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SG-1000
エスジー・セン

15 July 1983

   
Prior to the SG-1000's release Sega had kept to the practice of licensing out their most popular titles.
Games like Monaco GP (1979), Carnival (1980), Turbo (1981) and Zaxxon (1982) became massive hits on a wide range of home computers and consoles, so Sega decided to go it alone and develop their own hardware. The initial plan was to release both a game machine and home computer simultaneously, using inter-changeable cartridges.
This is how the SG-1000 hardware was born - story has it that the hardware's specifications were finalised as early as 1981 but remained 'on test' for close to two years, primarily due to R&D difficulties with the SC-3000's utility software. The two machines eventually hit Japanese shelves in July 1983.
 







 
 
 
 

 
The SG-1000 was an ok machine for its time, and it was met with reasonable success. The problem was that the Nintendo Famicom appeared on the exact same month. It went on to establish itself all around Asia - as well as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Spain.
In Japan, it was the only machine to even vaguely survive the Famicom's onslaught. Consoles by Tomy, Takara, Bandai and Casio were completely blown out of the water, vanishing off the shelves within the space of a few months. But yet the SG-1000 managed to keep a small pocket of the marketplace for itself, thanks in great part to Sega's brand name, arcade catalogue, and extensive SC-3000 computer range.
Sega would fully support the hardware until 1987, until it was fully replaced by the vastly superior Sega Mark III / Master System.
It was a damn fast machine: a lot of SG-1000 games are extraordinarily quick, and surprisingly challenging... The only immediate problem being its awkward joystick, and the presence of near-unbeatable competition in the form of the Nintendo Famicom.
 



Borderline (1983)
 


Congo Bongo (1983)

Girl's Garden (1984)

Zaxxon (1985)







 

 
Touted as a 'computer for beginners', the SC-3000 was released alongside the SG-1000 in three different colours.
In fact it is slightly more powerful than its console counterpart: it benefits from a little extra RAM and an increased resolution. Its rubber keyboard enabled the use of dedicated BASIC, music, and educational software, all available on cartridge.

A second model, known as the SC-3000H, featured a new keyboard and even more RAM; and the SF-7000 external upgrade unit added a further 74kB of RAM and 8kB of ROM, a 3" floppy disk drive, a Centronics parallel port, and an RS232 serial port.

To be fair, the early 80s computer market was a cut-throast one, and Sega's machine wasn't very competitive. By 1984 Sega gave it one last push with an aggressive advertising campaign, releasing numerous Sega-branded accessories as a part of the range.

The all-inclusive SC-5000 was the third and final SC model; and also Sega's last attempt at piercing the home computer market. The machine just simply wasn't powerful or versatile enough to make that much of a dent in the market.
 

SC-3000H

SC-3000H + SF-7000 Super Control Station

SC-5000






 


 
In July 1984, exactly one year after the launch of the SG-1000, Sega re-vamped their entire range with the SG-1000 II, also known as the 'Mark II'.
But although it featured a a much slicker exterior design and vastly improved game pads, the machine's innards remained exactly the same as its predecessor, bar a slightly increased resolution for compatibility with the SC-3000 computer range: the unit features a large connection port at the front of the machine for an optional keyboard.
But it was all too little too late by this point. Sega seemed to be stalling, spinning on their own heads with flawed hardware and over-zealous accessories and gizmos - a stark contrast to the elegant simplicity of the Famicom, who in the meantime was moving on by leaps and bounds.
The final SG-1000 format appeared in 1985: a cartridge-sized 'Card Catcher' device that allowed the machine to play games released on the 'Sega My Card' cartridges (left). Technically these card games remain exactly the same as their cartridge counterparts, but sold for a little less.
By late 1986 it was all over for the SG-1000. No surprise: the machine never had what it took to compete - Sega would offer a lot more to players with the far superior Mark III.
 


