This is the original SEGA Genesis 16-bit system. This baby was released in 1989 to combat the dominance of the Nintendo NES. The best thing the SEGA Genesis had going for it in the early days was the awesome amount of SEGA arcade games that could be ported over to it. I remember seeing it set up in Toy's-R-Us with two televisions showing Altered Beast and Hang-On (maybe some more?). On the top TV was the arcade version and on the bottom was the SEGA Genesis version. While not identical it was clear that the days of 8-bit gaming were numbered. I bought mine that day, and me and my buddy stayed up playing Altered Beast all night long.

The original SEGA Genesis - Model #MK-1601.

With three variations to speak of to this case.

Original Model - Sometimes referred to as the "Altered Beast" version, as it was the pack-in game sold with this version. Has the HIGH-DEFINITION text along the top of the machine and an expansion (EXT) port on the back. Also this unit does not show the "License Screen" each time it is turned on. You can spot this version by looking at the FCC-ID Code on the bottom of the unit: FJ846EUSASEGA, the 46E portion is the difference and was removed from all newer versions.

Variation #1 - Sometimes referred to as the "Sonic" version. This version looks the same as the original but SEGA added the License Screen that would pop-up before each game, adding about 3-4 seconds to your initial wait time to get to the gaming. Also, from this revision on SEGA installed a "Lock-Out" chip for regional restrictions. The FCC-ID code for this unit is: FJ8USASEGA.

Variation #2 - This was the final alteration to the original case of the Genesis and was clearly a cost cutting move. SEGA Removed the HIGH-DEFINITION text from the top of the unit and the (never used) EXT Port on the back of the machine. These two changes, along with some size changes to the text "Genesis" and "16-bit", are the easiest way to spot this model as its FCC-ID matched the Revision #1 model: FJ8USASEGA.

The second revision of the SEGA Genesis

Model #MK-1631. Made 1994.

This was the first major revision to the SEGA Genesis. It sports a smaller footprint than the original, and reconfigured the various output ports. FCC ID: FJ8MD2SEGA

First, it still retains the 2 controller ports with no real change here.

Gone are the Headphone Jack and Volume Control. Also gone is the RF output port and the Channel 3 & 4 switch needed for that port. We are left with just 2 connections on the back. Power and Audio/Video.

The Power port now requires a different AC plug verses the Original model (much to the bane of the classic gaming community). This new “Yellow Tip” supply also works with the SEGA 32X.

The Audio Video port is also a new (can’t use the old) port, but in this case an improvement. The 9-pin RCA Composite port, outputs stereo sound (unlike the original AV ports). The cable for this unit also works with the SEGA 32X, SEGA CDX, JVC X’EYE and SEGA Nomad. And provides a much better picture than the old RF.

This model also retained the SEGA CD port, and will technically work with both versions of the CD. But it is obviously tailored for use with the second version of the SEGA CD. (as it looks really bad on top of the first CD unit!)

The third revision of the SEGA Genesis

Model #MK-1461. Made 1998.

This was the third and final model of the SEGA Genesis. This one was actually licensed to MAJESCO to manufacture.

This is a tiny system indeed, only slightly larger than a CD case as far as the footprint is concerned. This picture is almost actual size! : )

It retained all the ports from the second version of the Genesis except one. The CD port. So you can not connect this guy to a SEGA CD. It also will not work with the SEGA 32X! It however can use the same Power Supply and AV Cable of the second Genesis. The LCD ‘on’ light is gone and replaced with orange paint when the unit is in the ‘on’ position. It retains the reset button.