It was Sega's first console. It was test marketed in Japan in 1981 and first released to the Japanese market in 1983 for ¥15,000. The console reached minor success in that market. The system was sold well within Asia until 1985. It was also sold in Australia by John Sands, New Zealand by Granstand Leisure Limited, and in other countries, such as Italy, Spain, and South Africa. The console in its original form never reached North America.
Sega released an updated version of the console called the SG-1000 Mark II. A computer version of this console was called the SC-3000. Ironically, the SC-3000 would outsell the SG-1000. The SG-1000 Mark III, a yet newer version in Japan, would be redesigned to become the Sega Master System.
Game manufacturer Tsukada Original made Othello Multivision, an SG-1000 clone. Bit Corp's Dina 2-in-1 Colecovision clone was brought to North America by a company called Telegames. Telegames called its clone the Telegames Personal Arcade, which could play Colecovision and SG-1000 games.