Talk:Master System

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Featured article Master System is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Featured topic star Master System is part of the Sega video game consoles series, a featured topic. This is identified as among the best series of articles produced by the Wikipedia community. If you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on November 6, 2015.
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Date Process Result
April 11, 2014 Good article nominee Listed
November 12, 2014 Featured article candidate Promoted
May 15, 2015 Featured topic candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Compatibility with the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis[edit]

Despite what this article says Mega Drive / Genesis isn't compatible with Master System by hardware because MD / Gen lacks Zilog Z80 processor and the Power Base Converter adds this along with slot compatibility. It's no mere slot converter!

Current page contradicts with —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:55, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

No, if you opened up a model 1 Genesis/Mega Drive, you'll find a Z80. Later models integrated the Z80 into the VDP. Please do your research next time. -- (talk) 07:52, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Minor Cleanup[edit]

We should change "The article Variations of the Sega Master System includes a more detailed view on these" into {{main|Variations of the Sega Master System}}. Anyone with me? Jeremjay24 14:15, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's true. --Jtalledo (talk) 18:40, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Samsung Gam*Boy and Aladdin Boy[edit]

It would be nice to have information about the Korean versions of the SMS (Samsung Gam*Boy (삼성 겜보이) and the Samsung Aladdin Boy (삼성 알라딘보이)) in the article, along with a mention of the official Korean translation of Phantasy Star. Unfortunately, reliable sources are in short supply on these topics. Daram.G (talk) 01:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

MS 3 image[edit]

Master System 3 image[edit]

Hello people, I have taken the time, the picture was so good to give a white background, which it thinks it can be integrated?

If you are satisfied, you are free to upload the image to Wikipedia and attached to the article. It can also revise further, if it is not good enough. :)Abani79 (talk) 09:57, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Looks good. Maybe we can replace the current SMS 3 image with this one. I think it would be great if it had a transparent background. --Jtalledo (talk) 19:02, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

So I had reworked the image again on Monday and also airbrushed out the scratch with the Roman number 2, now looks much better, but the image is very large, perhaps you should reduce it, please upload it to the appropriate license, I am as experienced not so with. The size can also be left like that, you decide in its discretion. Abani79 (talk) 02:18, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Great! If this is your final revision, I can upload it to the Commons. --Jtalledo (talk) 21:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

So now it looks very good, can be uploaded. :) Abani79 (talk) 08:14, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

Okay. I have uploaded the image as File:Sms3compacttransparent.png and replaced the old image in the article. Thanks again. --Jtalledo (talk) 11:16, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

MS compact image[edit]

Good evening, I have today the picture of the master system compact changed, it has now likewise transparent background. Hope all peoples like it, if it gives concerns, can i try to modify it again. Otherwise please replace it by the old picture. And thank you for your cooperation with me, so it's make fun to work as a "Wikipedian". :) - Thank you, Abani79 (talk) 18:51, 14 August 2010 (UTC)

OK. The image in the article has been replaced with the transparent background version. --Jtalledo (talk) 16:18, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

MS Girl image[edit]

Hello Jtalledo, thanks for the upload of the final ms compact image. Here are two edited versions of Master System Girl with white bg Master System Girl and the transparent version of the image, but traces of the dark background can be seen, what do you think? Sincerely Abani79 (talk) 17:57, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

They look alright - as thumbnails, it's hard to see the traces of the background anyway. --Jtalledo (talk) 19:30, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I hope it has not become so bad. If you like, you can also ask them to upload yet? Arguably, this should have been first the last image. Thank you again. Abani79 (talk) 21:17, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

The version with the transparent background has been uploaded. --Jtalledo (talk) 12:14, 17 August 2010 (UTC)

Talkpage now archived[edit]

I've today the talkpage archived, hope MiszaBot will work correctly. Abani79 (talk) 12:11, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Mark I/II or Mark III[edit]

this sentence doesn't make sense

"The SG-1000 and Mark III were available in Japan in the mid-1980s, and the successor to the Mark I/II, the Sega Mark III, was released in 1984."

I don't know enough to fix it but is tat first Mark III supposed to be Mark I/II? also I doesn't really enplane what the first two versions are. (talk) 06:22, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

It is impossible that the Sega Master System sold 13 million Units[edit]

I have no idea how many units the SMS actually sold, but there is no way it could have reached the 13 million mark. This number can be traced back to a single source, even though it has proliferated since then, which is Eidolon's Inn, a Sega fan site that cites no sources for the figure, cannot be considered a reliable source since it is a fansite without professional editorial control, and exhibits shocking amounts of Sega bias (even for a fansite) in its so-called history sections. None of the other sources that have cited a 13 million figure have stated where they got the number from either, and no source from Sega, either through contemporary newspaper articles or company press releases, has ever provided a tally for the Master System. Unfortunately, this means the figures we have our incomplete, but what figures can be scrounged up show the impossibility readily enough.

First, Japan. Final figures are not known for Japan, but it is readily acknowledged by every reliable source that Nintendo destroyed Sega in the country. The book Game Over provides some of the best statistics for this dominance. On page 74, the book credits Nintendo with a 95% market share in Japan in 1989. On page 349, the book states that in 1988, Nintendo controlled 85 to 90 percent of the market "on both sides of the Pacific." We know from figures released by Nintendo such as those found at (the original on Nintendo's website appears to be gone) that Nintendo sold over 19 million Famicom units in Japan over its life. This includes sales long after the Sega Master System was off the market, but to err on the side of caution we will assume that Sega sold ten percent of that figure, even though they probably could have only sold as much as five percent of a slightly smaller figure and probably less than that since this does not take into account sales of the PC Engine, which were stronger than Sega's sales. Rounding up, that gives 2 million in sales for Sega in Japan.

Next, the United States. In the Ultimate History of Video Games, Steven Kent states on page 360 that Sega had sold 100,000 systems by the end of 1987, the first full year the system had been on the market. An LA Times article at is more generous and pegs the number at half a million by the middle of 1988. A Minneapolis Star Tribune article from October 1991 excerpted on the search page at [1] gives a figure of 1.5 million in the United States. Meanwhile, the book Game Over states on page 349 that Sega sold two million Master Systems in the United States. Lets use that figure and give Sega another two million.

Next up, Brazil. The Master System was popular in Brazil, as were Sega products in general, which were distributed by Tec Toy. Tec Toy was profiled in Issue 30 of Retrogamer and the president of the company stated that Tec Toy reached 2 million consoles sold in 1996. Many, maybe even most, of these are going to be Genesis sales, but lets be generous and call all of those Master System sales just for the heck of it. That's another two million for the Sega machine.

Finally, we travel to Europe, another region where Sega was popular and the Master System outperformed the NES. Finding figures for this region has been the most vexing of all for me, but I did find a forum post with a scan of an article in British game magazine from circa 1991 at This article reports that Sega's European distributor, Virgin Mastertronic, pegs total install base of Sega systems in Europe, both Master System and Genesis but probably mostly Master System at this point, at just over 1.6 million.