Doki Doki Penguin Land (1985)

Hang-On II (1985)

Wonder Boy (1986)



 
As a final side note in the history of the SG-1000 is the 1983 Othello Multivision, an officially licensed and fully compatible SG-1000 'clone' released in Japan by home electronics company Tsukada Original.
At ¥19,800 the machine sold for a little more than Sega's version, manily because it had its own built-in Othello game and keypad on the face of the machine. Besides from that, it is also worthy of note because it had a handful of original productions made for it (see list, right).
Q*Bert makes a half-decent appearance, while Guzzler (left) is the only other title of interest: a half-interesting maze game involving a plastic bag -like character that must carry water around to extiguish fires.
Not bad in terms of vintage 1983 gaming, but still - nothing much to write home about.
 



Product ID
Packaging 'a'
Packaging 'b'
Packaging 'c'
Title
Info
G-1001
1983

Arcade
Sega 1981
G-1002
1983

Arcade
'Tranquillizer Gun'
Sega 1980
G-1003
N-Sub
N・サブ
1983

Arcade
Sega 1980
G-1004
Mahjong
麻雀
1983
G-1005
Champion Golf
チャンピオン ゴルフ
1983

Original game
Logitec 1983
G-1006
Serizawa Hachidan no Tsumeshogi
芹沢八段の詰将棋
1983
G-1007
1983

Arcade
Sega 1983
G-1008
Yamato
ヤマト
1983

Arcade
Sega 1983
G-1009
Champion Tennis
チャンピオン テニス
1983
G-1010
1983

Arcade
Sega 1983
G-1011
Champion Baseball
チャンピオン ベースボール
1983

Arcade
ADK 1983
G-1012
1983

Arcade
Sega 1983
G-1013
G-1014
Golgo 13
ゴルゴ13
1984
G-1015
Orguss
オーガス
1984
G-1016
G-1017
1983

Arcade
Sega 1979
G-1018
Sega Flipper
セガ フリッパー
1983
G-1019
Pop Flamer
ポップ フレーマー
1983

Arcade
Jaleco 1982
G-1020
Pacar
パッカー
1983
G-1021
G-1022
1983

Arcade
Namco 1981
G-1023
Space Slalom
スペーススラローム
1983
G-1024
G-1025
G-1026
1983

Arcade
Irem 1983
G-1027
Pachinko
パチンコ
1983
G-1028
Exerion
エクセリオン
1983

Arcade
Jaleco 1983
G-1029
Pachinko II
パチンコII
1984
G-1030
Home Mahjong
ホーム麻雀
1984
G-1031
1984

Original game
Broderbund 1983
G-1032
Safari Race
サファリイレース

1984

G-1033
Champion Boxing
チャンピオン ボクシング
1984

Arcade
Sega 1984
G-1034
Champion Soccer
チャンピオン サッカー

1984

G-1035
Hustle Chumy
ハッスル チューミー
1984

Developed by
Compile
G-1036
1984

Arcade
Sega 1984
G-1037
Girl's Garden
ガールズ ガーデン

1984

G-1038
1985

Arcade
Sega 1982
G-1039
Champion Pro Wrestling
チャンピオン プロレス
1985

Arcade
Sega 1985
G-1040
GP World
GPワールド
1985

Arcade
Sega 1984
G-1041
Konami no Shinyūshain Toru-kun
コナミの新入社員とおるくん
1985

Arcade
Konami 1984
G-1042
Konami no Hyper Sports
コナミのハイパースポーツ
1985

Arcade
Konami 1984
G-1043
1985

Arcade
Tehkan 1984
G-1044
Othello
オセロ

1985

G-1045
1985

Arcade
Taito 1978
G-1046
The Castle
ザ・キャッスル
1986


CARTRIDGE RE-ISSUES
C-05
Champion Golf
チャンピオン ゴルフ
1985
Sport

Re-issue of
G-1005
C-17
1985
Racing

Re-issue of
G-1017
C-26
1985
Racing

Re-issue of
G-1026
C-33
Champion Boxing
チャンピオン ボクシング
1985
Sport

Re-issue of
G-1033
C-43
1985
Shooting

Re-issue of
G-1043
CARD-ONLY RELEASES
C-46
Dragon Wang
ドラゴン・ワン
1985
Action
C-47
1985
Shooting

