Talk:Master System/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1

Slight NPOV cleanup

I've done some minor changes to the more biased sounding paragraphs at the history. I've made the comparison between the NES and the MS slightly more technical than opinionated and removed the comment about the sound being better (couldn't find any solid citations about the sound). I've removed a few redundant sentences and reworded a few sentences. Abigsmurf (talk) 11:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)

Master System European sales

it says in the article that even though the Master System did well in Europe it did not manage to beat the NES in sales, I find this extremely difficult to believe, in the UK virtually no-one I knew ever owned a NES, there would be a few here and there, it was never seen as being the most popular machine, it left the market substantially earlier than the Master System which became the budget console of choice during the early ninetees, to this day whilst on my weakly searches through flea markets across the UK I will literally see around 4-5 Master Systems for every 1 NES console surely if the NES had been so big it would've left a bigger footprint? or maybe it was just not that popular in the UK specifically and made up for it in other markets. This needs some proper citable sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:11, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

After checking through the net for the last week I have found absolutely no evidence to say that the NES outsold the the Master System in Europe, in fact most sources say the opposite, so I am going to remove that statement form the article next week, which will give anyone time to discuss. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:35, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I think this article needs cleaning up ; the first parts claim that it sold poorly, and then this is contradicted in the later section on Europe. In fact, the Master system outsold the NES shoebox comprehensively outside of North America, and overall sales levels were not greatly dissimilar. Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 07:32, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Clones and Offical consoles

I added a list of official releases and known clones. I don't think I missed any out but just tell me if I did --Dog777 09:09, 28 July 2007 (UTC)

that sega site

what on earth happend to website, i miss it so much!

I believe you referring to the site that was created by shinobiman from about Jan 2002 onwards. In late 2004 he closed the site and the duties where then handed on to forum user Sinistral. He redesigned the site and I think the domain expired and seemed to have been bought by a company called nexus9 before it could be renewed. The site then branched off into what SMS Tributes ( is now and the SMS community is thriving more than ever.

Card slot

Anyone know what the purpose of the card slot was? I had a Master when I was little (still have it lying around somewhere) and never did get a good answer to that question. -VJ 01:18, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of the games came on cards. I have one, Spy vs. Spy. 02:30, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
The SMS' predesessors also used the cards, with add ons. I belive they were software compatible, but I don't know for certain. Those systems used cards because cartridges were more expensive. --anon.
A set of 3D glasses could be purchased which would plug in to the card slot. The glasses only worked with a few games that were designed to take advantage of them, like Zaxxon 3D and Maze Hunter. Scorpi0n
Shame they didn't develop it much. There could have been interesting scope for an e.g. pokemon style game ... buy the main cartridge, and then have slot-in cards with additional data on, allowing you to choose between boosting your water or earth etc stable for a particular battle. Or even playstation style memory cards, had they kept the slot through til the age of viable home-user grade flash (or even just battery-backed ram cards), so players could develop their own stables and load them into the console one at a time... (with a main cart holding extra memory). (talk) 20:51, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Master System versus Nintendo (NES)

Article quote: "Though the Master System was more technically advanced in most ways than the NES, it did not attain the same level of popularity among consumers in the United States"

Is there any truth to this statement? Graphic-wise they're virtually identical from what I can see, same resolution, and very similar if not identical color palette and colors per screen. Sound-wise the Nintendo even has the edge (5 voices versus 3 voices, and with more complexity in waveforms allowed). Which just leaves animation and this where the Master System was superior?--apple2gs

Seriously? I've always found the NES to be graphically ugly and sonically rather harsh, even when compared to the SMS, whose capabilities are closer to more poorly equipped 16-bit machines (though not in the CPU/RAM area of course). It may even lose out numerically on specs, but it would seem they chose a better balance. It may well have much better games, but the poor quality of its AV has always put me off the NES (case in point: it doesn't even have a pure yellow... I mean, come on). I think it's got more limited sprite capability also, which restricts the kind of titles you can ultimately produce on the system (no fullscreen bitmaps etc). Consider that the late-release Kirby is one of the best looking NES platformers, and Sonic easily has it beat even so. I remember playing more advanced and demanding things like Jungle Strike on the Sega... are there even NES ports of that or something similar we can compare against? (talk) 20:56, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

For years I always heard the Master System was superior but after looking at the technical specs and comparing games (on a real console) I question that. Beyond just disputing that paragraph in the article, I'd be interested in hearing from others on the subject.

