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|SG-1000 Mark III|
|SG-1000 Mark II|
|SG-1000 Mark III|
October 20, 1985
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Games for the console came in two formats; ROM cartridges and SEGA Game Cards. The cards held only 256 kilobits of data (cartridges held at least 4 times that amount, e.g. the early "mega cartridge" games with 1 Mbit / 128 kbit), but were cheaper to manufacture and sold for less than the carts did. The console also featured games built into the system BIOS that played whenever a cart or card was not inserted; the different models of the console each featured different built-in titles. The Mark III was also backwards compatible with SG-1000 software.
In 1986 and 1987, a redesigned version of the console, now branded as the Master System, was released in North America, Europe, Brazil and South Korea, and featured the addition of a built-in Yamaha YM2413 FM sound chip, a rapid fire unit and 3-D glasses; all of these had been separate accessories for the SG-1000 Mark III.
Despite a strong start, selling 1 million units in its first year on sale in Japan, neither the Mark III nor its Master System variant ever posed a serious challenge to Nintendo's near-total domination of the Japanese console market.
The last licensed title in Japan was Bomber Raid, released by SEGA on February 4, 1989.
The system was backwards compatible with earlier SG-1000 titles. As well as the standard cartridge slot, it had a built-in slot, formerly known as expansion slot for SEGA Game Cards, which were physically identical to the cards for the SG-1000 "Card Catcher" add-on. While in Japan there were many titles in this format published for both the SG-1000 and Mark III, only a few were published in the West.
Master System game cartridges released outside Japan had a different shape and pin configuration from the Japanese SG-1000 Mark III cartridges. This may be seen as a form of regional lockout.
- List of SG-1000 Mark III video games
- List of SG-1000 Mark III peripherals
|Media||SG-1000 Mark III Cartridge, SEGA Card|
|Input||Cartridge Input, Game Card Input, Power Switch, Pause Button, 2 x SG-1000 Mark III Controllers|
|Output||A/V Output, RF Output|
- Nihon Kōgyō Shinbunsha (1986). "Amusement". Business Japan (Nihon Kogyo Shimbun) 31 (7-12): 89. http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tJcSAQAAMAAJ&q=%22Sega+is+estimated+to+have+sold%22&dq=%22Sega+is+estimated+to+have+sold%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=CM8eT7m8JonLsgbPpdnHDA&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA. Retrieved 24 January 2012.