The device will allow the user to both play audio CDs and specially designed game CDs. It also has CD+G capabilities.
The development of the Sega CD was top secret; game programmers didn't know what they were designing for until the Sega CD was finally revealed at Tokyo Toy Show in Japan. The Sega Mega-CD in Japan was desgned to be in competition with the PC Engine, which had a CD module. A combination version of the aforementioned system, the Duo, would later be released. The Sega Mega-CD was not meant to compete with the Super Famicom, which was released in Japan, nor did it compete with Super Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe.
The Sega Mega-CD was first released in Japan in 1991 for ¥49,800. Initially, it was a great success because of the inherent advantages of CDs (high storage space and low media cost) and the fact that it had a nice RPG base. The system sold 100,000 units during the first year of release in Japan. Cost issues prevented more units from being sold. Sega of Japan did not inform their North American division of their Mega-CD console until a few months later. NEC did horribly with their PC Engine CD in Japan and the Turbo Duo in Europe.
At first, the Mega-CD was a CD tray unit that sat under the console. The Sega Mega-CD 2 was a smaller, cheaper top loading unit that sat next to the Sega Megadrive.
Europe had their Mega-CD expensively priced. It was released in April 1993 in the United Kingdom for £270. Only 4% of European Megadrive owners ended up having a Mega-CD because of its cost. The Megadrive was a very successful console in Europe. 60,000 of the 70,000 Mega-CD's shipped to Europe were sold by August 1993. Some European countries wouldn't get the Mega-CD until its redesign, which also slowed sales.
The Sega Mega-CD exists in the following models:
Main CPU: Motorola 68000 @ 12.5 MHz
Bios Version Machine 1.00 Original Mega CD 2.00 Mega CD2 (Sega CD2 in North America) 2.05 Mega CD2 2.10 Mega CD2 2.21 Sega Mega LD (Japan), Sega Multimega (Europe) (CDX in North America)Access time: 800 ms Sound Circuitry: