Why The Sega Megadrive FAILED in Japan! - Retro Console History


Comments • 307

  • くんマフムード
    くんマフムード  1 days back

    So basically, Nintendo did the Epic Games Store before it was even a thing.

    • jony fish
      jony fish  2 days back

      Genesis could compete with the 8 bit NES and when SNES came out, it made the Genesis look and sound like an 8 bit. Take a game like super ghost and ghouls, the SNES was just about superior in every way.

      • Kopi Chantziaras
        Kopi Chantziaras  3 days back

        The Sega system had Bad colour , crap sound chip. And Sega forgot to add scaling & rotation like their arcade games,, in other words cheap!!!! Look at SNES contra ,castlevania color sound , grafixs . amazing , Genesis on other hand . look bad , sound bad ,

        • TwistedSouL
          TwistedSouL  3 days back

          Why do you have a photo of Milly Bitchell on your shelf?

          • TwistedSouL
            TwistedSouL  3 days back

            Top Hat Gaming Man Really? It’d be interesting to hear your thoughts on the controversy surrounding his gaming claims and his threat of legal action against both Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records.

            Maybe a future vid? Or past one- I haven’t really checked your uploads...

          • Top Hat Gaming Man
            Top Hat Gaming Man   3 days back

            Because he is my idol

        • Ivan Henley
          Ivan Henley  4 days back

          That pretty much hit the nail on the head as to why the Genesis / Mega Drive didn't do so well in Japan. It's one of my favorite systems, but then I owned a SNES too, so I had a pretty diverse game library. Brand loyalty definitely seemed stronger in America, since most of the Sega hate came from people who religiously supported Nintendo. I was more interested in fun games, so I was less of a console loyalist. I think game selection was probably the biggest factor in the Mega Drive never having a good foothold in Japan compared to the other consoles of the period.

          Great video.

          • Murasame
            Murasame  4 days back

            It did not fail in Japan.

            • real situ
              real situ  5 days back

              Agreed, couldnt have put better wording than That to it my Mate

              • Caterpillow-pants
                Caterpillow-pants  6 days back

                The forum posts about the Megadrive games being for “real men” seems to ring true. Especially when it came to men or boys playing at men. Perfect example is the movie Mallrats main character, Brody whose console of choice was the Genesis.

                • atomiswave1971
                  atomiswave1971  6 days back

                  Just another case of sega screwing up

                  • Stuart Dooley
                    Stuart Dooley  6 days back

                    You have a framed photo of world record cheater Billy Mitchell 👎🏻

                    • INFERNO95
                      INFERNO95  6 days back

                      Megadrive was for men? Because games whit a cartoonist animale running around loops while wearing clown shoes were for men. Games like toe jam & earl, alex kid, alf, ecco the dolphin and green dog were for men. A system whit terrable sounds, ugly graphic and arcade ports that had to be downgraded so much so they can work on inferior system is for men. Adds that has some idiot yelling sega at the end of add or the ones whit the angry black man are for American men? Really....????

                      Sega was no better trying to market their games towards gamers, problem is they were more juvnile about it. They were like the annoying teen trying to grab attention while making themselves look foolish and Nintendo where the adults that focus on what really matters...the games. No wonder why Nintendo is still around making gaming systems and sega is a third-party developer?

                      Anyone over the age of 16 think they need video games to make them feel like a man is a manchild who needs help.

                      • Cristian Andrés Fuenzalida Hinojosa

                        Ok. One thing though. The mega drive won in terms of sales in South America only because of Brazil... (selling imported consoles there was too expensive and Sega struck gold by associating with Tectoy to manufacture the console locally and sell it at a decent price. Sega ran that race practically alone. This isn’t true for other countries in South America, though. In Chile for example, the Super Nintendo reigned supreme. I mean we had the genesis but I know virtually no one (ever) that owned one. All of my friends including myself were suckers for the SNES. There was no war in Chile, only long and peaceful SMW, Zelda or Super Metroid sessions. That said, I bought the Genesis mini and I’m loving it... it’s like being a kid again but in an alternate universe.

                        • Dalmain J
                          Dalmain J  6 days back

                          I think because it was black.

