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Wondermega

From Sega Retro

Wondermega logo.png
Wondermega rgm1.jpg
Fast facts on Wondermega / X'Eye
Manufacturer: Sega, JVC/Victor
Main processor: 68000
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
JP (Victor)
¥82,800 RG-M1
Sega Mega-CD
JP (Sega)
¥79,800 HWM-5010
Sega Mega-CD
JP (Victor M2)
¥59,800 RG-M2
Sega Mega-CD
US
$499.95[1] RG-M10BU

The Wondermega (ワンダーメガ) is a combined Sega Mega Drive and Sega Mega-CD unit created by Victor. It was initially released in 1992 as the first "combo" unit of its kind, seeing a North American release as the X'Eye in 1994.

Hardware

Four models of Wondermega were produced between 1992 and 1994, all sharing a similar set of features albeit with different case designs. Primarily the Wondermega serves as a high-end Mega Drive and Mega-CD unit, with composite and S-Video television outputs built into the unit in addition to the standard RF.

Also included is a digital signal processor (DSP) for audio enhancement, a MIDI output and two microphone inputs for use as a karaoke machine.

Models

There were several models of the Wondermega, though sales never reached that of the standard Mega Drive or Mega CD units, due to the Wondermega's substantial price.

Wondermega, Victor RG-M1 Model

The first Wondermega model, the RG-M1 is as described above, shipping with Wondermega Collection, a compilation disc that includes Quiz Scramble, Flicky, Pyramid Magic and Paddle Fighter. However, at ¥82,800 the system was priced well above the cost of a combined Mega Drive (¥21,000 at launch) and Mega-CD (¥49,800 at launch, totalling ¥70,800 (although prices for both would have dropped significantly by 1992)).

Wondermega, Sega Model

By the end of April 1992 Sega had released its own Wondermega model for ¥3,000 less and an added motorised disc door, which automatically opens or closes at the touch of a button.

Wondermega M2, Victor RG-M2 Model

Sweeping changes were made in the RG-M2 model, released by Victor in 1993. The DE-9 controller ports were moved to the back, and in their place, an infrared receiver. M2 wireless controllers are very different in design from Sega's models and feature six buttons. The RG-M2 also employs numerous cost-cutting measures, resulting in a slightly smaller unit with a sleeker design.

While Sega 32X compatibility is maintained, the design means that the disc drive door cannot be opened completely with a 32X attached. Victor offered a "32-bit upgrade service" for ¥5,000, which would see the lid replaced with a new design capable of opening when a 32X is attached. The result partially obscures the disc drive internals but largely alleviates the problem. Curiously Victor maintained this service until 2013 - 20 years after the system's debut.

X'Eye

During the spring of 1994, JVC released the Wondermega RG-M2 as the X'Eye in the United States, albeit with several features removed. The S-video connector was dropped in favor of the 9-pin AV port used by the Mega Drive II (although some X'Eyes lack this) and the wireless controllers were dropped, with standard 9-pin controller ports in place of the M2's infrared receiver.

The first batch of X'Eye consoles work with the Sega 32X add-on, although similarly to the M2 above, the 32X blocks the lid of the disc drive from opening completely (potentially causing issues with some Sega Mega-CD 32X games which require discs to be swapped). A second batch of X'Eye consoles lack the aforementioned 9-pin AV port, and so cannot function with a 32X.

The X'Eye was packaged with Prize Fighter, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia and a Karaoke CD that included the songs Achy Breaky Heart and Two Princes.

Magazine articles

Main article: Wondermega/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

EGM US 059.pdf

PDF
Print advert in














Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) #59: "June 1994" (1994-xx-xx)

Releases

Japan

Box Name Date & Price Console Label Hardware Software Documentation
Wondermega JP Box Back RGM1.jpgNospine-small.pngWondermega RGM1 JP Box Front.jpg
Wondermega ¥82,800 (1992-04-01)
Wondermega rgm1.jpg
RG-M1
Wondermega mcd 03.jpgNospine-small.pngWondermega box.jpg
Wondermega ¥79,800 (1992-04-24)
Wondermega.jpg
Wondermega rgm2 box back.jpgNospine-small.pngWondermega rgm2 box front.jpg
Wondermega M2 ¥59,800 (1993-07-02)
Wondermega rgm2.jpg
RG-M2

United States

Box Name Date & Price Console Label Hardware Software Documentation
Xeye US Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngXeye US Box Front.jpg
X'Eye $? (1994)
Xeye.jpg
RG-M10BU
Karaoke Top Hit Sampler CD Sleeve Front.jpg
Karaoke Top Hit Sampler
XEye US Box Front Alt.jpg
X'Eye $? (199x)
Xeye.jpg
RG-M10BU
Karaoke Top Hit Sampler CD Sleeve Front.jpg
Karaoke Top Hit Sampler

External links

References

  1. File:EGM US 055.pdf, page 60
  2. File:GamePro US 057.pdf, page 90
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