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Master System consoles in North America

From Sega Retro

Though the Sega Master System always played second-best to the Nintendo Entertainment System (so much so that few even remember the Master System's existence in this region), many bundles and console revisions were given to the North American audience.

There are three confirmed "sets" of North American Master System; early consoles distributed by Sega, late 80s consoles distributed by Tonka, and a third set for the redesgined Master System II, also distributed by Sega. Canada changed packaging when the US changed distributors, but all consoles in that country were distributed by Irwin Electronics.

Contrary to popular belief, until the advent of the Sega Master System II, Sega did not call the console the "Sega Master System" in North America. Instead the console was referred to as the "Sega System", a rather vague and confusing title which was inevitably scrapped. The console unit itself is often referred to as the "Power Base" (similar to the NES' "Control Deck"), though for unknown reasons the text printed on the top of the unit reads "Master System/Power Base". The "Master System" name clearly stuck, and became the official title for the console in later revisions.

Though there are similarities with European packaging, North American models are easier to spot than one might expect.

United States

Box Name Date & Price Console Label Hardware Software Documentation
TSBS US Box Front.jpg
The Sega Base System
MasterSystem1.jpg
TSMSHOSH US Box Top.jpg
TSMSHOSH US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngTSMSHOSH US Box Front.jpgTSMSHOSH US Box Side.jpg
The Sega Master System (1986)
MasterSystem1.jpg
SegaSystemInstructionManualSMSU.pdf
Instruction Manual
TSBS US Box Back Alt.jpgNospine-small.pngTSBS US Box Front Alt.jpg
The Sega Base System (1987)
MasterSystem1.jpg
TSMS US Box Back Alt.jpgNospine-small.pngTSMS US Box Front Alt.jpg
The Sega Master System (1987)
MasterSystem1.jpg
SVGS US Box Top.jpg
SVGS US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSVGS US Box Front.jpg
Video Game System (1988)
MasterSystem1.jpg
SBS US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSBS US Box Front.jpg
Base System
MasterSystem1.jpg
SMS US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSMS US Box Front.jpg
Master System
MasterSystem1.jpg
SS3DS US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSegaScope3D System.jpg
SegaScope 3-D System (1988)
MasterSystem1.jpg
3010-C
SMS2 US Box Back AlexKidd.jpgNospine-small.pngSMS2 US Box Front AlexKidd.jpg
Master System II $49.95 (199x)
SMS2 US.jpg

Canada

Box Name Date & Price Console Label Hardware Software Documentation
TSMS CA Box Back.jpgTSMS CA Box Front.jpg
The Sega Master System
MasterSystem1.jpg
SMS CA Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSMS CA Box Front.jpg
Master System
MasterSystem1.jpg
SMS CA Box Back Alt.jpgNospine-small.pngSMS CA Box Front Alt.jpg
Master System
MasterSystem1.jpg
SMS2 CA Box Back.jpgSMS2 CA Box Front AlexKidd.jpg
Master System II
SMS2 US.jpg

Mexico

Box Name Date & Price Console Label Hardware Software Documentation
SegaScope 3-D System (>=1988)
Master System II (>= 1990)
SMS2 US.jpg
Sega Master System Hardware
 Master System Variations   Asia | North America | Europe | South America

Sega Mark III | Sega Game Box 9 | Tectoy Master System Girl | Tectoy Master System Super Compact | Kiosk | Sega System E

Add-ons   Demo Unit II | Telecon Pack | FM Sound Unit | 3-D Glasses
Game Controllers   SJ-152 | Control Pad | 3-D Glasses | Control Stick | Handle Controller | Light Phaser | Paddle Control | Rapid Fire Unit | Sports Pad | SG Commander
Misc. Hardware   Action Replay | Card Catcher | Action Case | Freedom Connection | Playkit
Unreleased Accessories   Floppy Disk Drive
Consoles on a Chip   Arcade Gamer Portable | Coby TF-DVD560 | DVD Karaoke Game DVT-G100 | Fun Play 20-in-1 | Master System 3 | Master System Evolution | Master System Handy | PlayPal Plug & Play | Poga