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Magistr Drive

From Sega Retro

The Magistr (Магистр) Drive series is a selection of clone consoles based on the Sega Mega Drive that were manufactured and distributed in Russia and other parts of Asia. Rumours suggest that the first Magistr Drive (Magistr Drive 2) may have been endorsed in the region by Sega themselves, though this is not confirmed. Most Magistr Drive consoles were made by New Game, a company which specialises in bringing Mega Drive content to Russia.

As is perhaps predictable in these markets, 8-bit Famicom clone consoles (or Dendy clones as they're known in Russia) known as the "Magistr Savia" and "Magistr Sniper" (among possibly others) were also produced by New Game, although these are unrelated to the Mega Drive clones on this page.

Unlike many other clone consoles, Magistr Drives were produced extremely cheaply and thus the contents displayed on the box often do not match the products contained within. The colours of buttons for example range significantly across Magistr Drives and may have been determined by what colours were in stock, not necessarily the type of console. For this reason the true number of Magistr Drives has not been determined.

Magistr Drive 2

The original Magistr Drive 2 has yet to be determined, however earlier models, such as this one, were packaged in similar aesthetics to official Mega Drives. On the surface this Magistr Drive 2 is largely identical to a Japanese Mega Drive 2 (bar some different coloured plastic), but as with all Magistr Drives, the innards are much simpler, being effectively a "console on a chip".

Magistr Drive 2 (25 games)

One of the more common Magistr Drive 2s is this model - one with 25 built-in games.

Magistr Drive 2 (25 games; alt)

There is an alternative model to the above, distributed in the same packaging. Aside from colour scheme changes the controllers have turbo switches instead of buttons.

Magistr Drive 2 (mini)

Almost unique to the Magistr Drive series is the concept of "mini" Magistr Drives - functionally identical to the above but packaged in much smaller shells. This particular Magistr Drive is otherwise largely unremarkable - there are no built-in games and aesthetically it copies the European Mega Drive II.

Magistr Drive 2 (mini; 12 games)

This 12 game version of the mini Magistr Drive 2 is also quite common.

Magistr Drive 2 (mini; 25 games)

A 25 game variant was also produced, presumably identical to the larger edition above.

Magistr Drive 3

The small shell was recycled with the Magistr Drive 3, though aside from a different color scheme there's not much separating this one from its predecessor.

Magistr Drive 5

The console was redesigned with the Magistr Drive 5, and although still features Sega branding on the box and console, swapped its controllers to PlayStation 1-esque ones. The awkward button placement that also appeared in the Mega Drive V and Mega Drive X was used here, though the colors are different. The Magistr Drive 5 goes back to using the regular size Mega Drive 2 shell, though this time it's white (although there are some variations for button colours).


Magistr Drive X

The Magistr Drive X brings back the Sega Mega Drive six button controllers and paints them white. It also brings back the shell of the Magistr Drive 2 Mini and paints that white too. Something worth noting is that the middle buttons are vertical. There is also a version that includes Sega Saturn-like controllers.


Magistr Drive Z

A departure from previous attempts, the Magistr Drive Z features a Genesis 3 shell and sometimes ships with less awkward PlayStation 1-style controllers. The console comes in a variety of colors including white and blue.

Magistr Drive (65 games)

Despite having created a smaller shell for earlier projects, more recent Magistr Drives still use the original Mega Drive 2 style shell. This one has 65 built-in games.

Magistr Drive One

Uses a PS One style shell and comes with PlayStation style controllers.

Unknown

Aside from being Magistr Drives we know nothing about the following systems.

References


Unlicensed Sega Mega Drive hardware
Clone consoles
Mega Drive | Mega Drive 2 | Genesis 3 | "Mini" models | "PlayStation" models | Others
Bespoke hardware
1990s AX-660 | AX-990 | EZcom | Game Dunk | HK-986 | KW-501 | Megavision | Modern Mate | New 16 Bit | SB-16C | Songa II | Super 16 Bit | TW-168
2000s C-11 | Dual Action | e-time Game Play | GN Twin | Mega Drive Extreme | Mega Drive III | Mega Drive V | Noritul FX-16 | RetroN 3
2010s Fei Hao HD Retro Game | Hamy SD | MD Compact | MegaRetroN HD | Minigen | Minigen HD | RetroN 5 | Super Retro Trio | Super Retro Trio Plus
Clone console "families"
Magistr Drive | Maniac Drive | Super Drive | "Young" series
Portables
HG-806 | Mega Drive Portable | Pocket MD | RetroGen