcended average gaming and brought the joy of video games to a more mainstream crowd, and as such there was a good deal of cross-promotion as well. Cool Spot was a one of a kind game that was based on the popular 7-UP Mascot, and for the most part, this was a one-of-a-kind promotion that really went on to show us how fun a cross-promotion game could actually be. There were quite a few Cool Spot games that were released, similar to how the popular NES title Yo Noid was cross-promoted with Domino's Pizza.
6 Sega Was Focused On An Older Demographic Than Nintendo At The Time
When you think of Nintendo you automatically think of colorful graphics and childish games, and this was a reputation that the console industry had been stuck with. But, the Sega Genesis introduced a much older demographic to the popular world of gaming and this has stayed true today. The Sega Genesis had a slew of exclusive games that had more intensity, as well as deeper story-lines, and this is what helped to make the Genesis a much more popular game console with longevity.
5 The Sega Genesis Was Re-Released In A Modern Console
Perhaps there has not been a single console that has been replicated as much as the Sega Genesis has, in more ways than one. From the original Genesis 2 to the Genesis 3 and the CDX that we saw in later years, there has been a new Sega Genesis released just about every few years. Even today, there is the At Games Sega Genesis which was designed to replicate the original console. This flashback console has become immensely popular, and this is just one of the many offshoot consoles that have created a one-of-a-kind replication of the original console.
4 The Sega Genesis Was Also A Fully Functioning Handheld Console
While Sega originally released the Sega Game Gear which was a popular handheld console, the legendary handheld didn’t hold up in the market against the Game Boy. Thus, during the nineties, Sega decided to release the Nomad which was based on the Sega Genesis and brought it into the handheld market. The Sega Nomad actually played Sega Genesis full sized cartridges, which is still a novelty to this point. The Sega Nomad was a very unique and one of a kind handheld that is still cool to this day, and the value has increased.
3 The Sega Genesis Had A Motorola Motor board
During the nineties, the Motorola phone company had been popular beyond belief, in a way that the Apple iPhone is today. The Sega Genesis was actually based on the Motorola architecture which was designed to give the console a vast amount of processing speed, and this was part of the reason for the console having such an impressive ray of graphics and sound. Motorola had lent a good deal of processing speed to a number of game systems, but the Sega Genesis seemed to have benefitted the most from the processor.
2 The Sega Genesis Also Shared Components With The Apple Computer
Another interesting component to the design of the Sega Genesis is that the fact that the internals was shared with the Apple Computers which were being sold at the time, and this was one of the reasons that made the Sega Genesis such a well-rounded game console. The Apple Computer company also had links into the gaming industry way back in the seventies when Steve Jobs had left to go work at Atari. The Sega Genesis was a melting pot of unique technology, which is partly why the console was so popular and great for making one-of-a-kind arcade gaming experience.
1 The "Mode" Button Could Actually Be Used
One of the unique features that separated the Sega Genesis from other game consoles at the time was the fact that the controller was lacking the L and R buttons on the corners of the controller. Instead, there was a “Mode” button, which contrary to popular belief was actually a functioning button on certain games. This was alarming as many of us can remember using the Genesis 6-Button controller and pressing the mode button endlessly to no avail. This is a notable feature that many gamers will be surprised to find out about.