As far as I can tell the SMS has more vivid colors. The NES also seems to have more glitches in its graphics (but I have not played enough SMS to know). I agree with you as far as the audio goes; the NES tunes are richer and are not as much blocked out by sound FXs.
I think part of the reason the NES managed to keep up with the SMS (graphically) can be thanks to the memory mappers that was "cheaply" available for NES developers (while SMS devs had to contend with what shipped with the system.)--Anss123 20:31, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
Identical colors per screen? Not really. The NES can display 16. The SMS can display 32. Crv1 22:05, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Comparing Image:NES Rampage.png and Image:SMS Rampage.png, and Image:SMS Shinobi.png and Image:NES Shinobi.png this point becomes evident. The Double Dragon ports also serve as a good example. --Jtalledo (talk) 16:46, 5 June 2006 (UTC)
From what I know there are different sprites number capabilities in both system.. SMS seems to have lot of power in this way. 13:20, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Coming back to this thread a few months later and reading the replies, I'd say in summary the SMS had a slight edge in graphics, possible also in animation potentially (number of sprites?) but on the other hand NES was vastly superior in audio/music capabilties. It may have been "more technical advanced" as the article states, but that potential was not really fully unlocked by developers from what I can see personally. As an example, compare Alex Kidd in Miracle World to the Super Mario Bros 1, 2 or 3 (especially the latter).--Apple2gs 01:46, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, I dont agree with the last afirmation. If you check the sega master system versions of games as road rash, james pond II, or T2 the Arcade you can see how so vastly superior the sega master system was in graphics when is compared with the nes. There is not exists any nes game with that kind of graphics (Personally, I think that such games looks almost as the mega drive versions. And that games dont uses any especial chips). Speaking about sound, well, the nes had 6 chanels and the sms 4 chanels for sound, in that case personally I could said that the nes was technically superior with sound, but not vastly superior.--[User: maxxfarras] 11:34, 4 february 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Maxxfarras (talkcontribs)
I can't agree on the audio front. Maybe the Sega 8-bits just had better composers or something, but apart from a few odd titles like Megaman or the gameboy releases of Bombjack and Zelda that are striking by their comparitive quality, most NES/GB music seems to be a screechy, oversimplified mess, even on Final Fantasy I thru III. Blasphemy, I know, but this is what my ears tell me.
Latterday retro chipmusicians have made it seem better than it actually was by their reflected glory - and the luxury of having much more memory and time to dedicate to their compositions. Wheras all but the most cack-handed Yamaha chip productions (something like Transbot, for example) tend to sound reasonably pleasant just thanks to its softer tone. Something like the theme to Streets of Rage or the "darker" Sonic levels (or its outro) approach the greatness of pure, non-game chip compositions and seem to belong on a more sophisticated platform to what they actually do (e.g. the Atari ST, with a huge improvement in CPU power and RAM). So strange that the comparison for both video and audio capabilities flipped around so starkly when the SNES and Genesis came along... maybe as a response to this? (talk) 21:10, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Screenshot Gallery

Does this gallery typically feature a system's most 'representative' games? If so, I think including any games released after 1989 - when the Mega Drive was released - wouldn't quite fit the bill. Populous and Sonic the Hedgehog, for example, are known primarily for their 16-bit versions. And including Marble Madness is a bit pathetic, considering the definitive Nintendo version came three years earlier.