Adding up the above, we get roughly 7.6 million in sales. These figures leave out other parts of the world like Australia, but have almost certainly grossly exaggerated the sales in Japan and Brazil, so that hardly seems an issue. I do not claim to know what the final sales figures were, but all this data makes the six million figure that was briefly cited on this page awfully credible since my figures are both slightly incomplete and also probably exaggerated by around two million, but I would not revert back to that figure either since it also comes from the unreliable Eidolon's Inn (that's right, the website cannot decide itself whether the system sold 6 or 13 million units). Regardless, there is no way in heck that Sega sold 13 million systems. I'll leave this up for comment for a few days, but if no credible evidence for a larger figure can be found, I am getting rid of the sales figure on the grounds that no reliable source for Master System sales figures exists. Indrian (talk) 14:33, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Not that it's exactly what you're looking for, but it will help with context: With regards to the US, this article discusses Sega sales and market share being in a distant third in the US. This source claims 2 million units sold. --Marty Goldberg (talk) 15:29, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Any addition to the conversation is always useful. I have found several articles stating US market share in addition to the fine example presented above, which seems to fluctuate between five and 15 percent for Sega depending on the year and who is releasing figures (Sega always tends to claim higher than neutral trackers, unsurprisingly). The consensus seems to be that Nintendo had about 70 percent of the market at the end of 1987 and gained from there until it hit somewhere between 85 and 90 percent by the end of the decade. Sega was generally in third behind Atari, as the above article notes. The book source is parroting Sheff according to the in-line citation, whose 2 million figure from Game Over is already listed in my analysis. Indrian (talk) 16:11, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, since my proposal has garnered little discussion and no objection in over 24 hours, I am going to go ahead and change this. If anyone can find some additional evidence, however, please do not hesitate to bring it here. Indrian (talk) 02:33, 23 September 2011 (UTC)
[2] I don't know anything about the Master System, but I know this is supposed to be a reliable source. Take with that what you will.--SexyKick 17:38, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Well, two points in regard to that source. First, the 13 million figure was on wikipedia for years and became a de facto standard for this reason. The original reporting of the 13 million figure appears to be Eidolon Inn, which is the only source that claimed to actually research the numbers (the creators do not say how they reached the figure, but at least claim they reached it with their own research rather than copying the figure from another source). The number then appeared on wikipedia and travelled from there to several other articles on IGN and similar sites, none of which state how they arrived at the figure, meaning they were likley copying from either wikipedia or Eidolon Inn rather than conducting their own original research. If you can find another site with the 13 million figure that predates Eidolon Inn and wikipedia, feel free to give it, but there are no known documents direct from Sega giving such a figure and no known estimates in newspaper articles or other sources from the 1980s or 1990s. This number seems to appear out of thin air over the last few years with no sourcing whatsoever other than Eidolon Inn's vague claims of adding up totals from various mysterious sources.
Second, the site itself does not appear to have researched the matter too closely, as it breaks down the market between Nintendo and Sega when Atari had considerably more marketshare in the United States than Sega and the PC Engine had more marketshare in Japan (the article includes the PC Engine with the 16-bit systems, but its best years were in the late 1980s when it competed with the NES and during the transitional period between the Master System and the Mega Drive). This is a strong indication that the article is just parroting numbers on wikipedia, since the NES and false Master System figures are easy to find there and Atari's numbers require actual research to find (but believe me there are figures out there, as I have seen a few). Furthermore, all sources agree that Nintendo had 85% to 95% of the market in the U.S. and Japan and the above Euorpean source indicates that Sega's European advantage would not shift those figures much on a worldwide basis since neither company sold many units there. If Atari's and NEC's figures were added to those on that site, then Nintendo's marketshare of the 8-bit field would fall below 80% if the Master System really sold 13 million units, which is completely out of step with other reliable sources. Indrian (talk) 23:25, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
Very good studying Indrian. Good stuff. It's amazing how wikipedia gets used as sources. However, we should still write into the article the millions the console sold in which areas we have reliable sources for. If that's just 2 million in North America, that's good enough to put the Sega Master System on the best selling consoles list.--SexyKick 00:43, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
While Indrian's research is very good, there's one flaw with it: it doesn't take into account that the Master System continued selling well into the mid-1990s, in both Europe and South America. If we look at the final sales figures for both the Atari 2600 and the NES, nearly half of their sales came long after their heyday (early 80s and late 80s, respectively). The same could well be true for the Master System. In other words, a worldwide figure of at least 10 million would be realistic for the Master System. With that said, it's hard to track down sources for a final worldwide figure, so there's no point continuing this debate any further for now. Jagged 85 (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
After doing some more research, I am now quite certain that the Master System did sell at least 13 million units. The 1995 issue of Screen Digest shows that the Master System's active installed user base in Western Europe peaked at 6.25 million as late as 1993. Since that figure is only for the active user base in that particular year, the actual sales for the console would in fact be higher, probably at least 7 or 8 million. If we also include the sales figures for North America, Brazil, and Japan, then 13 million is a very likely figure for the console's worldwide sales. Jagged 85 (talk) 06:36, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Nice job pulling those numbers off of google books; that really does help paint a clearer picture. I remain skeptical of 13 million, but it was clearly much higher than six!. Remeber, my Japan and Brazil figures above are deliberately overestimated to prove my point. It is likely the console sold closer to one million in each territory. You are correct that active install base forumulas generally include some provision for a rate of scrapping, so the number will be a little higher than the active install base, though I am not sure about eight million. I see the total count as probably closer to 10-11 million, but I certainly admit 13 is not outside the realm of possibility and that the number is higher than I would have anticipated. Thanks for the data. Indrian (talk) 15:44, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I almost forgot about your Japan estimate. Your 2 million estimate sounds about right for Japan, since I assume most of the Mark III's sales there would have been before the arrival of the PC Engine in 1987. Nevertheless, I'm sure you'd agree that we should stick to the 1 million figure given in the source for its first-year sales. Jagged 85 (talk) 16:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, I think you misunderstood me. I never intended for that 2 million estimate to be an actual sales figure; it only existed to give a ceiling for Japanese sales as aprt of a larger analysis. I never argued for its inclusion on the actual page. Same with the Brazil figure. Indrian (talk) 16:55, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I didn't mean it in that way. I already know you had no intention of ever including that 2 million upper-limit estimate, hence why I said I'm sure you'd agree with keeping it at 1 million. Jagged 85 (talk) 17:15, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

