New Mega Drive
From Sega Retro
|New Mega Drive|
Released in 1998, the New Mega Drive is an unusual Sega Mega Drive console sold only in South Korea.
Aside from its aesthetics, what makes the console particularly unique is the fact that it was distributed not by Samsung, but by Seoul-based electronics company Nasun Zzangpo (aka Nasun Electronic Co. Ltd).
Owing to tensions between Japan and Korea – which stemmed from the early 20th century and continued into the late 1990s – the only feasible way for Sega to market its products within South Korea was by licensing its consoles to Samsung. In place of the Sega Mega Drive, the country had the Samsung Super*Gam Boy and Super Aladdin Boy. This trend came to an end with the officially licensed South Korean release of the Sega Mega Drive II in 1997 and the release of Sega titles such (as Sonic Classics, seen in the above photo).
Visually, the New Mega Drive is unlike any other Mega Drive release. The console is roughly the same size as the Mega Drive II/Genesis II (22cm x 20cm).
Aside from the grey and orange ‘Sega 16bit Mega Drive’ lettering upon its lid, the New Mega Drive console is host to a further number of interesting details. On the bottom right of the console, ‘Powered by Sega’ is written in gold text. Directly opposite, is a Korean typeset and a logo containing the word ‘Elite’ – whether this is a reference to the manufacturer, or a particular technology contained within the console remains a complete mystery. Also incorporated on the top of the console is a red ‘on-off’ LED light and ‘squared-off’ cartridge slot, much like the configuration of its Japanese/Asian Mega Drive counterparts.
The New Mega drive shares a number of similarities with the Genesis 3, most notable is the console's methods connectivity, which come in the form of RF and A/V outputs. Much like the Genesis 3, the New Mega Drive's motherboard contains a 315-6123 ASIC chip.
The console includes an A/V cable, DC 9V power adaptor and instruction manual. It also comes packaged with a six-button control pad in a separate cardboard box. Although the packaging for the New Mega Drive's control pad illustrates a circa-1993 Sega-branded Japanese-configured pad, its contents reveals an accessory of an altogether different kind. In place of the ‘Sega’ wording, the New Mega Drive’s control pad displays a golden oval-shaped logo in with the letters ‘KMK’ at its centre. Moulded from a single piece of plastic, with a complete matte finish, the Nasun Zzangpo pad inherits nothing of the finesse of its Japanese counterpart.
Based on what little information exists on the New Mega Drive console, it is hard to ascertain whether or not the console is in fact licensed by Sega. Although its extensive use of Sega branding suggests otherwise, a notable typo on its box (computer video game 'sistem') and a poorly designed Sega logo also on its outer packaging do much to hinder the New Mega Drive's official status. To date, none of the New Mega Drive consoles examined have displayed a serial number or similar identifying sticker.