Wouldn't games like Fantasy Zone, Space Harrier, Outrun, and Shinobi be more appropriate? Renfield 00:37, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

You may don't know that the Master System got lots of games after 1989 in Europe and Brazil (like Sonic 2 8-bit) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:17, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. Just because it died in the States and Japan (because, after all, no-one else in the entire 7 billion world population plays videogames apart from these 0.4 billion-ish people) in '89 doesn't mean that no significant or famous games came out for the platform after that - it ended up having another EIGHT YEARS of commercial life after all! My own experience, in Europe, is that a majority of it's best software came out in the early 90s - attempts to squash good ports of arcade and 16-bit games onto the SMS expanding the ambition, vision and skill of its programmers, having surprising success in their mission and then leading to some interesting original titles too (Sonic Chaos, for example), much like the final days of the NES and Playstation (& PS2) turning up surprising triumphs for pushing the hardware even though they're ostensibly providing for a market populated by very young players on hand-me-down systems and poorer players who can't afford a new system or very many games.
Having a good, playable version of Populous on a 4mhz, 8kb system with no keyboard and a joypad in place of a mouse should be considered quite an achievement, and the dramatically different 8-bit versions of Sonic 1 & 2 are good enough to be considered as separate series entries in their own right. The older games mentioned are also very good (well, except Shinobi - the only enjoyable version I've ever found was the excellent gamegear-specific one), but IMHO they should be considered equal-rank entries on the same list rather than somehow superior just because of their age. As for Marble Madness, competent as it is, wasn't that originally a mid-80s title from the days of Sinclair and the C64? Hardly something you want to use to show off your system, though it could well be a "representative" example of a mid-level game. (talk) 21:22, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Last Games

Anyone know what the last games to be released in certain regions for the SMS are? I remember some Mortal Kombat game being released in 1996 in the UK - dunno if it was 2 or 3. --Zilog Jones 13:51, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

3D Glasses

I don't think there's a difference between the SMS's "fake" 3D and the Virtual Boy's "real" 3D.

Both, presented a separate image to each eye. They were also both limited to "planes" of 2D sprites, Nintendo rather stupidly using a 2D tile-mapped video engine, and underpowered CPU, meaning the only "real" 3D game used hollow polygons.

As I think is adequately explained, the SMS alternated left / right images to the screen, while the glasses blocked the right / left eye in turn. That's as 3D as you get. Cinemas use similar shutter glasses, often kept in sync with infra-red pulses, in the odd 3D film today.

Just a grudge. The SMS 3D glasses, were real 3D!... and I wish I'd bought the pair I once saw in a second-hand shop, Space Harrier must be amazing.

Greenaum, 6-aug-2006

You'd only get 25~30Hz to each eye though, so impressive as it would be, after half an hour you'd suffer SUCH eyestrain as even the Virtual Boy couldn't provide. The 3D HD TVs we'll be seeing soon will offer at least 100~120Hz shutter speeds to get rid of this and prevent a resurgence of the old 60Hz CRT monitor flicker headaches...
What it would probably be might resemble Doom's "2.5D" arrangement - not much polygon ability, but able to show sprites genuinely moving in and out of the screen thanks to the stereoscopic effect. There was a famous SMS space shooter example that had limited polygonality and a starfield, but can I remember the name of it? Gah. (talk) 21:29, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

number of sold units

I've changed the number of sold units back from 19 million back to 13 million since the change was done by an IP user without further notice. In the last few hours I've noticed quite some changes like that:
Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis
Sega Game Gear
Sega Saturn
and at the Console wars article. The Dreamcast numbers were changed too, but that was already fixed. --32X 01:50, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I've been looking for a reliable source for the 13 million worldwide sales figure with little success for quite a while now, yesterday I noticed that the uncited 13 million had been removed and replaced with a cited 6 million, seeing as how I'd already found a reliable source for 10 million in my prior research (The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines is a relatively well respected book) I increased the number to 10 million for the time being until hopefully a better source will be uncovered allowing us to reinstate the 13 million figure. Seems that the 13 million figure may have originally come from Eidolon's Inn, unfortunately the article in question doesn't really say where the information is from, and Eidolon's Inn also has contradictory information on another page which says the worldwide sales of the Master System were 6 million. Jesus.arnold (talk) 17:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I spent the whole of today looking for sources and have now re-instated the 13 million number, I'm not entirely happy with the sources (I would much rather they were older, as there's always a worry that some of these might have taken their info from Wiki's old article in the first place) but I feel they are adequate for the time being Jesus.arnold (talk) 03:55, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Notable games

What makes those games notable? The list in the article looks like people are just adding their favorite games. Supermagnetic 21:02, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

If a game is sold alot or is famous for its playability for its time then I would say a game is notable, but it doesnt nescesarily have to be notable for the SMS, if you get me. I dont think of f.ex. Ultima as a thypical SMS game and I didnt even knew it was ported. I would say that around 3/4 of the list is right, as I see it though. --AndersL 22:31, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

It doesn't make any sense to list games that were designed for another system before being ported to the SMS, including those designed for a dedicated arcade machine that saw a much inferior console version. These games may well be notable, but I think people want to see what games saw their first light of day on the SMS originally. Renfield 15:59, 19 October 2007 (UTC)

Heh, I have one and am a quite fan of the plucky little thing, but I'm still not sure it has any true "notable" games, as most of them were available in different (usually slightly better, unless it was on the NES...) forms on other consoles. At least, any of those I'm familiar with... Some are quite surprising however, e.g. Desert Strike - how did they ever squeeze that in? If a technical surprise counts as "notable", then that could be a good example. Sonic 2, also, as it was decidedly different from both the Megadrive version, and had large sections that deviated from the Game Gear also. Alex Kidd may count, as I can't think of any other console that came with a built-in, good quality, fully featured, and somewhat unique platform game. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I think what I meant there was --- how many systems could you actually say that "games that originated on it instead of another console or the arcade" thing for? For a start it immediately puts the more third-party / arcade port friendly Sega on the back foot vs Nintendo who solicited for more original titles AND put their developers on much more restrictive licenses such that a large number of nintendo titles would never be seen anywhere else. It's a silly thing to demand, and means that e.g. a very popular and genre defining 8 bit game whose Master System version was one of the better ports is automatically excluded. (talk) 21:35, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Packages and Built in games section

Could this subject be something to use in the entry ? I had a variant of the Master System in the 80's, that had Hang-On and Safari Hunt, built into the system bios. This setup also had two controllers and a lightgun..

I'm not really sure whether that's relevant or not but it might be interesting for somebody. Just include it at a fitting position in the article - if someone doesn't like it it'll get removed. ;) How about that one:
"The Master System came in different packages and sometimes with BIOS-included games, f.e. ..."
-- 32X 21:31, 3 October 2006 (UTC) (PS: Don't forget to sign your comments on discussion pages with the ~~~~.)

Game controllers

In the subsection "Game controllers" Dj ansi wrote:

  • Strangely, Sega also released a joystick, the Sega Control Stick, which placed the buttons to the left of the stick, seemingly for someone left-handed who is still new to video games. It may have been based on the Atari 2600 joystick, which had its single button in the upper-left corner.

While "stangely" is not encyclopedic, the rest seems a bit like original research: "seemingly", "may have been based on".
We should include the joystick but a better description is needed. Any idea? --32X 15:38, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

PS: As a right-handed user I had no problems with the stick; I wouldn't bring up the left-handed story if there's no real source for it. 32X

Old controllers versus new

Quoting from article... "The original controllers, like Sega's previous systems, had the cord emerging from the side; during 1987 they changed the design to the now-typical top emerging cord. These early controllers also included a screw-in thumbstick; these were later omitted and the D-pad on the controller was redesigned without a screwhole for the thumbstick."

I own both these controllers. From what I can see, the screw-in thumbstick was available as on optional on BOTH the old and new. It wasn't omitted, there is a small plastic cap that fits over the thumb-screw hole. You can simply pull it off and insert the thumbstick (and when not in use, place the cap back on). It's possible the cap/hole may have been omitted in very late models of the gamepad. Both my controllers, the side cord and top cord, are model "3020" incidentally.--Apple2gs 23:56, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
"It's possible" sounds like we should just shorten the quoted part. Here's my suggestion:
"The original controllers, like Sega's previous systems, had the cord emerging from the side; during 1987 the design was changed to the now-typical top emerging cord. Some controllers also included a screw-in thumbstick for the D-pad."
Change it in the article, if you're o.k. with this. --33X 20:39, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

There are SMS-controller without a screw-in hole for a thumbstick.