We can still write into the sales in the infobox North America: 2 million Europe: 6.25 million and have sources for both. It would be nice if we had a source for Japan, but we don't.--SexyKick 07:36, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Actually, after some searching around, I managed to find a source, a 1986 issue of Business Japan, which states the Sega Mark III sold 1 million units in Japan during its first year on sale. In Western Europe's case, 6.25 million is the active user base in 1993, but the actual sales were higher; I would put the Western Europe sales at least at 6.8 million, taking into account that the active user bases for Belgium and Italy peaked in 1991 and 1992 resepctively (all the other Western European countries peaked in 1993). Now that we have some sales figures for Japan (1 million in 1986), the US (2 million in 1992), Western Europe (at least 6.8 million in 1993), and Brazil (2 million for both Master System and Mega Drive in 1996), I would estimate the total sales at roughly 12 million (though the actual total sales would probably be closer to 13 million). Jagged 85 (talk) 15:54, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't understand the 6.25 million source TBH. Do you think you could explain it a bit here?--SexyKick 16:04, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, as an editor you can't guestimate sales. But you can put "as of 1986" by Japan's date, and 6.25 million "as of 1995" after Europes.--SexyKick 16:07, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
This looks pretty bad TBH. I can't make heads or tails of that Google books thing to make 6 million at all, much less 6.8 milliom, and you certainly shouldn't put brazil in the info box.--SexyKick 16:15, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
6.8 million is a guestimate based on differing peak install bases that I believe should not be used because it is slightly OR through synthesis and could be misleading based on other unknown factos in the numbers. I can see the 6.25 million though. I assume the problem you are having is that snippet view in google books can be hard to follow. Basically, Jagged is linking to the same piece of information three times via three searches that revealed the whole chart between them in the snippet view. The first link shows that on page 60, there is a chart entitled Sega Consoles: Active install base. Below that, you can barely make out that the list is divided into 8-bit and 16-bit figures. The next link shows the same chart on page 60, and you can see the top half that shows install base for several European countries between 1991 and 1994 for both 8-bit (Master System) and 16-bit (Mega Drive) systems in hundreds of thousands (so you add three zeroes to any figure to get the full number). The third link shows the rest of said chart including figures for all of Western Europe combined. According to the chart, the combined Western Europe Sega 8-bit install base peaked in 1993 at 6,250 000s units, or to translate, 6,250,000. Hope that helps. Indrian (talk) 16:33, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Google Books only shows fragments of the page, which is why I posted multiple links (top, middle, and bottom) to get a fuller picture of the figures table. The bottom shows that the active installed user base in Western Europe was 6.25 million in 1993. However, the middle shows that, by 1993, the active user bases for Belgium and Italy had decreased by, respectively, 500,000 since 1991 and 50,000 units since 1992. If we add these figures to the 6.25 million, this would gave a total sales figure of 6.8 million units, though the actual sales figure would of course be higher. This is why I put the figure at 6.8 million. Jagged 85 (talk) 16:24, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The 6.8 million estimate is derived from a single source, so I wouldn't consider it synthesis unless it was from several different sources. Yes, the source does not explicitly say 6.8 million, but that's the combined figure we would arrive at if we add up the peak active user base figures for all the countries (1991 for Belgium, 1992 for Italy, and 1993 for the rest). I think 6.8 million would be a reasonable figure to put down, as long as individual country figures are provided in the article itself. Jagged 85 (talk) 16:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, that's very helpful guys. I do think it's legit to add up the peak numbers. Doing the manual math, with this explanation, I do arrive at 6.8 million, and per WP:CALC this is not original research, so the source legit gives 6.8 million. I simply added 1991 Belgium, 1992 Italy, and 1993 for France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, UK, and Other: 6.8 million. 1993 data translates to 'as of 1994' though. I'd say with the way things look now, you're able to edit the Sega Master System back into the list of best selling consoles with a footnote (copy the way the Mega Drive/Genesis is written).--SexyKick 21:43, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for settling it. Now that the figures for the US, Japan and Western Europe are settled, the only issue remaining is Brazil, which lacks an exact figure for the SMS but only gives a combined figure with the Mega Drive. My suggestion would be to give an estimate stating 9.8 million to 11.8 million (assuming Brazil sales could be anything from 0 to 2 million). Jagged 85 (talk) 01:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose it really is not OR to go to 6.8 million, so I concede that point. The Brazilian stuff just does not work, however. There are two million in sales divided among the Master System, Genesis, and Saturn (introduced in Brazil in 1995 according to the same Retrogamer article), so there is no way to tell what systems did what business unless some breakdowns can be discovered somewhere. Furthermore, The Mega Drive was released just a year after the Master System, so its likely that the 16-bit system greatly outsold the 8-bit system unless price and/or piracy became an issue in this developing world market. In the approach suggested above, zero is clearly way too low and two million is way to high, so it gives an unrealistic range. I would just leave that out of any sales number but explain in the body of the article that the Master System was one of several successful Sega products in Brazil that altogether achieved sales of two million units between September 1989 (which is when the Master System was released) and 1996. That gives the reader the information without taking the sales number into wildly unverified territory. Indrian (talk) 02:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
What I was suggesting was something more along the lines of the Sega Genesis article, where the infobox states "Estimated from 37.3 to over 40.9 million" with a footnote to break down the figures. Similarly, we could have something like that here stating "Estimated 9.8 to 11.8 million" or something along those lines. Jagged 85 (talk) 02:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, that situation is a little different. In the Genesis case, all the numbers being referred to are specifically for sales of Genesis. The problem is that two figures from different sources may have some overlap, but they also may not, hence the estimate. Here we are talking about taking the sales of three different consoles in one region and assuming that all of those sales could have been Master System sales. That's no good. The Retrogamer article is a reliable source for Sega system sales from 1989 to 1996 in Brazil, but it is not a reliable source for Master System sales for the same period. Indrian (talk) 03:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I have been in and out of this conversation, so forgive me if I'm off base here, but I thought that we have a ton of reliable sources for 13 million. That came into questions based on some research by Indrian, who suggested that one bad source was repeated by Wikipedia, which then became the source for the number in other articles. However, now that we know that there are at least 9.8 million in verified sales, the 13 million total seems completely realistic. Instead of conducting a bunch of OR to get to the WP:TRUTH, I think we should stick to the facts: RSs place the number at [13 million] (if that's the number). If you want, you can discuss that number with the research above (verified sales in x market of x amount and let the reader have the info. Just my two cents.LedRush (talk) 03:07, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Eidolon Inn is not a reliable source. None of the game news website figures predate Eidolon Inn, so they are all suspect. IGN and other such places are not sitting on secret proprietary sales figures from companies like Sega, which has never itself released this info, at least not in English. They have the same level of knowledge that we do on this kind of ancient history that predates their operation as news reporters, so any source they used to come to the conclusion of 13 million, the public has access to as well. Find an industry tracking group report/press release/SEC filing/interview with knowledgeable party that claims 13 million in sales and we have something to work with. If you really think these places never use wikipedia as a shortcut for their research when looking at retro topics where the stakes are low and making a little mistake is not going to cause a publisher to impose sanctions on them, you are kidding yourself. Ditto if you think IGN has the resources to research and verify every fact found in every article. Therefore, parsing regions is the best we are going to get. As a final point, I am not trying to get to the truth in regards to actual sales figures. I am trying to stop unreliable and clearly inaccurate figures from reaching wikipedia. Ten million is closer to 13 million than I thought the Master System could have possibly reached, and I am elated to have this new information from Europe and a better overall picture of world sales. It is not logical to conclude, however, that because ten can be reached that 13 must therefore be true. Indrian (talk) 03:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
That's my point. You say they are suspect, but this bit of research proves they are not. WP does not find the TRUTH, it reports what RSs say. IGN is a RS, no matter what your OR uncovers. And no one is arguing that because 10 is proven 13 must be true, so put your torch down and back away from the straw man. I'm saying that we have proven that 13 million is reasonable by the sources given. I find the 6.8 million reading above to be a base minimum, one in which the actual sales numbers must be higher. Others agree. We know sales in Brazil weren't 0. We know that there were sales in other regions. Maybe 10.1 million is the right number, maybe 14 million is. I don't know. But it doesn't matter. RSs say 13 million, and we no longer have a reasonable basis to ignore those RSs based on a quest for TRUTH which, by the manner of calculation, must use a number lower than actual sales.LedRush (talk) 03:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
A number that cannot be proven to have a basis in sound research is unreliable on its face, regardless of the source. There is no reason to trust IGN on this matter, because it has not attributed its information. If we include the 13 million figure from IGN (likely, though not conclusively, picked up from wikipedia) then the encyclopedia is perpetuating something with a just as reasonable a chance of being wrong. I have never understood why people argue that because wikipedia is not concerned with finding truth that it is also not concerned with errors. Wikipedia is concerned with information from reliable sources, but a source with bad information is inherently unreliable in regards to that particular information. Indrian (talk) 03:47, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
On a slightly unrelated note, you do realize that essentially none of the sales figures out there for games or consoles are actually correct, right? Only in rare cases does the actual creator of a product release its sales figures, as Nintendo did for all its consoles a few years back. Most sales figures come from estimates either from tracking groups or analysts. We could have reliable figures from reliable sources for every video game on wikipedia and those figures would probably still be inaccurate unless directly from the mouth of the publisher (and then you have to make sure they are actually talking about sell through rather than shipments to retailers, which they are usually not). The truth is inherently unknowable, hence my lack of interest in it. My interest is in limiting the sources of information on wikipedia to those that can be proven to have done their homework. The amount of bad facts out in the world about video game history (provably bad, not sales figure estimates like we are discussing here) is truly shocking, and using substandard sourcing on wikipedia that will then get reflected back by other sources just makes it worse. We, as editors of the site, have a duty to be more careful with the "knowledge" we throw around. Indrian (talk) 03:52, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
OK, we are talking past each other. I have clearly stated my opinion on why the RSs and the numbers reported therein are no "unrealiable on their face". Your statement that you don't understand "why people argue that because wikipedia is not concerned with finding truth that it is also not concerned with errors." I've never made that argument. In fact, I think using a reasonable RS rather than a number we know is wrong is minimizing the risk of errors. I simply believe that the OR you've conducted does more to prove the IGN number than to discredit it, and, all things being equal, it's better to use a RS than obviously and admittedly incomplete original research.LedRush (talk) 03:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I believe I know exactly what you are saying (though please correct me if I am wrong). Your argument: 1. IGN is a reliable source. 2. IGN says 13 million. 3.No other reliable source has been found that explicitly disputes this figure. 4. An examination of other reliable sources in aggregate give no particular reason to dispute the figure. 5. The IGN figure should be used.
Now my turn. 1. A source is only as reliable as the information it contains. 2. Even generally reliable sources have errors because we are all human. 3. IGN posits sales of 13 million without attribution of their sources. 4. IGN has never claimed to have proprietary information directly from Sega or from an array of tracking groups/analysts with knowledge of said sales and therefore researched this just like any other person would by looking at publicly available data. 5.On the Internet, the earliest know reference to 13 million and the only one to give attribution is Eidolon Inn, a fansite that claims to have researched the matter but does not name the sources used. 6.That number then spread to other places on the Internet, including wikipedia, and only later to IGN. 7.The Internet is not the whole of the world's knowledge, but so far no print sources have been provided to back up the claim either. 8.Therefore the farthest back this number can be traced is to Eidolon Inn. 9. Since no reliable sources have been found that have indicated a primary source from which this figure derives, there is a reasonable chance the source is the unreliable Eidolon Inn or, by proxy, wikipedia. 10.The information is therefore not reliable and has no place on wikipedia.
You say we are talking past each other. I disagree, at least for my part. Indrian (talk) 04:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

