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Top: North American/European Master System
Middle: Japanese Sega Mark III
Bottom: PAL Master System II
|Type||Home video game console|
|Release date||October 20, 1985 (Mark III) NA|
|Retail availability||WW 1985–present NA 1986-92|
|Discontinued||Circa 1988-1989 NA|
|Units sold||Worldwide: 13 million (as of 2009) (not including recent Brazil figures)|
Japan: 1 million (as of 1986)
United States: 2 million (as of 1993)
Europe: 6.8 million (estimated as of December 1993)
Brazil: 8 million (as of 2016)
|Media||ROM cartridge, Sega Card|
|CPU||Zilog Z80A @ 4 MHz|
|Memory||8 kB RAM, 16 kB VRAM|
|Display||256 × 192 resolution, 32 colors on-screen|
|Graphics||Yamaha YM2602B VDP|
|Sound||Yamaha VDP PSG(SN76489), Yamaha YM2413[a]|
|Related articles||Game Gear|
The Sega Master System (SMS)[c] is a video game console made in 1986. It was not very popular in North America and Japan but was very popular in Brazil. One of the most popular game of the Sega Master System was Sonic the Hedgehog.
In October 1985, the Sega Mark III was released in Japan for ¥15,000.
The console was redesigned as the "Master System", and it was released in North America in 1986 at a price of $200 (389). It included a multicart of the games Hang-On and Safari Hunt. By the end of 1986, 125,000 Master System consoles had been sold. This was more than the Atari 7800's 100,000, but it was less than the NES's 1.1 million.
The console was re-released as the Master System in Japan in October 1987 for ¥16,800. It still sold poorly as did the Mark III. Neither model posed a serious challenge to Nintendo in Japan.
Transition to Genesis and decline
The Master System was eventually a success in Europe. In Europe, it sold more than the NES by a lot. As late as 1993, the Master System's active installed user base in Europe was 6.25 million units. That was larger than that of the Mega Drive's 5.73 million base that year. Combined with the Mega Drive, Sega had the majority of the console user base in Europe that year.
Continued success in Brazil
The Master System has had continued success in Brazil. In Brazil, new versions have continued to be released. Tectoy has been manufacturing Master Systems since 1989. These versions include the Master System Compact and the Master System 3. In 2015, it was reported that the Master System sells around 150,000 units per year in Brazil. By 2016, the Master System had sold 8 million units in Brazil. Because Tectoy continued to produce the Master System years for so long, the Master System is considered the longest-lived in the history of video game consoles.
Reception and legacy
It is estimated that 13 million Master Systems were sold. This does not include recent Brazil sales.
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- Azevedo, Théo (May 12, 2016). "Console em produção há mais tempo, Master System já vendeu 8 mi no Brasil" (in Portuguese). Grupo Folha. Archived from the original on May 14, 2016. https://web.archive.org/web/20160514115923/http://jogos.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/2016/05/12/console-em-producao-ha-mais-tempo-master-system-ja-vendeu-8-mi-no-brasil.htm. Retrieved May 13, 2016. "Comercializado no Brasil desde setembro de 1989, o saudoso Master System já vendeu mais de 8 milhões de unidades no país, segundo a Tectoy."
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- Computer Entertainer, February 1987, page 13 Archived November 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
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- "Total 8-bit and 16-bit Cartridge Consoles: Active installed base estimates". Screen Digest (Screen Digest Ltd.). March 1995. (cf. here  Archived March 24, 2017, at the Wayback Machine and here  Archived March 24, 2017, at the Wayback Machine)
- Szczepaniak, John (2006). "Company Profile: Tec Toy". Retro Gamer (London, UK: Imagine Publishing) (30): 50–53. .
- Smith, Ernie (July 27, 2015). "Brazil Is An Alternate Video Game Universe Where Sega Beat Nintendo". Atlas Obscura. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017. https://web.archive.org/web/20170621140933/http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/brazil-is-a-video-game-alternate-universe-where-sega-beat-nintendo.
- Fick, Matthew. "The 5 longest console lifespans". Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20151106145422/http://za.ign.com/ps4/64636/feature/the-5-longest-console-lifespans. Retrieved November 30, 2015.