Sega Mega CD 2 System

An add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis video game console, the Sega Mega CD was designed and produced by Sega. The device adds a CD-ROM drive to the console, allowing the user to play CD-based games and providing additional hardware functionality. It also allows playing of audio CDs and CD+G discs.

The development of the Mega-CD was confidential; game developers were not made aware of what exactly they were working on until the add-on was finally revealed at the Tokyo Toy Show in Japan. The Sega Mega-CD was designed to compete with the TurboGrafx-16 PC Engine (TurboGrafx-16) in Japan, which had a separate CD-ROM drive.

The first version of the system sat under the Mega Drive console and loaded CDs via a motorized tray. The second version of the system, dubbed Mega-CD 2, had the CD-ROM drive relocated to the right of the Sega Mega Drive system, changed to a top-loading CD-ROM drive with a lid, and was meant primarily to be used with the redesigned Sega Mega Drive 2. However the original model of the Sega Mega Drive could still be used with the addition of an extension that allowed the system to firmly sit on the add-on without overhanging the edge (the Sega Mega Drive still sat on top of the system, but to a much lesser extent than before).

Despite most games not finding success on the system, one exclusive game that was published for the Mega CD is the now famous Sonic the Hedgehog CD. Sonic CD is praised for having good graphics, superior CD quality sound to the Genesis games, and an innovative style of stages, having four versions of each of the three zones in each stage. Many fans praise the game as the best of the series for these reasons.

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