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|Mega Drive Cartridge|
|March 10, 1994|
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The Mega Jet was a handheld version of the Mega Drive video game console. It was rented for use aboard Japan Airlines flights.
The device lacked its own screen but could play Mega Drive cartridges when connected to a small armrest monitor used on flights operated by Japan Airlines. The unit featured a directional pad on the left side and six buttons on the right, similar to the layout of a game controller. There was a second joypad port on the bottom of the Mega Jet for multi-player games.
A consumer version of the Mega Jet was released by SEGA of Japan on March 10, 1994 at the cost of US$123. It was essentially the same as the unit that was used on Japan Airlines-operated flights, meaning that it still lacked a screen and could not be powered without an AC adapter. Other than the addition of a mono DIN plug cord and the necessary AC adapter, no other additions or improvements were made.
Four games for the flight were available, including Super Monaco GP, and Sonic the Hedgehog. However, since the unit accepted standard Mega Drive cartridges, passengers could use their own. The Mega Jet was marketed in Japan as a portable Mega Drive, and was available in limited quantities in department stores.
The Mega Jet eventually became the basis for the Nomad released exclusively in the United States in 1995, which was effectively a portable Genesis with a backlit screen.
The July 2006 issue (issue 27) of the British publication Retro Gamer stated that the majority of Mega Jets that are owned by private collectors come from an initial shipment hijacked by Indonesian sea-pirates. However, as no supporting information is available, this statement could potentially be an urban myth.