"HEY! You still don't have a Sega CD?"During the heyday of Sega's famous Sega Genesis (Mega Drive to non-Americans), the company made a series of stabs at niche markets and add-on components to keep the Genesis competing with the 32-bit systems that stood between it and Sega's own Saturn. These include:
— Angry Black Guy, 1994 TV spot
Consoles:SG-1000: The "Mark I" to the Sega Master System's "Mark III". Released in Japan in 1983 (incidentally the same day as the Famicom) and sectors of Asia, Oceania, and Europe, but not America. A keyboard-equipped version, the SC-3000, was sold as a home computer. The hardware specs were almost identical to the Colecovision, using nearly the exact same chips and components, to the extent that one clone system, the Telegames Personal Arcade, could actually play both Colecovision and SG-1000 games. It had an updated model called the SG-1000 II (aka the "Mark II"). Sega CD and 32X: Described in further detail on the page for the Sega Genesis, these attempts to get in on the ground floor of technologies properly defined by the other Fifth Generation consoles fell flat due to the Genesis itself not having the processing power to realize their full potential (more precisely, only the 32X was an attempt to provide a transitional add-on for Genesis owners into the Fifth Generation; the Sega CD was originally released in 1991 for Japan, 1992 in America, and 1993 in Europe as a way to take the system's specs closer to the SNES). Plus, the 32X was released shortly after the Saturn's "surprise launch" in Japan, although it reached US first. The arrival of Playstation (again, incidentally released the same day in Japan), as well as Sega Saturn itself, nailed this add-on as well as Sega Genesis itself. Sega Pico: An early childhood learning system like you'd find in the homes of parents too traumatized by the original batch of video gaming Moral Guardians to purchase a "legitimate" gaming system (think of it as the Leap Frog of its day, except not portable). Cartridges were book-shaped and could be turned page-by-page to advance the on-screen action, while interactive action was controlled with a "magic" pen and buttons. Debuted in 1993 and died out in America and Europe by 1997, but apparently still has Japanese "Storyware" published for it alongside its successor, the Advanced Pico Beena (created 2005, Japan-only). Yamaha Mixt Book Player Copera: A Japan-only variant of the Sega Pico manufactured by Yamaha, it reinstated the OPN2 FM synth into the Pico to allow for better quality music while still retaining the uPD PCM CODEC for speech and sound samples (the Pico is based on MegaDrive hardware, but omitted the OPN2 synth to cut costs and added the uPD PCM CODEC to allow for superior speech and sound effects). Advanced Pico Beena is the Japan-only successor to the Sega Pico mentioned above, but is a Pico In Name Only. Little is known about the console outside of Japan except that it did away with the Sega Pico's Mega Drive-derived internals for a completely new platform based around the 32-bit ARM architecture and thus is said to have superior graphics and sound capabilities to the Pico. It also has a SD card slot, from which software can be run from. It is thought to be incompatible with older Pico titles as the shape of the storyware books has changed. Sega Mega Jet: The Mega Jet was originally a semi-portable, Game Gear-sized Mega Drive controller/cartridge slot hybrid for use with backseat monitors on Japan Airlines flights. A home port was released in Japan in 1994. Sega Nomad: After the Mega Jet's release, Sega gave American consumers the Nomad, which at first glance might be written off as a Game Gear that takes Genesis cartridges. While the Game Gear's infamously-short battery life was magnified on the Nomad (six AA batteries now only provided 30 minutes of playtime), the Nomad's main draw was that it not only functioned as a portable system, but had the A/V ports and second controller port necessary to operate as a console (Player 1 used the Nomad's buttons, Player 2 used the port). But even the possibility of lugging a complete console around in your pocket couldn't stop the Nomad from sinking — a launch price of $180 and lack of compatibility with the Sega CD, 32X, and "Power Base" Sega Master System converter left it without sizable support.
Mashup Consoles:Sega made a variety of deals with other companies to add Genesis functionality to their products or to have Genesis components manufactured on the cheap by a third party. Most were incompatible with the Sega CD and 32X unless they were built into them already.
Internet Services:A variety of cable TV-based internet connections proliferated during the days of the Genesis and Saturn, and well into the life of the Sega Dreamcast.