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Platform - GEN.png
Released: 1988-10-29
Discontinued: 1997-??-??
Developer: Sega
Type: Hardware

The Genesis is a fourth-generation video game console system developed and produced by Sega. It was first released in Japan in 1988, then in North America in 1989. The system is referred to as the Mega Drive (セガメガドライブ Sega Mega Doraibu) in most regions. Two add-ons were released for the Genesis; the 32X and the Sega CD. Unfortunately, both add-ons were designed very poorly, as each one required their own power supply and video cord, and both ended up flopping in the video game market. There are even a few games which utilize both the 32X and the Sega CD. The Genesis uses Z80 and 68000, which made it easy for Amiga developers to convert games to the Genesis.

Mega Drive.jpg



Music and Sound

The Sega Genesis uses the YM2612 as well as the SN76496 from the Sega Master System. The YM2612 contained 6 channels; 6 FM channels as well as a optional DAC channel for digitized sound (using this disables FM channel 6), which was mostly used for percussion samples. The SN76496 contained three square channels as well as a noise channel which could alternate between white and periodic noise. In total, the Sega Genesis contained 10 channels which was 2 more than the SNES's SPC-700. Sound drivers could be programmed in either with either the Zilog Z80 (similar to the Master System) or Motorola 68000 (similar to the Amiga) or sometimes both.

Most American and European game developers would use the software GEMS to develop music for their Sega Genesis/Mega Drive games, while in Japan, some would use any of Sega's four generations of sound drivers, which were written on a PC-98 computer. However, many games in all regions had their own sound engines.