Sega Mark III
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Sega Mark III – console
Sega Mark III – console. The Sega Mark III (セガマーク III) is a video game console created by Sega. It is the successor to Sega’s earlier SG-1000 II (itself a redesigned SG-1000), and was released in October 1985 in Japan, before being distributed in South Korea and Taiwan later in the decade. No models of the Mark III were released outside of Asia, but the console did form the basis of the Sega Master System which was distributed internationally.
The Mark III stands as Sega’s second attempt at capturing a share of the Japanese video game market in the face of the Family Computer (Famicom) created by Nintendo, sporting significant upgrades over its predecessors. The technology was used as a foundation for its successor, the Sega Mega Drive. Despite being a cartridge-based system, for the first eight months, no traditional cartridges were produced, with the library instead being populated by cost-reduced Sega Cards. The release of Fantasy Zone ushered in a new phase of cartridge production, and support lasted until February 1989, ending with Bomber Raid. The Mark III could produce great 8 bit graphics with specs superior to the Famicom. The console had two game formats which were cartridges and a Sega “Game Card” format. The cards held only 256K of data (cartridges held over 4 times that amount), but the advantage to both Sega and the consumer was the fact that the cards were cheaper to manufacture and sold for less then the carts did. Sega also introduced 3D glasses that could be used in some of their games. The Mark III was also backwards compatible with SG-1000 / Mark I & II software.
Over one million units were sold in Japan during Mark III’s first year, but similar to its predecessors, the Mark III was unable to dethrone Nintendo or win considerable support from the gaming public. When Nintendo released the Famicom (NES) to America in 1986, Sega had no intentions of letting their rival get all the market share. They redesigned the Mark III and changed the name to the Sega Master System (SMS).
Awesome Little retro machines.