This is a tough matter indeed. No matter what the outcome, I certainly agree consensus is to not list Brazil in the other articles giving us 9.8 million for now. I suggest Indrian make a topic on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Video_games and seek a consensus to either use the IGN source for 13 million (noting that it comes from WP/EI recirculation) or stick with the incomplete 9.8 million that we have. It's only three million short, and I'm sure we all agree that it's feasible Europe+the final four years of Japan sales can make it to 13 million. I don't know which side to take thing is for sure to me ATM, ignoring 13 million completely, we have consensus to currently state an incomplete 9.8 million, right?--SexyKick 04:31, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I concur on all counts and will make the topic. My only correction would be that IGN getting the number from Eidolon Inn or wikipedia is not conclusive but only reasonably likely. Indrian (talk) 04:38, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Indrian, thank you for making that point. I believe is is not even "reasonably likely" that IGN get the source from WP or Eidolon Inn based on the information we have here.
SexyKick, I do not agree with listing 9.8 million as a sales figure. However, I do agree with using the number in a manner like "sale in x, y, and z measured in years a, b and c equal at least 9.8 million according to ___". But for the infobox, I would disagree with 9.8 million, or on any list of sales I would disagree with it. For me the question is would we rather use a number that we know is wrong, or one that we think could potentially be wrong?LedRush (talk) 04:44, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Hm, I'm confused. Do you agree, or disagree with the current infobox of this article? For the meantime, until we've worked the 13 million issue out, I'd prefer to use the guaranteed reliable data, note the years of each number, and make sure the SMS is included on the list of best selling consoles. The only way to to do it is to write in "9.8 million" with a footnote next to it that includes the regions data noting the "as of"'s.--SexyKick 04:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
My first preference would be to use 13 million as we know the other information is not correct. My second preference would be to keep the infobox as it is, but putting the word "estimated" for the western europe number, as we are estimating sales based on active install base (pretty darn close to OR, and potentially OR, if you ask me). I don't think we should ever use the 9.8 million number as we know for a fact it is wrong and unsupported by any RS.LedRush (talk) 04:56, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Slow it down please people. As requested I am in the process of writing this up on the project talk page, so future discussion here is unhelpful. Once I have the initial post up, feel free to state your views. Note that I have never seriously attacked the pedigree of the IGN source on this page, but I will be doing so on the other page. There is more info on that aspect on the way. Indrian (talk) 05:08, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it is better to allow people to have polite discourse without imposing artificial rules on them.LedRush (talk) 14:37, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Imposing rules? There was a request by another editor to take this to a different forum for more discussion and I said I was going to do it. You are free to do what you like. Don't get carried away here. Indrian (talk) 16:22, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
This is going to take awhile because the version history of several websites is pretty complicated. I will post here as soon as it is up; hopefully within the next hour. Thank you for your patience. Indrian (talk) 05:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Ok, its done, its long, and its as comprehensive as I could think to make it. If I left out something important or someone has another take on things or another source to bring forward, please do not hesitate to do so. Indrian (talk) 06:32, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

game gear section[edit]

Was the person writing this on drugs? The GG didn't take cards (didn't even have a slot for them), only cartridges, and I'm reasonably certain it had games over 256 kbyte (I'd have to go double check that) - certainly plenty over 256 kbit (the text doesn't make it clear which is meant by "kb"; given that it's discussing cards, it might be referring to their 32 kbyte (256 kbit) limit, which is minuscule for a GG game). Plus, it didn't have anything built in, as it was always sold with a pack-in game cartridge - usually Columns, the 4-in-one cart, or Sonic. There was far less to the carts themselves anyway, same as the difference between NES and Gameboy cartridges, so the difference in manufacturing cost would have been quite minimal.

Plus the MS didn't really "live on" in the GG... the MS continued to be sold alongside the GG for quite some time. It didn't die off anywhere near as quickly as the NES, as it was a somewhat more capable system and there was a smaller gap in the computing and audiovisual power between it and the Genesis/Megadrive - it became the budget choice, rather than the "old generation".

Finally there doesn't seem to be any mention of the two devices' architecture being so similar that you could get a cartridge converter for the GG to play MS cartridges on it - and it was little more than a connector bridge with no real onboard logic. The gamegear itself recognised that a mastersystem cartridge was connected and altered its internal rendering resolution to fit the graphics onscreen (cramming a 256x224 display into 160x140)... the main program code, colours, sound etc working unaltered.