                        • Mal Ant
                          Mal Ant  7 days back

                          One of the main reasons the mega drive didn't do as well in Japan is because they didn't have key companies working for it. Rpg specialist's Enix and squaresoft

                          • MDKAI
                            MDKAI  7 days back

                            I always wondered why japanese gamers always talk so much about the PC engine, since the western version Turbo GrafX16 was sort of a lukewarm success here in america.. I had no idea it came out so much earlier in japan. That definitely hurt sega in japan for sure along with the small library of games and no rpgs

                            • Michael Romeo
                              Michael Romeo  7 days back

                              @johnedsel I developped developped an interest to Japanese culture too with MegaDrive and SEGA's Legacy. Till these days.
                              SEGA's mascott wasn't an American/Italian new yorker plumber.
                              _Firts it was a Ninja.
                              _Then you had Joe Musashi/Shinobi. (reference Japanese History and litterature.)
                              _Then you had Alex Kidd eating an Onigiri at the en of each stage.
                              _Then Psycho Fox with a lot of Japanese shinto elements(Ritual Shide for Transformation and Japanese _Shrines in a mARIO LIKE GAME!)
                              _Then Sonic: avery Japane styled Hedgehog that can transform in Super Saïan!
                              _Tails A fox (again) The Japanese Kitsune (Fox with multiple tails in Japanese mythology.)
                              _SAKURA Wars..! It's like if it was fans of Japan who made a Game where Mechas where controlled by a Girl _wearing traditional Kimono with Cherry blossom Everywhere! Even in a MECHa GAME! lol
                              _Then SHENMUE (the first Trip in Japan for a lot of fans) that takes place in Japan Koï Fish DOJO Japanese _food and so on... Not American characters but regular Japanese People of everyday life.
                              _Then Yakuza series
                              _Then Judgment and so on But evey body seems to forget these aspects and creating a wrong image of SEGA in general.
                              That's what appens when you lose a war. Always.

                              And when you're visiting Japan.. How could you miss this arcade Culture and SEGA centers..?
                              This is the core of SEGA's Niche with games like Virtua Fighter 5 fs for instance.
                              Few people compare to mainstream,but very demanding games. La crème de la crème... and in a way it's good to not be too mainstream believe me...

                              • Michael Romeo
                                Michael Romeo  7 days back

                                PC engine more detailed and colorful graphics ?🤔🤔🤔 So Why Dragon's fury Boss levels has flourishing details and that made those levels UGLY abd very simple on Pc engine..?
                                Stop thinking that MegaDrive was an Electronic Arts console with their same very western style and Colour Palette ...
                                Find me a Game More colourful than
                                _MAGICAL TALULUTO
                                _Wonder Boy V
                                _Monster World IV
                                Even 1991 Sonic Looked better than Mario 4 in 1991! And SNES has a bigger color palette. (Close to PC Engine but bigger)
                                It's the PROOF that MegaDrive is more versatile than what Western developpers have shown.

                                Every time people talk of SEGA they're always modifying History because of this loser image SEGA has and that's not fair. You have to be precise with facts.
                                (Sorry for my English)

                                • Epsilonsama
                                  Epsilonsama  7 days back

                                  The Genesis was a bust as well in America's first year. It wasnt until Tom Kalinke's plan to market the Genesis more in your face against the NES and later SNES that it started to turn a massive profit. He was the one who suggested to put Sonic 1 as a pack in title when that game launch something the Japanese did not want to do. The Genesis sold by the truck load while the Japanese Mega Drive floundered. Had SEGA of Japan done what he did in the west I'm sure the Mega Drive would have sold more. Hell, the Sega Saturn had a similar in your face ad campaing in Japan of Segata Sanshiro telling people to play Sega Saturn which helped increase brand awareness. While the games are indeed part of the equation there's also marketing involved. SEGA of America simply had a better marketing of licensing sports games and celebrities to their system which in turned sold more consoles for other games to come in. The reason SEGA had more sports is because SEGA of America made sure it got them. They worked for their share of the pie. SEGA of Japan thought their Arcade pressense was enough to sell the Mega Drive, which was not.

