32X connector cable

From Sega Retro

MD2 to 32X video cable.jpg
32X connector cable
Made for: Sega 32X
Manufacturer: Sega
Type: Cable
Release Date RRP Code
Sega 32X
Sega 32X
Sega 32X
Sega 32X
Sega 32X

This short article is in need of work. You can help Sega Retro by adding to it.

32X connector cable (it lacks an official name) is a cable which shipped with every Sega 32X and allows it to connect to a Sega Mega Drive.


32X connector cables are the rarest and most important part of a 32X setup aside from the console itself. It is a common misconception that a 32X will behave similarly to a Power Base Converter or similar device, which merely acts as a glorified Mega Drive cartridge, but this is not the case. The 32X is instead more like an entirely new system (or about three quarters of one) - an almost entirely independent machine that just needs to talk to the Mega Drive once in a while to function correctly.

The 32X is reliant on many of the Mega Drive's internal components, of which it interfaces with via the cartridge slot. However, the major advantage of the 32X is its improved graphics rendering capabilities. The 32X creates its own audio/video output, taking advantage of features such as higher colour counts and QSound technology, but there is no method of giving this information back to the Mega Drive console. The Mega Drive can output an A/V signal, but it can't receive one, so it is the Mega Drive which passes its audio/video information to the 32X, and the 32X which is then linked to a television.

To achieve this the user requires a connector cable, which links the Mega Drive's "A/V out" port to the 32X's "A/V in". The Mega Drive's "A/V out" port is usually used to communicate with the television - this lead is moved to the 32X's "A/V out" instead.

With a Mega Drive model 1, an extra connector is required as the Mega Drive's "A/V Out" port differs between the two models. This is an even rarer and more expensive cable to find. The multitude of cables and wires is one of the many reasons the 32X is cited as being a poorly designed console - though many third party manufacturers created replacement cables, Sega did not sell these things separately.

Theoretically it is possible to play 32X games without the connector cable - if it is missing, the 32X will still function, but it will not display the sprite layer so 2D graphics may be nonexistent.

Photo gallery


Sega Mega Drive
Topics Technical specifications (Hardware comparison) | History | List of games | Magazine articles | Promotional material | Merchandise | Cartridges | TradeMark Security System
Hardware Japan | North America | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | South America | Asia | South Korea | Australasia | Africa
EZ Games | LaserActive | Mega Jet | Mega PC | Mega Play | Mega-Tech System | Nomad | Teradrive | Mega Drive Mini | Mega Drive Mini 2
New Mega Drive | Tianli VCD/DVD Players | "Consoles on a chip" | Licensed clones (Magic 2 | Mega Game II | Power Pegasus | Super Bitman)
Unlicensed clones
Add-ons Game Box | Power Base Converter | Mega-CD | 32X (Mega-CD 32X) | Mega Modem | Demo System DS-16
Cases Sega Genesis Nomad Carrying Case | System Carry Case
Controllers Control Pad | Six Button Control Pad | 6 Button Arcade Pad | Arcade Power Stick 6B | Konami Justifier | MK-1470
Action Chair | Activator | Arcade Power Stick | Keyboard | MegaFire | Mouse | Mega Stick | Menacer | Remote Arcade System | Ten Key Pad | Third Party Controllers
Accessories 4 Way Play | Cleaning System | Control Pad Extension Cord | Genesis Speakers | Headset | HeartBeat Catalyst | Microphone | Region converter cartridges | Mega Terminal | Nomad PowerBack | RF Unit (Mega Drive 2) | SCART Cable (Mega Drive 2) | Stereo Audio Video Cable | Team Player | Video Monitor Cable | Third Party Accessories
Network services Sega Channel | Sega Game Toshokan | Mega Anser | Mega Net | TeleBradesco Residência | XB∀ND
Development tools ERX 308P | ERX 318P | Sprobe | SNASM68K | SNASM2 (Mega Drive) | SNASM2 (32X) | PSY-Q Development System (Mega Drive) | PSY-Q Development System (32X) | 32X CartDev | Sega Mars Development Aid System | Sega 32X Development Target
Unreleased Edge 16 | Floppy Disk Drive | Mega Play 1010 | Sega VR | Teleplay System | Video Jukebox