Codename before launch: Mark V or MK-1601.
Japan launch: October 29, 1988.
United States launch: August 14, 1989 as Genesis ("Mega Drive" was already trademarked by another company).
European launch: November 30, 1990.
Brazilian launch: 1990 (manufactured by TecToy).
Australian and Asian launch: 1990 (manufactured by Ozisoft).
South Korean launch: ? (manufactured by Samsung) as Super Gam*Boy, then re-released as Super Aladdin Boy.
Master System games are compatible using the Sega Power Base Converter.
Two add-ons exist for the console (both have their own entries) : Mega-CD in 1991 and Mega Drive 32X in 1994.
An updated version of the console, the Mega Drive II / Genesis 2, was released in 1992 (smaller, new shape and no headphone jack), then the Mega Drive 3 / Genesis 3 in 1998 (Brazil - manufactured by TecToy - and USA - by Majesco - only), smaller and lighter, but not compatible with add-ons.
Some other consoles can play Mega Drive games :
* The Amstrad Mega PC, released in 1992 in Europe, is a combined PC (DOS compatible) / Mega Drive computer, with an AMD 386SX 25MHz processor, 4Mo RAM, 40Mo HDD, a floppy disk drive and a cartridge port. It also included a toolkit to create your own Mega Drive games.
* The Wondermega (X'eye in the USA), released in 1993, is a combined Mega Drive / Mega-CD console manufactured by Victor / JVC in Japan and USA.
* The Pioneer LaserActive, released in 1993, was a Laserdisc-based console system, for which two add-ons were released: one to play Mega Drive / Genesis games, the other to play Turbografx / PC Engine games.
* The Sega Mega Jet in Japan was a portable Mega Drive designed for use on Japan Airlines flights, released to the public on March 10, 1994. It required a connection to a television screen, so it was not a real handheld system.
* The Sega Multi-Mega (Sega CDX in the USA, Aiwa CSD-GM1 in Japan), released in 1994, is a combined Mega Drive / Mega-CD console that could also be used as a portable CD player. Available in Europa, USA, Brazil and Japan.
* The Sega Nomad, released in October 1995, is a portable Mega Drive system, available only in the USA. Its design was inspired by the Mega Jet.
About 50 millions units were sold (including every variation of the system, exlcuding add-ons).