                                  • Maroon23
                                    Maroon23  3 days back

                                    Also, had SOJ did it and pack in games. It would done well and also, prolong the system including taking some pressure off them and delay the Sega Saturn releases/development.

                                • Paul Drybröugh
                                  Paul Drybröugh  7 days back

                                  I think another major reason was that Sega wasn't a big console seller in Japan before the Megadrive either. Where as in Europe and South America, they already had a headstart with the Master System. We were being told about the Megadrive, and being rallied with excitement in all those MS magazines at the time. It's also why so many grey imports were available here. It was always going to sell well.

                                  • Dynasty Musou
                                    Dynasty Musou  7 days back

                                    Someone has to tell me... who is that anime-girl in the thumbnail and where is she from? Outstanding art!

                                    • iPlaySEGA
                                      iPlaySEGA  1 weeks back

                                      The SEGA Mega Drive was a failure in Japan...? Yeah shure...

                                      • INFERNO95
                                        INFERNO95  6 days back

                                        iPlaySEGA Third place means it failed. Sonic failed in japan.

                                    • jon mills
                                      jon mills  1 weeks back

                                      Awesome illustration at 0:30

                                      • Enthusiastic Gamer
                                        Enthusiastic Gamer  1 weeks back

                                        Others may buy consoles for Sports games, but not me. I don't care about that.

                                        • Leo
                                          Leo  1 weeks back

                                          The SEGA console that really deserved better was the *Master System*. Even as a NES fanboy I remember being blown away by how good it was and how great the games looked (when I finally tried it). I had no similar feelings of missing out when it came to the MEGA DRIVE/GENESIS. Today there are perhaps a handful of games that I feel like playing or trying, as opposed to the SNES library where I have trouble deciding on a top 30.

                                          • SquareB0t
                                            SquareB0t  1 weeks back

                                            I got an ad for “The Genesis Story” before the video, turned out to be on the Bible lol

                                            • alex ojideagu
                                              alex ojideagu  1 weeks back

                                              I'd argue apart from Street Fighter 2, the Mega drive was clearly graphically superior to the PC Engine. Most PC Engine games look in between the Master System and Megadrive.

                                              • Jesus Zamora
                                                Jesus Zamora  1 weeks back

                                                Not really. The PCE could pump out more colors, leading to the games looking a hell of a lot more vibrant compared to the relatively drab appearance of Genesis titles.

                                            • Datriax Sondor
                                              Datriax Sondor  1 weeks back

                                              How does Sega recognize the market that made them a huge success in the late 80s and early 90s? By gimping their Genesis Mini with a 3-button controller, while including 6-button games, and expecting the same market to pony up extra for some garbage deal they made with "retrobit" trash.

                                              Well done. Stay class, Sega.

                                              • Chocobo Chick
                                                Chocobo Chick  1 weeks back

                                                VALIS!! ❤️❤️

                                                • 16Bites WGMSA
                                                  16Bites WGMSA  1 weeks back

                                                  While I appreciate this episode and the work you put into it, I wouldn’t call the MD a “failure” in Japan.

                                                  It’s huge games library and the sheer amount of time it was supported by SEGA and third party game devs shows that it was still a profitable system and was indeed selling units including games.

                                                  Third place.. maybe, but a failure is quite a stretch imo.

                                                  • real situ
                                                    real situ  5 days back

                                                    Mega Drive is NOT a Failure, Well said

                                                  • Zontar82
                                                    Zontar82  6 days back

                                                    this. not to mention that the mega drive was the only way to play arcade sega games at home

                                                • Corey
                                                  Corey  1 weeks back

                                                  Some of the info is a bit misleading, North America pretty much carried the Mega Drive to a point where it could even compete with SNES, even if the SNES eventually beat it out. The SNES & Mega Drive almost sold the exact same amount in Europe lifetime, and outside of Japan, North America & Europe, the Mega Drive only sold under 1 million units (same with the SNES).

                                                  South America & Australia accounted for nearly none of the total sales for either system. So essentially you have the Mega Drive/Genesis selling almost the same amount in North America, Europe & the rest of the world, while Japan was the lone holdout. The SNES sold over 17 million in Japan while the Mega Drive sold under 4 million. THAT is main & only real disparity.

