For a very long time I’ve mostly ignored Sega’s CD add-on for the Sega Genesis. Known as the Sega CD in North America and the Mega CD for the rest of the world.
Back in the day it came out when my interest in my Genesis was fading (shame on me) and for decades beyond when I got into collecting I put most of my attention on just cartridge games for the Sega Genesis and Sega Master System.
Then in the past year after diving in and getting a chance to try out some really great Sega CD games (Snatcher, Dark Wizard, Popful Mail and Lunar) this add-on hardware that was, in its day, tainted by terrible ‘Full Motion Video (FMV) Games‘ has since won me over.
So much so, that I took some time to take a really pretty picture of it.
I’m going to start by saying the Model 2 Sega CD is just fine. Sure, optical drives are prone to wear out but that being said Sega made a pretty good piece of kit.
I’ve read that the model 1 Sega CD is actually more prone to failure and is harder to find as it had a shorter production run before being replaced by the model 2.
But there is something about the look of the Model 1 Sega CD that I really like. Stacked with a Model 1 Sega Genesis it some how pulls off looking part retro and modern; and combines to make something very unique and just plain awesome.
What I don’t love about the Model 1 Sega CD is that it typically costs about double the Model 2. So if the Model 2 Sega CD’s cost about $100 then we’re looking at about $200 for a Model 1 Sega CD.
What did I pay for my very pretty Model 1 Sega CD?
It cost me $240 CAD (~$180 USD). But wait! Just hold on… I can explain. I first saw this exact unit at one of my favorite local retro game shops (Retro Game Bros.) about 6-10 months ago when it’s sticker price was $350 CAD (~$260 USD). It had this steep price tag because it had been fully refurbished. It had the motor and laser replaced in addition to a full capacitors replacement. In fact, I’m told that the laser is a NOS Sega CD laser. The exact model originally used for the Model 1 Sega CD. I don’t know if that really matters but if nothing else it is cool and note worthy.
It’s my hope that this translates into a Sega CD unit that is going to have a very healthy and long life span. And that is easily worth the $40 premium.
I was able to get it for $240 discounted from $350 because of a wildly amazing Black Friday day sale put on by the glorious Retro Game Bros. Thank you guys!
And the steep discounts didn’t stop there. Oh, no… they did not.
There was another item at Retro Game Bros. that I had previously passed up and as fate would have it I found myself staring at it again this past Black Friday.
For $140 CAD they had a good condition Model 2 Sega CD box. Complete with packing and papers, everything except the hardware. I didn’t really want it at $140 but I asked about the sale price and they told me it would be $120 but before I could even blink they offered it up for $100 CAD (~$75). This is what I call a feel good price. Thanks guys!
Now my model 2 Sega CD will get packed away in a good condition Sega CD box while my new Model 1 Sega CD becomes the newest show piece for the man-cave. It still needs the Sewer Shark game disc (which wont be hard to find) but otherwise it’s complete.
Here’s a another photo of my New Sega CD along with one of my more recent favorite Sega Genesis games, Tanglewood.
I also bought a very nice Alien Crush for the TurboGrafx-16 from Retro Game Bros. that I already owned and it should have been Devil’s Crush that I bought… but I don’t want to talk about that blunder any longer. Kijiji will fix it.
Don’t forget to head over to see Nintendo Joe at My Nintendo Dimension for his Black Friday Retro Game Bros. scores.
What games would you recommend for the Sega CD? Personally I only know of Sonic CD as a must-play, but the rest of the library is a mystery to me. I need 5 titles for a system to warrant buying it, and I’m looking for excuses to buy a Sega CD.
I’ve played a lot of Popful Mail and it’s excellent. Lunar is also great if you’re OK with the old school JRPG formula.
Android Assault is a very cool shooter. I think I actually like it more than Lords of Thunder; which is good cause Android Assault is a fair bit cheaper.
What really surprised me is Silpheed. The graphics are very plain but the butter smooth motion and audio really make the game come alive. If you like Star Fox I believe there’s a good chance you’ll like Silpheed.
Dark Wizards is a good turned base strategy game. It will make you think! But you really have to like the genre because it’s not pretty. I’ve played a lot of Warsong and I didn’t realize how much I liked transitioning to the combat scene when you attack (or are attacked). Dark Wizard doesn’t do this. You’re always on the over head map. Which is OK but it makes the game feel a bit unpolished.
Believe it or not but I haven’t played much Sonic CD yet. I tried it out and it feels like a proper Sonic game but I can’t give a detailed comparison.
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Then I will keep an eye out for a Sega CD 😀
Yes, I do feel the Sega CD is worth while!
Dude, I have a Japanese model 1 mega cd. I used to have a model 2 mega cd when I was 10, but my laser broke. The Japanese model 1 just really was much better than my PAL Model 2.
I think all versions of Sega CD/Mega CD units are much more prone to break than a Sega Genesis/MD; back in the day and certainly now. I am really glad that there are flash cart options these days for Sega CD games. But despite that it is super cool to have a working Sega CD as a retro gamer.