I'll have a go at fixing this but it might be beyond salvage in its current form :-/ (talk) 14:44, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Take a stab, use sources, and make the project better. But please do not attack others who have tried to make this article as good as they can. I have no idea who drafted the current section, but accusing them of being on drugs isn't helpful. I'm glad that you have so much info on this and that you'll be able to make the article better. Cheers.LedRush (talk) 15:27, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't get to come back and see this for more than a year, but I stand by my original statement. Anyone who's even seen a picture of a GG with a game cart inserted can see it doesn't use cards, and if you think Sonic can be crammed into 256kbit, well, good luck my friend. Moreover, a cursory glance at the GG article itself should disavow you of any such notions. Not a great deal of "trying to make it the best you can" when not even the simplest research that could be done in a couple of minutes whilst sat at the same computer has been done!
I'm going to quickly review the part in question, if it's still there, and fix it if needs be. I hope the wikipedia GG page is a good enough reference for the information, if a citation is even demanded, because I'm not going to go off trying to reinvent the wheel by finding independent references for well-known specs that are already listed and cited in the main article.
Let's put it this way: It's similar to someone claiming that the VW Beetle had three wheels, ran on steam, and doubled up as a helicopter if the traffic got too bad. OK, maybe they've done their best, but it's still plain wrong, and you don't need to know the machine's internals inside-out to point out the error. Having one drive past you on a busy street at rush-hour would answer at least two of those questions - three if you then crossed to the other side and looked back. (talk) 13:43, 16 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like you had fixed it for the most part? --Jtalledo (talk) 14:04, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

No consensus to move. --RA (talk) 20:16, 10 October 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Master SystemSega Master System – Per WP:COMMONNAME. Unlike successor consoles such as the Dreamcast, Mega Drive (Genesis) and Saturn, Sega Master System is the common name. These other consoles are commonly referred to without the company name, but not the Sega Master System. This is why the dominant acronym is "SMS" not "MS". This is similar to "NES" for the Nintendo Entertainment System. Most other language wikis refer to it as "Sega Master System" including the Japanese one, as does Rovi and GameFAQs. --Jtalledo (talk) 14:26, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

  • Support per nom. Also "master system" doesn't show that this is different from a system of masters or mastership, from the searchbox. -- (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Master System Logo.svg
  • Oppose - That's not what WP:COMMONNAME is for, specifically it is for "common names that Wikipedia uses as article titles instead of more elaborate, formal, or scientific alternatives", which doesn't apply here. Both are common names, only the current one is less specific. If you read the rest of WP:Article titles the parts that apply here are:
    • Precision – Titles usually use names and terms that are precise enough to unambiguously define the topical scope of the article, but not overly precise.
    • Conciseness – Titles are concise, and not overly long.
  • This is expanded at WP:PRECISION. The Company+Product Name is overly-specific and overly-long, i.e. longer than it needs to be. This is the official name of the product, this is what was used in marketing materials and on the product itself, and this was what the system was known as while it was actually for sale. As far as the other comment about "system of masters", I'm not sure what that means, but that's what {{hatnote}} is for. Redirects cause the same conflation in the search box, so that's a non-issue. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja 21:29, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Marketing materials and on the product itself? Look at the pictures of the console. There's a "Sega" before "Master System." Also see this box and this box if the logo bothers you. Again, the point is "Sega Master System" is the dominant name you see on websites, including other language Wikipedia sites. The "Sega" is not merely the company name, it is an integral part of the name just like the Nintendo in "Nintendo Entertainment System". Precision doesn't apply since you're adding a whopping four letters to "Master System." --Jtalledo (talk) 22:47, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Title can be ambiguous, and also per the proof of the supporters. Hill Crest's WikiLaser! (BOOM!) 21:48, 17 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose, as no other topics have the same name as this video game console. --George Ho (talk) 03:16, 28 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Having no other topics with the same name shouldn't be the sole criteria for naming. If that was the case, then Sega Genesis would be at Mega Drive. What does matter is if "Sega Master System" or "Master System" is the accurate title. I think it's the former. --Jtalledo (talk) 10:18, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

SegaScope 3-D[edit]

There were 7 not 8 games that supported the 3D Glasses. "Line of Fire" is listed by mistake in that section since it used an anaglyph mode (green/red glasses) instead of the shutter glasses. That's the reason the 3D Mode is just a "hidden feature" and there's no 3D in the title and no advertising like the big 3D Logo all the other games had. That's what the game looks like in 3D Mode: - shutter glasses won't work for sure. Unless someone has a proof that there was indeed a SegaScope Mode this should be removed from that list - and get an honourable mention somewhere in the text. -- (talk) 08:58, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Dunno. From what I've read, it does indeed support the 3D Glasses. However, it was not promoted as a 3D title since the default video mode is the non-3D mode. As for the YouTube video, I believe that was converted after the fact to red/green anaglyph format. --Jtalledo (talk) 13:25, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Sprite count...[edit]

I have to wonder ... the "maximum 64 sprites" specification, is that natively, or with programming tricks? I've had my SMS back out of the cupboard recently, having finally got a replacement TV cable for it, and, well... the games haven't aged that well. And certainly, none of them look like they've got that many sprites going on at once, even when you count large ones being made up of multiple small ones. The game with the most stuff going on at once was Sonic (with the rings), but I'm not entirely convinced the rings aren't actually (minimally-)animated background tiles, as they don't move around relative to the backdrop and are usually on areas of flat "sky" (or "internal wall"/"jungle background") colour so the same single tileset could be used just with a different BG colour, rather than needing to use a sprite with one transparent colour.

Most of the games look like they get up to about 8 or so 16x8 (so maybe 16 8x8 ones) sprites on-screen at once before the system starts to have issues, and that seems a more realistic count. On replaying the old games I started noticing how sparse a lot of them now seemed, like Streets of Rage which never has more than three characters on screen at once (player plus two enemies or one large boss) plus a couple of additional items, or Sonic which rarely goes further than the blue bomber himself, one enemy, and maybe a power-up TV or moving platform. "Lemmings" pushes the boat out, with up to 20 walkers on screen at once (vs the bitmap systems it originated on, which allowed up to 100; the title screen actually mentions how it was "reprogrammed by Sega", and there's no 2-player mode despite there being two joyports and enough screen space to allow it), plus some simple background animation and decorations (again, nothing up to the level of the original, and the traps aren't animated -at all- ... surely there's enough ROM space for that?), and it suffers both flicker and slowdown when all of them are on screen together - and in this game in particular, they tend to end up all on about the same level as each other, and therefore share scanlines.

So, if the system (and the GG, too) can handle 64 simultaneous sprites, how come the games don't seem to bear this out? Is that including sprite assignments being re-used vertically, maybe? (If so, one assumes that it then becomes a problem of memory, and available VBlank/Hblank time to reprogram the VDP, as there is after room for 12 rows of 8x16 or 24 rows of 8x8 on a 192-line high screen, never mind a 224 or 240-line one... that would then equate to only 5, or even just 3 individual sprites on each scanline...)

Problem is, I know enough about these issues, and have played enough of the system to spot this seeming discrepancy, but I don't know enough about the programming or internals to actually fix it, if it needs fixing - or better explain it, which it almost certainly does. (talk) 14:54, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

IIRC the MS is limited to 8 sprites on a single raster line. The 64 number is probably derived from how quickly the MS can reuse those 8 sprites across 240 raster lines. I.e. it takes 30 raster lines before you can reuse a sprite.
In that case it will be difficult to make a game that actually use all those 64 sprites at the same time, similar to how few games actually use 256 colors or the SNES as you bump into various limitations if you try.
Your observation on Sonic's rings is likely correct. A quick check on an emulator (Wakalabis) that lets me disable sprites does nothing to the rings. Anss123 (talk) 15:23, 16 April 2013 (UTC)

Master System III/3[edit]

I accidentally saved before I finished typing my edit summary, so I'll do that here: The "Master System 3" section mentioned the "Master System III" as if the reader already knew about it, when the article nowhere else mentions the III. So I've copied over the section on the III from the Variations article (which seems surprisingly lacking, in comparison, for a "main" article). —Frungi (talk) 06:04, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Wikilinks to Sega Genesis[edit]