                                                  Yes, the Mega Drive beat out the SNES in Europe, but by less than 1 million total units, and yes, SNES beat out Genesis by about 5 million units, but that was due to Sega of America & Sega of Japan battling it out, and all the Sega CD/32X nonsense that further split the fanbase. Meanwhile, Nintendo stayed consistently supporting their system with strong 1st party games & reinvigorated the market with games like Donkey Kong Country & Star Fox, pushing the hardware until the N64 released.

                                                  Anyway, Sega gained a huge foothold in the market because of how well the Genesis did in North America, not in spite of it. Look at it this way, the NES sold 34 million in North America, while the SNES sold only 22 million units. The Genesis on the other hand sold 17 million of its 30 million in North America Alone, and was beating out the SNES for most its lifecycle until the very end due to more SNES support (think Xbox 360 beating PS3 for all but the final years after MS stopped supporting it).

                                                  • Maroon23
                                                    Maroon23  3 days back

                                                    What put a huge dent to the sales of the genesis is the 32x. They should have kept pushing and improve software titles instead of releasing 32x since the Saturn was coming out anyways. If they really wanted to improve the system for the 32-bit era they should chose continued with software titles like virtua fighter, star wars arcade and other titles to the genesis using the SVP chip. Also, enhancement chips for sound, color, decompression, maybe a 32-bit CPU chip instead of releasing another system hardware that will take away it's market shares in the states.

                                                • GTV 916
                                                  GTV 916  1 weeks back

                                                  Oh well, others missed out on some truly great games!!!!!!!!

                                                  • GeoNeilUK
                                                    GeoNeilUK  1 weeks back

                                                    Europe and Japam share the same DVD region. We're both Region 2.

                                                    However relevant that might be today, I do wonder what would have happened had Nintendo decided to market their home computer prototype (based on the Famicom/NES) in Europe as a home computer.

                                                    Would the European game market have been more similar to the Japanese market?

                                                    • Shamoa Krasieski
                                                      Shamoa Krasieski  1 weeks back

                                                      Japanese consumers are a bit hard to figure out. But I know they like RPGs, shoot 'em ups, cute things, and high technology. Whichever system has the best blend of all these characteristics will probably do better in Japan.

                                                      • Grant Betz
                                                        Grant Betz  1 weeks back

                                                        When I was a kid at the height of the 16 bit wars, I knew very few people who had a Genesis, and they were overwhelmingly female (later I learned the term Sega Girl), and that's fine. Guys did play more sports games on Genesis/xbox than nintendo, but in hindsight the girls were the ones playing sonic, ecco, etc.Girls can like whatever they like. I just wish I had more experience with sega as a kid. I experiment more with sega games in genres I'd be comfortable ignoring on Nintendo consoles, because of their personality , such as sports games (mutant league), rts (general Chaos), etc.

                                                        • selami32
                                                          selami32  1 weeks back

                                                          Hellööö leydis and centilmın

                                                          • psyance_ql
                                                            psyance_ql  1 weeks back

                                                            hey @ Top Hat Gaming Man, my other comment doesn't show up, the one with the sales figures. can you make it appear please (yeah, youtube can be annoying with its filter) and if possible, can you stick it? I gonna share this every where I can although most of those infos are already well known but the more spreaded the better :)

                                                            • Mai Kim Dang
                                                              Mai Kim Dang  1 weeks back

                                                              Sega 4 Ever
                                                              From Australia here feel the Mega Mega Drive Power 👍👍👍👍👍

                                                              • MrCalverino
                                                                MrCalverino  1 weeks back

                                                                I HAVE SOME BOOTLEG GAMING VIDS ON MY CH 😃✊🏾 #checkThemOut

                                                                • MrCalverino
                                                                  MrCalverino  1 weeks back

                                                                  I got my genesis Christmas 93' with sonic 2...it was everything for a 8 yr old me

                                                                  • MrCalverino
                                                                    MrCalverino  1 weeks back

                                                                    thanks for this ✊🏾

                                                                    • Jonas Thiel
                                                                      Jonas Thiel  1 weeks back

                                                                      The japan cover arts are amazing.

