Happy 20th Birthday, Sega Genesis! Wow, it was just two decades ago that Sega released their Nintendo-killer system, which quickly became the “cool” system of choice for half the video game market.
The rise and rule of the Genesis system led to some nifty accessories. Here’s five of the coolest accessories that gamers could add to their Sega Genesis:
EA Sports have been making sports-related games for decades, and back in the day Sega Genesis titles were where you went to get your Madden or NHL fix. But many sports are team games, so Electronic Arts developed the 4-Way Play accessory. This handy little device allowed up to 4 players to play their favourite EA Sports games, so you could have a gamer Super Bowl party, complete with a little pre-game Genesis warm-up!
Some Genesis games were hard to beat. Really hard. (And some ridiculously easy, but I digress.) Game Genie by Camerica/Galoob to the rescue! All you had to do is pop the Genie into the Genesis and insert your game cartridge into it, enter the right code for whatever cheat you wanted, and the game suddenly became a lot easier! (And you could use the Genie as a country converter cartridge for most games, too – but not officially…)
Long before Internet online games, Sega came up with the idea to offer games by download. This little box attached to the Genesis and to the cablevision line. Players paid a monthly service fee to get access to unlimited access to 50 or so games, plus limited previews of new releases, as well as special versions of fan favorites. The service is long gone, but still remembered fondly!
Power Base Converter
Before the Sega Genesis was a hit, there was the Sega Master System. Although it never reached the market share dominance that the Genesis did, there were quite a few games and consoles sold. Rather than tossing out the old games (like Phantasy Star!) gamers could pick up the Power Base Converter, which attached to the Genesis and allowed those SMS games to be played on their new Genesis. 8-bit gaming goodness on their new 16-bit gamer powerhouse! Gamergasm!
If you had the cash, the Sega CD was a must-have accessory. It came in two designs, a CD-player style for the older Genesis systems, which stacked on top of each other, and a top-loading style for the new Genesis systems, which acted as a base and the Genesis inserted into its side. (The Nomad would be released later.) Some of the best games for the Genesis were released on CD-format, including Lunar: The Silver Star, Sonic the Hedgehog CD, The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin, and Earthworm Jim. Now that’s quality retro gaming!