The Sega CD (known as the Mega-CD in most places outside North America) is a CD-based add-on for the Sega Genesis designed and produced by Sega. The Sega CD was the first attempt by Sega to prolong the life of the Genesis, along with the Sega 32X.

The Sega CD was released on December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and 1993 in Europe. By the end of its lifespan in 1995, the Sega CD had sold just 2.7 million units total. (Compared to 29 million units for the Genesis sold by that time.)

Why It Flopped

Note: Many of the ways the 32X failed were identical to the failings of the Sega CD.

  1. The Sega CD had its own AC plug. Yes, it's a big plug. Meaning if you owned this, you'd also have to own a Genesis and a TV: that's three plugs (Four if you had a 32X). Due to the size of the plug, you need a bigger extension cord for it to fit it in.
  2. While the Sega CD did have good games, (including Sonic CD, arguably the best Sonic game) it heavily focused on FMV games, like the 3DO or the CD-i, which were a fad at the time and lacked real interactivity.
  3. There are six games that requires you to own both the Sega 32X and the Sega CD simultaneously. One of the example that was required to do so was Night Trap.
  4. The FMVs couldn't even render to the entire screen and were rather poor quality. The aforementioned Sega CD 32X games looked okay enough for the time, but few people owned this combination.
  5. The loading times for games were way too long. Even the 32X didn't have this problem.
  6. The competition with consoles like the Super Nintendo and upcoming PlayStation gave the Sega CD a very poor audience. Even the Genesis itself was doing fine.
  7. Very overpriced; Its price was $300. Same price as modern console.


While the console itself was flawed, it was very technologically advanced with impressive graphics and technical features, it could even play audio CDs. Most gaming critics and historians would say that the Sega CD showed how advanced gaming could be and connect it to the popularity of CDs in games today. The console even has a small, yet devoted fanbase.