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  • There is one suggestion that keeps popping up

  • Well in fact, it is by far

  • the most requested video on my channel

  • So here you go!

  • This is the evolution of Sega!

  • Sega's history begins in sunny Hawaii,

  • where three businessmen founded "Service Games" in 1946.

  • That's where the name Sega comes from,

  • it is an abbreviation of "Service" and "Games"

  • "Service" because of 'military service'

  • and 'Games' because the company provided slot machines for U.S military bases.

  • However, when the US government banned slot machines in 1952,

  • Martin Bromley, one of the original founders, sent employees to Tokyo

  • to establish 'Service Games of Japan' to provide slot machines to U.S. bases in Japan.

  • However, the US government came knocking on the door again in 1960

  • for investigating criminal business practices.

  • Service games changed its name, stopped focusing on slot machines

  • and moved away from U.S military bases.

  • The company acquired Rosen Enterprises to form Sega Enterprises.

  • Sega imported coin-operated amusement machines,

  • like jukeboxes,

  • pinball machines

  • and gun games.

  • These were bought second-hand and often required frequent maintenance.

  • This led to the company developing its own games.

  • Their first official game was a submarine simulator called 'Periscope',

  • which was released globally in the late 1960's.

  • From there, Sega edged its way into the booming arcade market,

  • becoming one of the top five arcade game manufacturers in the United States.

  • During the early 80s Sega created many games

  • and the company revenues rose to 214 million dollars.

  • When the arcade market took a downturn though,

  • Sega moved into home consoles.

  • Fun Fact:

  • The name 'Sega' was first used in 1954 on a slot machine called the 'Diamond Star'.

  • Sega first made the SC-3000, a computer with a built-in keyboard,

  • but when Sega learned that Nintendo had plans to create a games-only console,

  • they decided to do the same.

  • This was the start of the console wars between Sega and Nintendo

  • that would continue for many years to come.

  • Both the SC-1000 and the Famicom were released in Japan

  • on exactly the same day, July 15, 1983.

  • Games that featured in the SG-1000 lineup

  • included Super Tank,

  • 'Congo Bongo'

  • which looks a lot like Donkey Kong,

  • 'Space Invaders'

  • a true classic arcade game,

  • and 'James Bond 007',

  • which was the second James Bond game in the whole franchise.

  • And although these games were fun,

  • they weren't as popular and recognizable as many of the Nintendo games,

  • like Donkey Kong,

  • Donkey Kong Junior,

  • and Popeye.

  • Nonetheless the SC-1000 became a huge success.

  • While Sega expected to have sold 50,000 units by the end of 1983,

  • they ended up selling 160,000 units.

  • The SG-1000 Mark II came out a year after the first console.

  • It was redesigned and had a port to connect an optional keyboard.

  • There was also an optional add-on called 'The Card Catcher'

  • that allowed users to play Sega Card games, in addition to cartridges.

  • Fun Fact:

  • Hideki Sato, who designed many of the Sega consoles

  • thougt the original cartridges looked like "small black tombstones",

  • so he replaced them with 'Sega My Cards'.

  • He later stated it was one of his proudest achivements during the SG-1000 era.

  • In October 1985, the Sega Mark III was launched in Japan

  • which featured enhanced graphical capabilities over its predecessors.

  • However, the console was not succesful at launch.

  • One year later the Sega Mark III was completely rebranded as the "Master System"

  • for its launch in North America,

  • with the hope that it would do better than it did in Japan.

  • "The pressure was very, very high!" Sega developer Mark Cerny said.

  • So high, that an average game would only have 3 months of development time.

  • No wonder many games at launch weren't that memorable.

  • Luckily more memorable games arrived in the following years,

  • including Prince of Persia,

  • Castle of Illusion,

  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World,

  • and last but definitely not least,

  • Sonic the Hedgehod,

  • which would become the most recognizable and popular franchise for Sega.

  • Nintendo had also rebranded their Famicom system for the North American market

  • with the NES or Nintendo Entertainment System.

  • Both Sega and Nintendo spent around 15 million dollars

  • to promote their consoles in North America.

  • "The Sega Master System with more accurate control, more detailed graphics, more levels of play."

