Sega Mega-CD

From Sega Retro

Mega CD Japanese logo.png
MegaCD JP 2.jpgMegaCD2 JP 2.jpg
Sega Mega-CD
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Mega-CD
¥49,800 (51,294)49,800e[2][3] HAA-2910
Sega Mega-CD
$299.95299.95[6] 1690
Sega Mega-CD
DM 529.00529.00[9] MK-4102-50
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
1,990F1,990[10] MK-4102-50
Sega Mega-CD
£269.99269.99[7] 1690-18
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
3,495 kr3,495 1690-18
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
$699699 1690-18
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
₩398,000398,000 SPC200CR
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD
Sega Mega-CD

The Mega-CD (メガCD), known as the Sega CD in North America and Brazil, and CD Aladdin Boy (CD 알라딘 보이) in South Korea, is a hardware add-on developed by Sega for the Mega Drive.

As the names suggest, it allows a Mega Drive to run compact discs, be it proprietary Mega-CD software, audio CDs or CD+G discs. It also acts as an upgrade to the Mega Drive hardware, sporting an extra processor and extra RAM. The Mega-CD was first released in 1991 and was supported alongside regular Mega Drive cartridges.


The Mega-CD comes in many forms, but in all cases the hardware adds the capability of reading compact discs, technology which in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was becoming a more affordable storage option than the traditional video game ROM cartridge of previous console generations.

A traditional Mega-CD does not act as a stand-alone unit, and needs to be hooked up to a Mega Drive via the expansion port located on the right hand side of the console. Mega-CDs do, however, require their own AC adaptor, meaning that in order to play Mega-CD games, two sockets will be occupied by the upgraded console.

Though one would expect the Mega-CD to simply give the Mega Drive access to compact discs, it in fact adds extra processors, memory and audio features as well, all of which can only be utilised by CD software. The Mega-CD does not, however, solve the issue of graphics, which aside from the ability to scale and rotate sprites on the fly, remain identical to the standard Mega Drive system.

The Mega-CD also offers stereo sound RCA connectors. The Mega Drive on its own will output a monaural audio signal to the television, with stereo only being available through the headphone port located at the front of the console. An external connection from the Mega Drive to the Mega-CD will allow all games to play through the television in stereo.

The Mega-CD can be used in conjunction with a Sega 32X to run one of the six Sega Mega-CD 32X games. Alternatively it can be used to just play regular 5-inch or 3-inch audio CDs or CD+G discs. Strictly speaking the Mega-CD does not need a television to function as a CD player, as the audio can controlled with button combinations[12][13].


Main article: Mega-CD consoles.

Like the Mega Drive, there were two major revisions of the add-on by Sega and several special combination units.


The original Mega-CD utilises a CD tray, and sits underneath the Mega Drive (or Mega Drive 2). It is a reasonably large add-on designed to be permanently attached to the console at all times.

Mega-CD 2

A cost-reduced model of the Mega-CD was produced and released around the same period as the cost-reduced Mega Drive 2. In Japan, the system debuted on the 23rd April, 1993[14], with a US release around Summer CES 1993 and August 1993 for Europe[15].

This version sits on the right hand side of the Mega Drive, though continues to act as a new base for the console, and is a top-loading device. Fewer mechanical parts means less is likely to go wrong with a Mega-CD 2, and is designed to look sleeker and more appealing. The Mega-CD 2 is designed primarily with the Mega Drive 2 in mind, however a plastic extension piece was included to add extra support with an original Mega Drive attached.

As part of the cost-cutting measures, only one (red) LED is used to communicate the state of the console, and the clip on the left-hand side (to keep the lead of connected headphones or speakers out of the way) has been removed (least because the redesigned Mega Drive 2 always outputs in stereo).

Mega Drive combos: JVC Wondermega/X'eye, Pioneer LaserActive, Sega Multi-Mega, and Aiwa Mega CD

Main articles: Wondermega, LaserActive, Sega Multi-Mega, Aiwa Mega CD.

Combination Mega Drive/Mega-CD units were developed over the course of the Mega-CD's lifetime. The Wondermega and LaserActive are standalone consoles; the LaserActive also plays LaserDiscs. The Multi-Mega is a portable audio CD player that can play Mega Drive and Mega-CD games when plugged in to wall power and a TV. The Aiwa Mega CD is a Mega Drive/Mega-CD packed into Aiwa's consumer-level portable CD stereos.

Technical specifications

Main article: Sega Mega-CD/Technical specifications.
See also Sega Mega Drive/Technical specifications.


Main article: History of the Sega Mega-CD.


Main article: Mega-CD games.

Production credits

Various sources

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega Mega-CD/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Main article: Sega Mega-CD/Promotional material.

Logos by regions

Logo Region
Used in Japan, Asia and parts of Eastern Europe
Used in North and South America
Used in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia,
Africa, Australasia


External links


Sega Mega-CD
Topics Technical specifications | History | Magazine articles | Promotional material
Hardware Mega CD (Asia | North America | Western Europe | Eastern Europe | South America | Australasia | Africa)
Sega Multi-Mega (Asia | North America | Europe | South America | Australasia)
Wondermega | LaserActive | CSD-G1M
Misc. hardware CD BackUp RAM Cart | Mega-CD Karaoke | Pro CDX
Development tools SNASM Mega-CD | PsyQ Mega-CD SDK | PSY-Q CD Emulation System (Mega-CD)
Unreleased hardware Game Genie

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 | Genesis 3 | 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
Sega Home Video Game Systems
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SG-1000 SG-1000 II Mega Drive Mega Drive II
SC-3000 Mega-CD Mega-CD II Genesis 3
Sega Mark III 32X Dreamcast
Master System Master System II
AI Computer Game Gear
Pico Beena