Terraonion

SEGA

Mega 32x

The 32X is an add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console. Codenamed "Project Mars", it was designed to expand the power of the Genesis and serve as a transitional console into the 32-bit era until the release of the Sega Saturn. The 32X uses its own ROM cartridges and has its own library of games. It was distributed under the name Super 32X in Japan, Genesis 32X in North America, Mega Drive 32X in the PAL region, and Mega 32X in Brazil.

Sega unveiled the 32X at the Consumer Electronics Show in June 1994, and presented it as a low-cost option for 32-bit games. It was developed in response to the Atari Jaguar and concerns that the Saturn would not make it to market by the end of 1994. Though the 32X was conceived as a new, standalone console by Sega of Japan, at the suggestion of Sega of America executive Joe Miller and his team, it became an add-on for the Genesis and made more powerful. The final design contained two 32-bit central processing units and a visual display processor.

The 32X failed to attract third-party video game developers and consumers because of the announcement of the Saturn's simultaneous release in Japan. Sega's efforts to rush the 32X to market cut into time for game development, resulting in a weak library of 40 games that did not fully use the hardware, including Genesis ports. Sega produced 800,000 32X units and sold an estimated 665,000 by the end of 1994, selling the rest at steep discounts until it was discontinued in 1996 as Sega turned its focus to the Saturn.

The 32X is considered a commercial failure. Initial reception was positive, highlighting the low price and power expansion to the Genesis. However, later reviews, both contemporary and retrospective, were mostly negative because of its shallow game library, poor market timing and its market fragmentation of the Genesis.

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