  • In 1990 Sega released the Master System II,

  • a cheaper and smaller model, in North America and Europe.

  • While Nintendo dominated the American market,

  • Sega was successful in Europe.

  • But overall Sega turned out to be no match for Nintendo.

  • Mainly because of their hugely successful and popular franchises

  • like Donkey Kong,

  • Metroid,

  • The Legend of Zelda,

  • And of course

  • Super Mario Brothers.

  • While the Sega Master System sold around 13 million units globally,

  • Nintendo managed to sell a whopping 62 million units of the NES.

  • Fun Fact:

  • While most people associate Sonic the Hedgehog with Sega

  • and recognize him as their mascot,

  • Alex the Kidd was actually Sega's first mascot.

  • He first appeared on the Master System in 1986,

  • in the game 'Alex Kidd in Miracle World'.

  • In fact, when the Master System 2 came out,

  • it would typically have Alex Kidd pre-installed on the system.

  • In October 1988, Sega unleashed their masterpiece;

  • the Sega Genesis.

  • Known as the Mega Drive outside of the US.

  • It was the first 16-bit console,

  • which was a huge leap forward compared to is 8-bit predecessor.

  • This meant that games were more fluid, 3D, faster and had much more colors.

  • Sega heavily promoted their console's revolutionary blast processing,

  • which allowed gamers to enjoy high-speed titles like Sonic!

  • The console had some though competition

  • with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES.

  • Nintendo at this point had a much bigger following and also a larger budget,

  • so Sega had to think outside of the box to gain more attention.

  • That's when they released their ad campaign, and started to take jabs at Nintendo.

  • "What if you don't have glass processing?"

  • And one of my favorite commercials of all time:

  • While Nintendo is very family friendly, with cute fun games like Super Mario World,

  • Sega wasn't, and released games like Mortal Kombat,

  • which has often been criticized for its unrestrained use of graphic and bloody violence.

  • But Sega also had many friendly titles,

  • Like Disney's Aladdin,

  • Lion King,

  • and of course

  • the Sonic the Hedgehog games.

  • Nintendo had Mario as their mascot

  • and Sega also wanted an iconic mascot,

  • this of course became Sonic.

  • However finding a great mascot wasn't easy.

  • Sega made all kinds of designs,

  • including this rabbit and an American wolf.

  • Eventually Sega made a wise decision to use Sonic.

  • Sonic was fast, and edgy just like the Sega Geneis was meant to be.

  • Sega released a smaller and lighter version of the console,

  • dubbed the Genesis II, in 1993.

  • In addition, a handheld version called 'The Genesis Nomad' came out in 1995,

  • with the ability to play the same cartridges on a portable device.

  • It had some powerful technical specs and was the first 16-bit handheld.

  • The handheld was based on the Mega Jet,

  • which was designed for use on airline flights in Japan,

  • which is pretty cool I guess.

  • The Genesis Nomad sold about 1 million units,

  • but was considered a commercial failure.

  • Overall the Sega Genesis with all its variants ended up selling 35 million units,

  • and came closer than ever before to Nintendo.

  • However, Nintendo still got the upper hand by selling 49 million units of the SNES.

  • Fun Fact:

  • South Korea had a ban on Japanese products,

  • so Nintendo distributed their SNES console by Hyundai

  • and it received the name;

  • Super Comboy.

  • Sega on the other hand distributed their Sega Genesis console by Samsung

  • and it received the bizarre name;

  • Super Aladdin Boy.

  • The Genesis Nomad wasn't Sega's first attempt at a handheld console.

  • That honor fell to the Game Gear, which was released in 1990.

  • It was up against the Game Boy,

  • yeah... Sega really couldn't catch a break!

  • And its specs were actually very impressive for the time and far superior to Game Boy's.

  • It even had a color screen long before Nintendo released the Game Boy Color.

  • However, the extra power needed to run Sega's Game Gear meant that battery life was a lot shorter.

  • It only had around 4 hours of battery life compared to the 30 hour battery life of the Game Boy.

  • It also cost significantly more than its rival,

  • priced at 149 dollars at launch compared to just 89 dollars.

  • Third-party game developers weren't interested in developing games for the Game Gear.

  • That led to a game library that was very similar to that seen on the Master System,