Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mega Bargain of the Day: Sega SG-1000 II Console

I`ve had a string of good luck at Omocha Souko over the past week and in this post I thought I`d introduce yet another one of my finds: the sexily named Sega SG-1000 II.

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!

Related Posts
Mega Bargain of the Day: Pile of Super Cassette Vision Carts
The Famicom Robot: A Day in the Life of


  1. Oooooh, nice find! I really like the looks of this system and of the Sega Mark III. I not-so-secretly want to buy a Mark III at some point--mainly so I can buy/play Final Bubble Bobble, but also a few other games. Anyway, now you're going to have to get one, too--and some SG-1000 II games. Although, can't a Mark III play all earlier games, too?

  2. So I guess the whole "finding awesome things but being unable to use them" is a running gag now? This is the... third time... it's happened so far? Go for four! :D

    But seriously, it's still a good deal, and I hope you find some way to play with your new stuff soon.

  3. Bryan - thanks! I think you are right about the Mark 3 being able to play SG 1000 games, which unfortunately makes my SG-1000 2 the PS one of its generation, but I will be looking for some games for it! Maybe we can have a race to see who lands a Mark 3 first!

    Skyrunner - yeah, it is indeed becoming a regular theme for me! Although I did make one other retro console purchase this week and I do have everything I need for that one (it will be the subject of my next post)!

  4. Great pickup - the early Sega consoles used to confuse the hell out of me, but these I'm generally on the ball.

    Well, kind of. I didn't know there was a SG-1000 II, so go fig ;)

    Loving your bargains of late, always great to hear about what you're finding in Japan!!

  5. Thanks, Sean! The bargains are rolling in this week, I have a few others to report. I`m also slowly figuring out the early Sega consoles, which is opening up a whole new world for me!

  6. I'm often jealous of some of your purchases but this one in particular! I wonder why both this machine and the Famicom store their controllers on the side of the console? It's strange but I like it! I hope you manage to play on this splendid machine soon :)

  7. THanks Simon! It works and it is splendid!