I have just reverted some changes to the wikilinks pointing to the Sega Genesis article. There seems to be an issue over the different names under which that system was released. The console was released as Sega Mega Drive in many parts of the world, however that page is currently a redirect to Sega Genesis, and wikilinks should point directly to it. I will also suggest that if there is disagreement over where the Genesis/Mega Drive article should reside, that discussion should take place over at Wikipedia:Requested moves. Please see Wikipedia:Moving a page for details. (talk) 16:53, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. This looks like a similar IP address to the one who kept initiating move discussions on the Sega Genesis article in fact.--SexyKick 20:34, 19 January 2014 (UTC)

Behind the numbers[edit]

I'll provide more context for these references:

  • Just for the sake of readability, Screen Digest
  • Previous discussions came up with 9.8 million. All reported sales like these in Game Machines are rounded. For example, the 29 million Genesis figure (already rounded up from Famitsu's 28.58), is reported in this book as 30 million or Nintendo 64's 32.93 as 35 million. Its easier to discredit this book than everyone who claims 13 million. « Ryūkotsusei » 00:13, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Master System/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Indrian (talk · contribs) 18:35, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

I'll take this one on. Just to allay any concerns, I have read through the article closely before deciding to review it and do not think there will be any big surprises popping up. I believe we will be able to all come out of this GAN as friends. I look forward to working with you on any remaining issues. Detailed comments to follow soon. Indrian (talk) 18:35, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Hey, I'm just glad you're willing to review it. As there aren't many sources on the Master System (although admittedly a lot more than what I found than when I did SG-1000), I'm actually glad you're willing to take this one up, Indrian. I was hoping any potential accuracy issues could be weeded out, and I don't see any possible controversy spewing up in this one. Red Phoenix let's talk... 00:43, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Sales Figures[edit]

 Done Well, I am going to start with the 20 ton elephant in the room and what is probably the only big issue that needs to be addressed, which is the topic of sales figures. There was a big discussion about this above that spilled out into the video game project talk page, and I think its fair to say this remains a concern. In short, we have two different sources that claim to give total system sales figures, a book that states 10 million and the IGN article that states 13 million. The IGN article is full of errors and apparently borrowed the figure from the generally partisan and unreliable history of Sega written by Sam Pettus and hosted by the Eidolon. Interestingly, if you add up available figures for the US, Japan, and Europe, you get 9.8 million, which rounds up to the amount given in the book source. There were also sales in Brazil, of course, but those are harder to pin down reliably. The best source we have is Retro Gamer, in which the president of Tec Toy stated that the company had sold two million of all Sega consoles by 1996 (I know there is a source currently in the article that gives 5 million for Brazil, and I will bring that up in more detail later when discussing sourcing).

The long version can be found at the wikiproject talk archives linked above (warning: its long and not very compelling reading), but the short version is that consensus was to use a range of 10-13 million to account for all sources. I personally do not think the IGN source should be used at all, but since IGN is considered a reliable source I will not fail the article over its inclusion (it may deserve closer scrutiny in FAC, however). I believe the range needs to be reinstated, however, in order to account for all reliable sources as well as project consensus. If you feel differently, however, I would also appreciate your input.

I've read the arguments in the Master System talk page; it's really tough to follow it. Admittedly, though, I haven't had my hand in this article at all before recently, so I wasn't a part of that debate. I didn't feel comfortable with the IGN number either, but it was backed a little by a comment in Retro Gamer which mentioned a difference of 49 million units between the Master System and NES (the IGN article mentioned 13 million for Master System and 62 million NES, which is a 49 million unit difference), and it does feel awkward and concerning to me. This is especially because we've previously discredited the IGN 29 million number for the Genesis in the same article, although the same Retro Gamer article that mentions a 49 million unit difference also says the Genesis sold 40 million, which is what we came up with when working on that FAC. Had there not been this correlation, I wouldn't have used it at all and felt it was just entirely inaccurate, but it seems close, although I use it with reprehension in this case. Looking at the individual numbers, I did take the Tec Toy numbers of 2 million of all Sega consoles by '96, and from experience with research in Sega Genesis I'm willing to bet more than half of those were Master System consoles. (The 5 million is as of 2012, but Tectoy never stopped manufacturing the Master System and still does today, so it's by all means a recent number showing of the console's endurance in Brazil). Together amongst the numbers provided, they do roughly add up higher than 10 million if Brazil is counted, which it by all means should be. The "book" source is The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines by Winnie Forster, and one thing that worries me there is that it combines SG-1000 with Master System, though the lines are a little blurred and I'd say the Mark III, but not SG-1000 or SG-1000 II are really "Master System" sales.
I wouldn't mind a range at all, as long as it can be well-sourced on both ends, and I'm sure there's got to be more than just IGN and Retro Gamer out there, although I haven't had a whole lot of luck finding them. This range isn't like the nightmarish 29-40 million units we worried about with the Genesis, it's a matter of 3 million as a gap (though the article once did say 14.8 million, which I haven't seen a reliable source for anywhere). What do you feel is the appropriate range for this article? Red Phoenix let's talk... 00:43, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, I think this one is quite tricky to be honest. I personally do not think any of the reliable sources are accurate on this one, but on the flip side I don't have a better figure than they do either. This is a different situation from Genesis, where we knew the 29 million figure was wrong because we could prove it only counted sales through the end of 1994. We know that in the US the system sold between 1.5 million and 2 million (Game Over says 2, but there are other news reports from the time that say 1.5). We don't know Japan; we just have that one report from Business Japan of 1 million by the middle of 1986. No way of knowing if those are shipped or sold figures. My gut instinct is that it probably sold less in Japan than in the US since it had a similar market share in a smaller market (by population, not by dollar spend, which was actually greater than the US market) and was superseded by the PC Engine and Megadrive so soon after launch. Europe was the big one with at least 6.8 million based on the Screen Digest estimates. Brazil is the wildcard. If the book giving the 10 million figure got that number from reputable sources, my guess is that it is a combination of US, Japan, and Europe and is believable as a figure for those three markets. If the 13 million figure comes from reputable sources, which I highly doubt since it appears to have originated with Sam Pettus and his horribly inaccurate and partisan Sega history, it may be a legitimate figure if you add Brazil and the rest of the world to the US, Japan, and European figures.
Or if the Japanese figures include the Mark III, for that matter. I'm no fan of Sam Pettus' work either; he even published a book recently on it (Service Games: The Rise and Fall of Sega Enterprises) and I felt the need to warn the Sega task force that it is not a reliable source because it was self-published by him. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Based on the fact that both the 10 and 13 million figures are within the realm of possibility and both are presented in reliable sources, I think we should go with a 10-13 million unit range with appropriate sourcing. I think it would also be appropriate to mention in parentheses or in a footnote or wherever that the system is still sold in Brazil and that these sources do not take into account recent sales. Obviously, in the infobox and article we can also give some of the breakdowns we have for different regions. I don't believe any of that is a perfect solution, but this is one case where I think verifiability has to take precedence over truth since the truth is currently unknown and unknowable. Indrian (talk) 18:04, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I took a look at the link you added last night to the discussions at the project... wow. The things I missed while on retirement... that would have been a fun one to discuss and debate. Anyway, I'd be good with a little WP:VNT here, and 10-13 million would be good with me. I'm not so sure the truth is "unknowable", but it is certainly beyond our means right now and may not be published somewhere we can ever get access to in the current day. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a plan. When I say "unknowable" I meant from currently available sources. Hopefully someday this will become more clear. Its a shame Sega is not as open as Nintendo when it comes to sales figures. Indrian (talk) 19:00, 7 April 2014 (UTC)


