The Sega Genesis beat the Super Nintendo to the Market in their console cycle by a whole two years (1988/1989). It was the first major 16 Bit console to hit the market. The Genesis like the Model 2 NES and the SNES systems featured a top loading cartridge slot. The original model was much larger then the ever popular Model 2 system which was released later. The Genesis had many original games such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Vectorman, Streets of Rage and Shining Force. It also had ports of great arcade games like the Mortal Kombat Series (yes the Genesis MK1 had blood with the special "Blood Code") and Street Fighter 2. At the time of the Genesis release Sega went all out to defeat Nintendo. They even went as far to say that "Genesis Does What Nintendont" (referring to the 8 bit NES). For Sega the Genesis was a step in the right Direction.
Three years after the initial Genesis release Sega made a daring move and released the Sega CD add-on for the Genesis. The Sega CD not only added to Large Size of a CD but more importantly it allowed for Full Motion Video and CD Quality Audio. Several Great games such as Lunar The Silver Star, Lunar Eternal Blue, Vay, Popful Mail, Shining Force CD, Sewer Shark and Sonic CD graced Sega's new add-on. The original model (Sega CD Model 1) was designed for the Model 1 Genesis and sat under it. The Model 1 Sega CD featured a Front Loading CD tray like most common CD-ROM drives of today. The second model (Sega CD Model 2) was designed for the smaller Model 2 Genesis and sat next to the system. The model 2 featured a top loading CD tray more common in early CD systems like Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation. The problems with the add-on of course were limited software support plus a high price (Sega CD didn't come with a Genesis so you needed to buy one of those too). Too many of the systems games relied heavily on the Full Motion video aspect and just didnít bring good game play along for the ride.
Just Two years after the Sega CD was released Sega Released the 32X Arcade Upgrade. This add-on added the power to render enhanced visuals and more colors. Some games such as Virtua Fighter and Star Wars Arcade even had 3d graphics. Sega went a step further by releasing some games that were on CD but took advantage of the 32x graphics power (often referred to as 32X CD games). The problems here just as with the CD were extremely low software support (much less then CD) and of course after buying the Genesis and CD, The 32X was just another thing you had to buy thus increasing the price of the total package.
The Genesis is one of very few systems that went through the most revisions and had many licensed add-ons and combo units. The most popular of these units would be the CDX. It was a Genesis and CD in a system only slightly larger then a portable CD Player. Another Genesis + CD combo unit was the JVC X'Eye (Known as Wondermega in Japan). Of course Sega didn't just stop with combo units they maid their own Portable Genesis called the Sega Nomad. Sega even catered to their old games with the Power Base Converter for the Genesis Model 1 which allowed the Sega Master System 8 bit games to be played on the Genesis. With all these add-ons, Revisions and changes thereís no wonder I have simply come to call it the Sega Genesis Complete System. Here is some information on the Sega Genesis and its various add-ons: div>