Arcade
Sega 1982
C-48
Choplifter
チョップリフター
1985
Shooting

Original game
Brøderbund 1982
C-49
Pitfall II
ピットフォールII
1985
Action

Arcade
Sega 1984
C-50
1985
Action / Puzzle
C-51
Drol
ドロール
1985
Action / Puzzle

Original game
Brøderbund 1983
C-52
Chack'n Pop
チャックン ポップ
1985
Action / Puzzle

Arcade
Taito 1983
C-53
1985
Action

Arcade
Sega 1984
C-54
Rock n' Bolt
ロックン ボルト
1985
Puzzle

Original game
Activision 1985
C-55
Elevator Action
エレベーター アクション
1985
Action

Arcade
Taito 1983
C-56
Sōkoban
倉庫番
1985
Puzzle

Original Game
Thinking Rabbit 1982
C-57
1985
Puzzle

Original game
Brøderbund 1983
C-58
H.E.R.O.
ヒーロー
1985
Action

Original game
Activision 1984
C-59
Champion Ice Hockey
チャンピオン アイスホッケー
1985
Sport
C-60
1985
Racing

Arcade
Sega 1985
C-61
1985
Action

Arcade
Tehkan 1984
C-62
Champion Ski (Cancelled)
C-63
Gulkave
ガルケーブ
1985
Shooting

Developed by
Compile
C-64
C-So!
シーソー
1986
Action
C-65
1986
Action

Arcade
Sega 1985
C-66
Super Tank
スーパー タンク
1986
Shooting
C-67
Champion Kendo
チャンピオン 剣道
1986
Sport
C-68
C-69
1986
Action
C-70
C-71
Champion Billiards
チャンピオンビリヤード
1986
Sport
C-72
The Black Onyx
ザ・ブラック オニキス
1987
RPG


Othello Multivision
Product ID
Packaging 'a'
Packaging 'b'
Packaging 'c'
Title
Info
OM-G001
Q*Bert
キューバート
1983
OM-G002
Guzzler
ガズラー
1983
OM-G003
Space Mountain
スペースマウンテン
1984
OM-G004
San-nin Mahjong
三人麻雀
1984
OM-G005
Challenge Derby
チャレンジダービー
1984
OM-G006
Okamoto Ayako no Match Play Golf
岡本綾子のマッチプレイゴルフ
1984
OM-G007
Space Armor
スペースアーマー
1984
OM-G008
007 James Bond
007 ジェームズ・ボンド
1984


BASIC
B-10
Sega SC-3000 BASIC Level 2
1983
B-21
Sega SC-3000 BASIC Level 2 B
1983
B-30
Sega SC-3000 BASIC Level 3 A
1983
B-40
Sega SC-3000 BASIC Level 3 B
1983
B-41
Sega SC-3000 BASIC SK-III
B-50
Home Basic
B-51
Home Basic Level 2 B
EDUCATION
E-101
Sega SC-3000 Music Editor
E-102
-
E-103
Junior High School English Word (1)
E-104
Junior High School Eisaku Sentence (1)
E-105
Junior High School English Method (1)
E-106
Pleasant Arithmetic (4th grade)
E-107
Chemistry (Element Master)
E-108
Nihonshi Nenpyo (Japanese History)
E-109
World History
E-110
Junior High School English Word (2)
E-111
Junior High School Eisaku Sentence (2)
E-112
Junior High School English Method (2)
E-113
Pleasant Arithmetic (4th grade under)
E-114
Pleasant Arithmetic (5th grade under)
E-115
Pleasant Arithmetic (6th grade under)
E-116
Pleasant Arithmetic (5th grade over)
E-117
Pleasant Arithmetic (6th grade over)
E-118
-
E-119
Fortune Telling Angel Cutie
?
Physics (motion and power)
?
Physics (energy)




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