I fished another thing out of the Omocha Souko junk bin the other day: the Sega Mega Drive Adaptor: AKA yet another peripheral to add on to my already monstrously bloated Mega Drive confabobulatorionation.That, my friend, be a whole lot of Mega Drive. And I ain`t even put the adaptor on it yet.
I think this latest acquisition of mine provides a rather decent (and, for only 300 yen, cheap) way of illustrating the complexity of playing games on Sega Consoles from the 1980s.
To begin with it perfectly illustrates Sega`s Mega Drive-era policy of making you buy what amounts to almost an entirely new console to attach to the Mega Drive every time they introduced some new feature. In the adaptor`s case that new feature was backwards compatability with the Mega Drive`s predecessor, the Sega Mark III (AKA the Master System).
Note the complexity. If I want to play a Mark III game, I have to take the 32X attachment off. If I want to play a 32X game I have to take the Adaptor off. If I`m feeling really frisky and just want to, you know, play a regular Mega Drive game, then I have to either take the adaptor off or leave the 32X on. Everybody got that? Good.
In addition to that, for me personally at least, it also illustrates Sega`s rather silly pre-Mega Drive policy of just making you buy new consoles all the time period, at least in Japan. First they released the SG 1000 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia because I don`t have one of these):
Then they released the SG-1000 II, which I do have and I do love it so:
Then (finally) came the Mark III:
I think all of these were released over the course of a long weekend in the summer of 1983, though I`ll have to double check that.
Anyway, since my SG 1000 II cannot play carts released for the Mark III, my acquisition of the adaptor means that I can finally play the one Mark III game that I possess, baseball:
After only about 3 hours of fumbling around, PRESTO! My Mega Drive was conveniently switched from ready-to-play-32X games mode to ready-to-play-Mark III games mode:
I have to admit that I really like this adaptor. I think it looks rather sleek:
I also like the fact that the Mark III carts stick WAY out of it. No wait, I hate that fact. It means that I have to take them out every time I want to put the thing back on its shelf because the whole contraption with the CD, Mega Drive, adaptor and Mark III cart is almost waist-high.
At least it looks neat though. Yet another piece of weird 80s video game history from Japan.