  • In a recent interview with Kotaku, Mark Cerny, who was an SMS game developer at Sega, discusses the company's software strategy of pushing out lots of titles in a short period of time, which really affected quality. I think this is important to mention in conjunction with the lack of third-party support. Even most of the first party software was substandard.
A comment in an interview with a single primary source decades after the fact on a blogsite doesn't seem to be an appropriate basis to justify inserting this generalization about the quality of the entire MS library into the lead. (Sega may have produced more games than Nintendo, but even the claimed three months of development time Cerny experienced doesn't sound too irregular for the period.) Do experts and historians cite a policy of rushed deadlines as crucial to the system's lack of commercial success, or describe its first-party titles as substandard? If not, then it doesn't belong, personal opinions notwithstanding.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 21:09, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. It looks like I was a bit hasty on this one. Now that I dig a little deeper, I think this referred more to the early SG-1000 titles than stuff being done in the Master System era, so I am going to go ahead and table this one. I am tabling based on time period though, not source quality. A respected and knowledgeable game designer speaking generally about a work environment he personally experienced to a journalist is a perfectly valid source of information. The short development cycles are corroborated by interviews Yuji Naka has given stating that he completed his first game in three months and that his boss actually wanted it done in one. You are wrong on development times though. There are plenty of interviews with 8-bit developers that between them establish that a game usually took 6-9 months of development time in the period, so three months is ridiculously short. I do agree on reflection that more sourcing would be needed to highlight something like that it in the lead. Indrian (talk) 22:06, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
Agreed; we've already learned the lessons of what happens when you only get a month to program a video game. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the correction, Indrian. I don't know much about 8-bit game development.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 01:32, 6 April 2014 (UTC)
I have restored the Cerny info, albeit in a more appropriate section. Personally, I disagree that the Master System's library was substandard--in fact, I had a blast playing Fantasy Zone on the Wii Virtual Console recently (even if the final boss is nearly impossible)--but you know what they say about opinions. I really don't know why I took such exception to Indrian's proposed addition; I was in a foul mood, and perhaps a little disappointed by what I saw as a blatant POV push in the lead. In retrospect, I clearly jumped the gun in attacking a good faith contribution. Cheers,TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 05:37, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
No problem. I imagine it was jarring seeing it in the lead. I just snuck it in because I had been rewriting portions of the lead generally and had planned to follow up with more info in the article body. It was never meant to be a lead only kind of thing, and I was planning to refine the concept a bit. Once I realized that Cerny was mostly just talking about the early SG-1000 period, I decided to drop it. There were certainly some interesting games on the system and the addition was never meant to be a POV disparagement. I like the way you added it back in. Indrian (talk) 19:36, 16 April 2014 (UTC)
  •  Done I took the info about the FM synthesizer in Japan out of the lead just because I felt it broke the flow and was perhaps a smidge too much detail for that section. This section should probably briefly mention that the change from Mark III to Master System was largely cosmetic, but that in Japan the FM synthesizer was also built into the system.
    • That's fine; you have a good point. I had it there to distinguish Mark III from Master System a bit, but it absolutely was a largely cosmetic difference. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  •  Done Mastertronic only distributed the Master System in the UK in 1987. France and Germany each had its own distributor. The European launch ended up being pretty much a disaster because Sega was unable to provide the promised inventory, which drove the French distributor into bankruptcy and caused the German distributor to drop the product. Virgin/Mastertronic then took on Europe-wide distribution in 1988. This is all described by Nick Alexander, former head of Virgin Games and Sega Europe, in an article on the history of Virgin Games in Retro Gamer. I do not have that article in front of me right now, but I would be happy to add this information and the sourcing later if you like.
    • If you've got that, that'd be great. My access to Retro Gamer is somewhat limited and costs me per issue, so I'm pretty selective on which ones I buy and review myself. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I'll get this in. Indrian (talk) 19:02, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
        • Sorry it took me so long to return to this, but the info has been incorporated and sourced now. Indrian (talk) 16:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Game Gear[edit]

  •  Done I am not sure this section fits well here. I am not advocating removing it, but perhaps it should come at the end of the history section so as not to break up the flow of the Master System info.
    • I'd be fine with that. I had it where it was to fit chronologically, but I can also see why it would work as well at the end of that section. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Transition and Decline[edit]

  •  Done As I mentioned in the sales figure discussion above, there are some newspaper sources that gave total North American Master System sales at 1.5 million rather than two million. I think a range is appropriate here, and I would be happy to provide the necessary sourcing.
    • If you've got it, that'd be great. Some of these little discrepancies, when added up, might be where we have the difference between 10 and 13 million units. Of course, that's just speculation, but it's certainly a possibility. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I added this in. The article is from October 1991, so it is missing a few final sales, but there is no way it sold an additional 500,000 in that time with both the SNES and Genesis on the market so it still represents a lower viable estimate than the one presented in Game Over. Indrian (talk) 20:16, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
  •  Done So as promised, I wanted to talk about the 5 million Brazil figure. Is that website a reliable source? Not knowing Portuguese or the Brazilian video game journalism scene, I am not qualified to answer that myself. If it can be proven reliable, I have no problem with it. If it can't be though, it needs to be removed.
    • The source here is Universo Online, kind of like America Online but in Brazil. They're an online service provider, but have their own news and interests pages, and all that jazz just like AOL does. According to their article here, they're one of the largest providers in Brazil. Their Alexa rank is #112 in the world, and #5 in Brazil, so their website is huge and well-known. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I see no harm in keeping this in for now. My only other concern would be whether everything posted there is under editorial oversight, or whether there is self-published stuff mixed in. Just because the site is generally reliable, this article may not be for that reason. If this ever goes to FAC it probably bears a little more scrutiny just to make absolutely sure it is above reproach. Indrian (talk) 19:08, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
        • All right. I'd hope an expert in Portuguese (perhaps a Brazilian editor with sourcing knowledge) would be willing to take a look if we come to that, and suggest alternatives if it doesn't fly. I'm sure it will at some point with this rewrite, but it may take a little while to bring it there. Red Phoenix let's talk... 00:32, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Technical Specifications[edit]

  •  Done I believe the FM syntheziser is internal only on the Japanese Master System.
    • Finally found it. I missed this earlier because my best source for tech specs on it came straight from Sega of Japan's website, and Japanese translations tend to be incredibly awkward because of the large language structure differences between Japanese and English. Having reread it over carefully, I can see it does say that, and I'll put it in. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
  •  Done A little more info on the Master System II would be nice. It should mention some of the specific components removed (expansion port, card reader) and mention that it actually came with built-in games.
    • I found this and added it. Built-in games are mentioned in the game library section, though I've expanded it to include Alex Kidd in Miracle World and Sonic the Hedgehog as well, which were built-in and also sourceable. Would you recommend moving this up into tech specs, then? Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I think leaving it in the game library is fine, but the article could still be more clear about which games were built-in in which specific versions of the console. Indrian (talk) 19:11, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
        • Slight issue here - I really don't have that in a reliable source. Retro Gamer is not specific and just lists them as built-in games, while Sega of Japan's website, normally fantastic about having pages about individual models and some specifics (such as in the Sega Saturn article) doesn't have that here. Allgame also does not identify which built-in games link to which version of the console, and I'm really not 100% myself except that it logically goes in chronological order: Snail Maze, Hang-On, Alex Kidd, Sonic. Red Phoenix let's talk... 00:31, 8 April 2014 (UTC)
          • Well, lets go ahead and call this good for now then. If and when this goes to FAC, I will try to dig up additional sourcing. Indrian (talk) 16:42, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Game Library[edit]

  •  Done "Cards were cheaper to manufacture than the cartridges and included titles such as Spy vs. Spy" Singling out this one game seems odd.

