The Sega Genesis, is a 16-bit video game console which was developed and sold by Sega Enterprises, Ltd. The Genesis is Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. Sega first released in North American 1989. Game Exchange has a large selection of Sega games and consoles in the massive 3,000 square foot store.
Sega was seeking a flagship series to compete with Nintendo's Mario series along with a character to serve as a company mascot, several character designs were submitted by its Sega AM8 research and development department. Many results came forth from their experiments with character design, including an armadillo (who later developed into Mighty the Armadillo), a dog, a Theodore Roosevelt look-alike in pajamas (who would later be the basis of Dr. Robotnik/Eggman's design), and a rabbit (who would use its extendible ears to collect objects, an aspect later incorporated in Ristar). Eventually, Naoto Ōshima's spiky teal hedgehog, initially codenamed "Mr. Needlemouse", was chosen as the new mascot.
Sonic's blue pigmentation was chosen to match Sega's cobalt blue logo, and his shoes were a concept evolved from a design inspired by Michael Jackson's boots with the addition of the color red, which was inspired by both Santa Claus and the contrast of those colors on Jackson's 1987 album Bad; his personality was based on Bill Clinton's "can do" attitude. A group of fifteen people started working on the first Sonic the Hedgehog game, and renamed themselves Sonic Team.
On May 11, 1995, Sega released the Sega Saturn (with Virtua Fighter) in the American market. Sega's first CD console utilized two 32-bit processors and preceded both the Sony PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. However, poor sales in the West (including the traditional stronghold markets in Europe led to the console being abandoned. The lack of a strong Sonic title (and titles based on other Genesis franchises) and its high price in comparison to the PlayStation were among the reasons for the failure of the console
On November 27, 1998, Sega launched the Dreamcast game console, Sega's final console, in Japan. The Dreamcast was competitively priced, partly due to the use of off-the-shelf components, but it also featured technology that allowed for more technically impressive games than its direct competitors, the Nintendo 64 and PlayStation. An analog 56k modem was also included, allowing gamers to play multi-player games online. Featuring titles such as the action-puzzle title ChuChu Rocket!, Phantasy Star Online, the first console-based MMORPG, "Quake 3 Arena" and the innovative Alien Front Online, the first console game with online voice chat.
When the Dreamcast was release it was accompanied by a large amount of both first-party and third-party software and an aggressive marketing campaign. It was extremely successful and earned the distinction of "most successful hardware launch in history," selling a then-unprecedented 500,000 consoles in its first week in North America. On November 1, 2000, Sega changed its company name from Sega Enterprises, Ltd. to Sega Corporation. Sega was able to hold onto this momentum in the US almost until the launch of Sony's PlayStation 2.