                                                                      • Tim F
                                                                        Tim F  1 weeks back

                                                                        It's probably also worth noting that Nintendo of Japan didn't really have the same policy (and definitely not the same reputation) for things like content censorship and being perceived as "a toy" as they did in North America and other markets which was a huge part of Sega's campaign to differentiate themselves and carve out a unique brand identity. .

                                                                        • mopbrothers
                                                                          mopbrothers  1 weeks back

                                                                          Nintendo ruled Japan with an iron fist. North America and Europe didn't have this problem and we loved the Genesis and SNES equally. Nintendo was all about anime, non-violent, Disney-eque, silly characters. Look at Mario. He fights turtles and evil mushrooms. Look at Sonic. He fights machines with heavy weaponry. Mario games don't cater to Pop Culture. Sonic games do. Nintendo is Disney. Sega is Warner Bros. Nintendo is CocaCola. Sega is Pepsi. Mario is Mickey Mouse. Sonic is Bugs Bunny. Mario is Classic, good natured. Sonic is Edgy, cool guy. I'm surprised no one has made these allusions.

                                                                          • mopbrothers
                                                                            mopbrothers  6 days back

                                                                            @Stuart Dooley I'm glad you understand my video game business view perspective lol

                                                                          • Stuart Dooley
                                                                            Stuart Dooley  6 days back

                                                                            In my ignorance at first look I thought you'd made lazy comparisons... BUT on further reflection, overall I think you've got it pretty spot on there. 👍🏻

                                                                        • Art C.
                                                                          Art C.  1 weeks back

                                                                          I guess Sega really did what nintendidn't, but the SNES had everything else.

                                                                          • Jesus Zamora
                                                                            Jesus Zamora  1 weeks back

                                                                            "Cutesy-wootsie baby characters"? That's actually quite... Patronizing of the Japanese. Anime style =/= less adult. Also, it's not like the SNES didn't get the EA sports games, and as we know, the SNES eventually climbed over the Genesis in the US.

                                                                            • Apharmd Battler
                                                                              Apharmd Battler  7 days back

                                                                              Jesus Zamora cutsie wootsie baby characters, he’s clearly talking about Hentai games and graphic novels on PCE.

                                                                            • Corey
                                                                              Corey  1 weeks back

                                                                              The SNES beat the Mega Drive/Genesis in both of the largest territories, Japan & North America. And despite what this video says, when you include ALL sales *outside* of Japan, NA & Europe, the SNES sold more in those countries too. I couldn't track down Australia specific numbers, only "rest of the world" numbers, and the Mega Drive sold less than the SNES in the rest of the world.

                                                                          • Andrew Ortiz
                                                                            Andrew Ortiz  1 weeks back

                                                                            Sega has a history of not doing good when a new console is launched: Sega Saturn, Sega 32X, Sega CD, Dreamcast etc.. But I'm still excited about Sega announcing Dreamcast mini for next year!!

                                                                            • BlownMacTruck
                                                                              BlownMacTruck  4 days back

                                                                              Uh, the Dreamcast was one of the most successful launches ever, and was the biggest launch to date when it did. The Genesis in the US also launched with very respectable numbers.

                                                                            • Andrew Ortiz
                                                                              Andrew Ortiz  6 days back

                                                                              @Serious Face what's up??

                                                                            • Serious Face
                                                                              Serious Face  7 days back

                                                                              Wait what?

                                                                          • MatthewDaSmitdog
                                                                            MatthewDaSmitdog  1 weeks back

                                                                            The MDs JRPG lineup wasn't bad by any stretch, aside from Phantasy Star, there was also Shining/Shining Force, Dragon Slayer, Langrisser 4, Landstalker, and Beyond Oasis, among others. They just weren't as prolific or memorable in the scale of popularity (everything save of PS) as the franchises that were loyal to Nintendo. One thing that helped Sega overcome its weakness to sell in its home country was going outside the box in their marketing everywhere else, and it worked wonders for them over the next 10 or so years before going to the third-party software status it enjoys to this very day.

                                                                            • John Rogers
                                                                              John Rogers  1 weeks back

                                                                              Landstalker is truly underrated

                                                                          • Stephen Chase
                                                                            Stephen Chase  1 weeks back

                                                                            Genesis is better than Mega Drive!!