Reception and Legacy[edit]

  •  Done Once we decide how to handle sales figures, this section will obviously need some tweaking.
    • Tweaked the numbers on the total overall, but what we do on some of the individuals will obviously result in more adjustments. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
      • I took out the regional numbers here only because they are already covered in other places in the article. If you want to reincorporate them in a different way that does not feel repetitive, I am fine with that. I am going to close this one for now. Indrian (talk) 16:44, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

And that's it. Other than deciding on sales figures, there is really very little work needed on this one. I am going to place this On hold, but we should be done here in relatively short order. Indrian (talk) 19:14, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Good. Aside from us discussing sales figures, gaining some of the sources you have, and the reliability of the Brazilian sources, I believe everything's addressed. Red Phoenix let's talk... 12:58, 4 April 2014 (UTC)
Yes, we are nearly there. Still a little tweaking on a couple of minor points and the integration of the Retro Gamer material about the European launch along with the sales figure stuff. Indrian (talk) 19:13, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
Sorry it took me a couple of days to get back to the last few things. This article was already in good shape when it was brought to GAN and the changes above have ironed out the few issues that remained. I am pleased to pass this article to GA. Well done! Indrian (talk) 16:54, 11 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit Request[edit]

The lead currently reads as such "The Master System could play both cartridges and the credit card-sized "Sega Cards," it should read "The Model 1 Master System could play both cartridges and the credit card-sized "Sega Cards," The Model 1 was the only model that could read "Sega Cards" and was the least sold unit with the SMS2 and the SMS3 being the most common and lacking that functionality. Also why is the page protected :S (talk) 20:23, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit Request 2. The built in titles were Sonic the Hedgehog and Alex Kidd in Miracle world, the "Snail Maze" game was only available on the Model 1 and was an Easter egg and could not be played without entering a code so it should not be listed. Also in the notable titles the Wonder Boy series of games should be listed as they were one of the most popular games on the system. (talk) 20:35, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Edit Request 3. The terms "Mega Drive" and "Genesis" are used interchangeably throughout the article, One term should be picked over the other and used through out the article. The first use of the term is in the lead "Retrospective reception to the system gives credit to the system's role in Sega's development of the Sega Genesis" Sega never developed the Sega Genesis, they developed the Sega Mega Drive and had to re brand it in North America due to a product by Supra called the "Megadrive ST" already existing. I think as such the term "Mega Drive" instead of "Genesis" should be used but either way one needs to be used through out instead of both. (talk) 20:46, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

In response to your requests:
  1. Certainly doable. I've uncovered this in my Retro Gamer source, so I can make that modification.
  2. Snail Maze may have been an Easter egg, but reliable sources refer to it as a built-in game, so there's really not a reason to remove it since it's backed up. It's sort of a matter of how we consider it in that case, but sources consider it differently. I can add a mention of Wonder Boy as one on the list without a problem.
  3. That one is very selectively chosen for a reason, and I feel the need to elaborate here. The interchangeability is used only in reference to regional differences, with "Genesis" being the preferred non-regional term. The reason for that is because of the long drawn-out debates at Talk:Sega Genesis that have resulted in that name being preferred, and any further discussion without new evidence being considered disruptive in that matter. The statement of why it was rebranded is actually incorrect as well; Indrian and I reviewed it during the GA review at Sega Genesis, and the truth is it's really not known for sure why Sega rebranded the console, as it appears the Supra detail may not be accurate. Also, "Sega never developed the Sega Genesis"... really? Then who did?
I'll also note as well that the page appears to have been semi-protected due to WP:SOCK abuse and was done recently. For those changes that I've responded to, I'll go ahead and make those for you. Red Phoenix let's talk... 00:54, 3 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you :) (talk) 03:14, 3 April 2014 (UTC)


Here is some proposed text for the "Game library" section:

According to game designer Mark Cerny, most of Sega's early Master System titles were developed within a strict three-month deadline, and Sega's policies did not fully change until after the launch of the Genesis.[1][2][3] Cerny has cited the 13-month development schedule allotted Sonic the Hedgehog, as well as the establishment of the Sega Technical Institute (an internal studio which acted outside of Sega's normal corporate structure), as representative of Sega's greater emphasis on quality control for its Genesis output.[2][4]
1.Horowitz, Ken (2006-12-05). "Interview: Mark Cerny". Sega-16. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
2.Parkin, Simon (2013-09-13). "Sonic the Hedgehog: past, present and future". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-06. They made 40 games in this way ...But by my judgment only two were really worth playing. 
3.Totilo, Stephen (2014-03-10). "A Candid Talk With Mark Cerny, Who Designed The PS4, Among Other Things". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
4.Horowitz, Ken (2007-06-11). "Developer's Den: Sega Technical Institute". Sega-16. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 

I was about to add this material myself, but I just couldn't do it, as I personally believe Cerny's culture shock at Sega versus Atari does not amount to much more than a footnote in gaming history. That said, feel free to copy or modify this material if you disagree, as I'm hardly the arbiter of truth and my analysis could certainly be mistaken. The Guardian article makes clear that Cerny's critique extends to most of the Master System's library, even though he puts emphasis on 40 games that came out relatively early in the system's life, and that Cerny attributes the high quality and success of Sonic in part to its relatively lengthy development schedule.TheTimesAreAChanging (talk) 08:57, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

I've used at least the first sentence of this. It's noteworthy to the Master System's library to know about how long Sega allowed for development as that would affect the library and its quality, not unlike the library for the Sega 32X. The second sentence I think is of questionable relevance to this article.

Red Phoenix let's talk... 03:42, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

"Let's not mess with a featured article so much"[edit]

"Let's not mess with a featured article so much" is not a valid excuse to revert added content—FAs are not set in stone. Are there any issues with the edits this editor made? Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 06:52, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. "Let's not mess with a featured article so much", without further elaboration, is basically WP:OWN. Ylee (talk) 08:34, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I have no problem with you or 99% of Wikipedia users editing this article. That anon is a sock puppet of banned user Jagged 85, who was banned specifically for misusing sources and repeatedly adding inaccurate info to Wikipedia. That edit comment was aimed at him, not users in general. Indrian (talk) 20:33, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

VDP Speed[edit]

How many MHz has the VDP?-- (talk) 21:16, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Light Phaser Origins[edit]

It's always been my understanding that the Light Phaser was not based on the guns in the anime Zillion, as stated in the article, but that the anime used the Light Phaser design. I can't check the source that's cited for this but I'm almost certain it's mistaken. 1) The anime came out months after the release of the Master System and the LP. 2) The anime was financed, at least in part, by Sega and 3) The character Opa Opa from Sega's Fantasy Zone series makes an appearance in the anime, well after the first Fantasy Zone game was released.

I'll try to find a source that I can cite to make the change. I found this article on Sega Retro [5] that confirms the above, but it doesn't cite anything so I doubt it'll pass muster.

CrinklyCrunk (talk) 19:20, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Horowitz, Ken (2006-12-05). "Interview: Mark Cerny". Sega-16. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Parkin, Simon (2013-09-13). "Sonic the Hedgehog: past, present and future". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-06-06. They made 40 games in this way ...But by my judgment only two were really worth playing. 
  3. ^ Totilo, Stephen (2014-03-10). "A Candid Talk With Mark Cerny, Who Designed The PS4, Among Other Things". Kotaku. 
  4. ^ Horowitz, Ken (2007-06-11). "Developer's Den: Sega Technical Institute". Sega-16. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  5. ^