Cheating Device for SMS

Was a cheating device for the Sega Master System ever invented? If so, what was it called?--Mathsexpressions 05:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

I haven't found an image but IIRC there was a version of the Action Replay for the Master Sytem. At least I've found some Action Replay codes for it. --32X 16:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Question 1: When was the SMS released in Europe? Question 2: I saw the NES system on eBay UK. Does that mean that the NES was released in Europe?

  1. According to [1] it was in September of 1987.
  2. You might think that Europeans live in the Middle Ages but in fact they had the NES.

Hope that helped. --32X 05:26, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Sega Base System

I seem to remember there being a "Sega Base System", which essentially is the same as the Master System except without 3-d glasses or a light gun in the package, or something to that effect. I was 7 or 8 when it came out so sorry if my memory is hazy from then. Anyways, the article could delve into the Base System and how the Master System became synonymous with the entire platform. And to prove I'm not delusional, here's a eBay link to a Base System auction. hateless 05:35, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I think it would hard to explain. It seems that Sega of America, for a while anyway, referred to the system as just "The Sega System" in commercials and in instruction manuals. "The Sega Master System" was just the name of the package containing more stuff, as you said. But that appears to just be some marketing thing that was eventually dropped. No matter what package you got, the console said "Sega Master System" on it. Then of course, you have the startup screen. Crv1 01:18, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Before that eBay auction I never knew about that part of the Master System's history. I think there should be a note in the introduction and some more information in Sega Master System#North America. --32X 01:48, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

discontinuation in europe

can this be used as a souce? it says "although the system continued to be popular in Europe. The SMS wasn't even discontinued in Europe until around 1995." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:09, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Virtual Console

Since it's now a week into March and there are no Master System games available, the statement is obviously false. (talk) 03:25, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be linked to the Mark III page? Or the Mark III w/this page?

After all, they (Mark III, Sega Master System) are one and the same, only different in cosmetics and, of course, name. Everything else, including all internal components, are the same. The only real key differences between the Mark III and the Japanese "version" of the Master System is that on Mark III the card reader and FM sound were add-ons, while they are built into the JP Master System. But those differences do not make for separate systems. Rather, think of the JP version of Master System as a slightly upgraded release of the Mark III, similar to how, say, the PS2 Slim is a slightly upgraded version of the original PS2 (w/modem built in, etc.).

I think the two should be in the same article.

Therealspiffyone (talk) 00:44, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

True, but it will have to be Mark III redirecting here since it's known as SMS in the English speaking world.--Anss123 (talk) 12:08, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I have redirected the Mark III article here. Red Phoenix flame of life...protector of all... 18:38, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

Sound chips

Just out of interest, why did the SMS require two sound chips (the Texas Instruments SN76489 (PSG) and Yamaha YM2413 (FM))? Don't they both do a very similar job? Falcolombardi87 10:21, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

The Yamaha does FM audio which is good for music, but the chip is only in the Japanese SMS models. If you have the chip some games (like Outrun) will have much better music. Also I can mention that a "Programmable Sound Generator" (PSG) is preferable for sound effects (like jumps, firing weapons, etc.). --Anss123 (talk) 10:58, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Right, I see, interesting. What about the Game Gear? Did all GG models have both sounds chips, not just the Japanese version? Falcolombardi87 13:20, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
The GG had a stereo TI PSG chip of some kind. The Wikipedia article claims the GG had the FM chip too, but that's not the case. There's no FM chip in the GG.--Anss123 (talk) 13:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC)
Wasn't the FM chip only in some cartridges or a plug-in expansion unit, even, so it's not a default thing for the Japanese model? The PSG was the basic sound unit, supported by most games, and the FM chip an upgrade with less support, basically. If you're familiar with them, it could be compared to the Yamaha synth chip and DMA sample replayer in the Atari ST & STe, or OPL general MIDI synths and wavetable replayers on earlier and later PC sound cards. The more sophisticated, "better quality" models also contained the older circuitry for widest compatibility, ease of production for simpler programs, not to mention the unique effects available from them. (talk) 21:41, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Master System in Singapore

Quick question, in 1987 i used to live in Singapore and my first console was the Sega Master System, but it was the European Version. Did they ever release the Japanese version of SMS in S'Pore at all? October 3 - Curious Guy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:25, 3 October 2008 (UTC)