CPU: Motorola 68000 at 7.16 MHz in PAL, 7.67 MHz in NTSC / Secondary Zilog Z80 at 3.55 MHz in PAL, 3.58 MHz in NTSC MEMORY: Main: 64Kb RAM + 8Kb / Video RAM: 64Kb / Audio RAM 8Kb GRAPHICS: VDP Chip: 256x224, 320x224, 256x240, 320x240 / 512 colors (1536 using shadow-highlight mode),64 x 9-bit words of color RAM, 4 lines of 15 colors plus transparent, allowing 61 on-screen colors / Sprites: Up to 64 on-screen, 16/20 per line, 256/320 pixels per line, per-sprite priority / Interlace Mode 1 (no increase in resolution and Mode 2 (2x vertical resolution) SOUND: Main: Yamaha YM2612 @ 7,16MHz with six FM channels, four operators each / Secondary: TI SN76489 with 4-channel PSG + 3 Sq Wave channels. MEDIA/STORAGE: Cartridges (ROM) with up to 4Mb + ext. CD (on later models)
Being the predecessor of the 8bit Sega Master System, it is a 16bit console released by Sega in 1988 (Japan) as Genesis and in 1989 in Europe as Megadrive, to compete with the 16bit home computers ST, Amiga and Apple Mac II. It s main competitor though would be the 16bit Nintendo Super NES (SNES) released a couple of years later! It was the successor to the 8bit Sega Mastersystem. Having great power, using custom chips plus a 68000 processor, MD could show games quite equivalent to the coin-op machines of the time. It used ROM cartridges and could add an external CD-Rom device (the Mega-CD unit). Apart from the face-lift in 1993 (Megadrive/Genesis 2 in a smaller-form factor case), a new version released using an internal CD-Rom device, named Sega CD which did not do well on the market finally. Note that Megadrive/Genesis succeeded from the Sega Saturn video-game console.
The Megadrive (EU) / Genesis (Jap) (default) color palette