I found this one in the junk section, which has been unusually well stocked recently. It cost me 500 yen (about 7$), 300 for the console itself and 100 yen each for the controllers.
This is one of those consoles that I have been trying to find a cheap copy of for a long time. They are much harder to find than Famicoms are. They had one at Mandarake a few months ago that was semi-complete for 6300 yen, which I came very close to buying before someone else beat me to it. Having just bought one for less than 1/10th that much, I`m glad they did.
This one is a bit worn and dirty, but I kind of like that. It looks like it has been well used, but not over-used to the point that something has broken off of it. That is the perfect amount of wear in my books.
This is one of those early Sega consoles that doesn`t get much attention. The first time I saw one I thought it was the Japanese version of the Sega Master System, but it isn`t. The Sega Mark III, which looks almost exactly the same as the SG-1000 II on the outside, is the Japanese version of the Master System (or, more accurately, the Master System is the overseas version of the Mark III).
The SG-1000 II is an earlier console based on an even earlier one, the SG 1000, which was released in Japan on the exact same day as the Famicom (July 15, 1983, mark it on your calenders).
I kind of like the look of it. Clumsy but in an understated way. The controllers are extremely spartan in design:
They snap right on to the sides of the console, which is kind of handy. As with the Famicom they made the mistake of having the controllers wired into the back of the console instead of the front, which significantly reduces the distance from which you can sit and use the console.
Perhaps its most interesting feature from an aesthetic perspective is the little piece of video game literature stamped on the surface:
`A fun packed console designed for simple operation. This computer video game with its distinct images allows you to enjoy the maximum in playing satisfaction. Its colorful gameplay is sure to test your skills, sharpen your reflexes and greatly expand your imagination.`
The English is grammatically correct, indicating that it was at least proof read by a native speaker before they started churning them out of the factory. I love the fact that it nonetheless remains a literal translation of the original Japanese in which it was undoubtedly first composed, rendering the resulting English prose clumsy and hamfisted but in a charming sort of way.
Anyway, I also found a game to go with it, the Pro Baseball Penant Race, that I also found in the junk box.
Being new to the whole vintage Sega scene I just looked at the back of the packaging and saw a picture of a console that looked like the one I was buying so I didn`t actually read the fine print.
The console in that picture is actually the Sega Mark III, which as I mentioned above looks almost exactly the same as the SG-1000 II. If I had looked carefully I would have noticed the writing in the white box near the top which says `Cannot be used with the SC-3000 or SG-1000 series`.
So once again I am left with retro game stuff that I cannot test because I don`t have anything to test it with (nor do I have an AC adaptor or RF switch). This is becoming a growing theme in my collection, with my new Super Cassette Vision games (no console) and my Cassette Vision console (no games). Anyway, someday I`ll get the stuff I need to test this baby out!
Mega Bargain of the Day: Pile of Super Cassette Vision Carts
The Famicom Robot: A Day in the Life of