Sega Mega Drive Emulator / Sega Genesis Emulator

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Available for
Windows (Win 7, Vista, XP )
Linux (Ubuntu, Fedora, openSuse, Debian)
32bit and 64bit (x64) optimized
sega mega drive emulator screenshot sega mega drive emulator screenshot

With RetroCopy you can play your favourite Mega Drive or Genesis games on your PC, Laptop or Notebook. With an easy to use 3D interface and accurate emulation RetroCopy is the best Sega Mega Drive emulator you can download.

Sega Mega Drive Emulation Features

No other emulator comes close to the features you can find in RetroCopy :-
  • Accurate, fast and stable cycle accurate emulation (M68000 sub instruction)
  • Overclock for more speed in games
  • SVP (Virtua Racing), EEPROM (NBA-Jam), Lock-On cartridge emulation
  • Sega Menacer Light gun support
  • Play games in a 3D environment with lighting and 3D sound
  • 3D game covers, screenshots, cheats and reviews within RetroCopy
  • Fast Forward and Rewind live gameplay.
  • Save anywhere in a game and load whenever you want
  • High Quality stereo audio resampling engine
  • Graphics Filters (both CPU and GPU powered)
  • Multi threaded design. Take advantage of multi-core CPUs
  • Wide-Screen support

Sega Mega Drive Games

Nearly 100% of the games released for the Sega Mega Drive work exactly like they should when using RetroCopy.

View our complete list of all Sega Mega Drive and Sega Genesis games to see the games RetroCopy supports.

It is the most comprehensive list in the world of Sega Mega Drive games.

Sega Mega Drive / Sega Genesis History

Sega CEO Hayao Nakayam

Sega CEO Hayao Nakayama

The Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in North America) was Sega's step into the 16-bit console market, first released in Japan in October 1988, and derived from their successful System 16 arcade machines. Sega's previous attempt, the Sega Mark III / Master System, had not been as successful as Sega had hoped in that market. It wasn't long after the Mega Drive had been launched that the last Japanese Master System game was released

Sega's CEO at the time, Hayao Nakayama, wanted to "bring the arcade experience home" to help give them an edge over the competition. Sega also wanted to make it backwards compatible with the Mark III/Master System to increase the game library, and achieved that by using the Master System's central processor and sound chip (Zilog Z80 and SN76489 respectively) as coprocessors in the Mega Drive. (A converter, the Power Base Converter was necessary though, as the Mega Drive cartridges had a different design than the Mark III/Master System cartridges.)

During development, the console was called "Mark V", but Nakayama eventually decided to call it "Mega Drive". Using a powerful processor (for the time), the Motorola 68000, the name "Mega Drive" was said to represent superiority and speed. "Mega Drive" was also the name Sega called the console when it was released in other Asian markets, Europe, Australia and Brazil. Due to a trademark dispute with U.S. manufacturer Mega Drive Systems Inc. , Sega was not able to use this name in North America, and renamed the console "Genesis" for that market.

Moonwalker promot

Sega licensed celebrities to gain popularity

When the Mega Drive was released in Japan it was announced that the new console would hit the North American market in January the following year (1989), but Sega was not able to meet this inital release date, and it wasn't until August 1989 that the first NTSC-Genesis systems were sold. Europeans would have to wait more than a year after this to get their Mega Drives (November 1990). Since the Sega Master System was so successful in Europe, this was however not a big problem for Sega.

In all markets where the Mega Drive / Genesis was released, its main competitor was at first the aging 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. The Mega Drive had superior graphics and sound compared to this much older system, but was still all but ignored in Japan when it was first released. During its first year Sega only managed to ship 400 000 units in Japan. Sega released various peripherals and games, including an online banking system and answering machine, called the Sega Mega Anser, in order to increase sales, but this didn't help much.

A modem, called a Mega Modem, was attached to the Mega Drive, and used to dial up an online service, called the Sega Meganet, from which you could download games, or play online games against other players. Being released in 1990, this technology was something not many people even knew existed (this being quite a few years before people started using modems to connect to Internet), and perhaps it was all a little bit too high-tech, as neither the online banking system, nor the Sega Meganet proved to be very successful. Throughout the entire 16-bit era Mega Drive remained number three in Japan, behind Nintendo's Super Famicom and NEC's PC Engine.

Genesis does what nintendont

Sega of America advertising tactics

In America the Sega Genesis was also not very successful in the beginning. Sega then started a very aggresive marketing campaign, which challenged Nintendo head-on, and emphasized that the Sega Genesis was like bringing the arcade machine home. They used the slogan "Genesis does what Nintendon't", and started using celebrities in the names and covers of many games.

However, it wasn't until the launch of the game Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991 that gamers really started to see an interest in the console. In 1992 Sega had 55% of the American home console market with their Genesis, while Nintendo's newly launched Super Nintendo had 45%. As the Super Nintendo was launched much later than the Genesis (August 1991), Sega had an advantage when it came to number of games available. They also sold their console at a lower price than what Nintendo did.

In 1994 Sega started up the Sega Channel, which you could subscribe to for a monthly fee, and get an adapter, which you plugged into the Genesis cartridge slot and connected to the cable television connection. The service would give you access to 50 games, with new games appearing every month. The games would be downloaded in about one minute, and played just like retail versions.

In Europe the Mega Drive was popular right from the beginning, taking advantage of the success of the Sega Master System in that region, and Sega continued to support it up until 1998. 8 million units were sold in Europe during those 8 years, outselling all other consoles up through that time. The Mega Drive was also highly succesful in Brazil (released in 1990, only a year after the Master System), where it held 75% of the market share.

Sonic The Hedgehog Mega Drive

Sonic The Hedgehog

Due to the lack of success in Japan, Sega announced the Mega-CD, which would be an add-on with a faster CPU, more memory, an additional PCM sound chip, and some enhanced graphical capabilities. The main focus of the device was to expand the size of the games, as a Mega Drive cartridge could only contain about 16 megabits of data (typically). The expansion was released in Japan in late 1991 and in North America (as the Sega CD) in 1992, but only sold 6 million units worldwide.

Another add-on, the Sega 32X, was released in Japan in 1994, not long before Sega decided to discontinue its support for the Mega Drive in that market (which happened in the summer of 1995). The 32X was originally conceived by Sega of Japan as a fully compatible Mega Drive based console with enhanced color capabilities, but Sega of America convinced Sega of Japan to convert it to an add-on for the existing Mega Drive/Genesis instead. Even though the 32x contained two 32-bit CPUs, it failed to attract much interest, as the Sega Saturn had already been announced for release the following year.

During the Mega Drive's lifespan, there were numerous variations of the console in the different markets, although there was only one major design revision: the Mega Drive II/Sega Genesis 2. This was much smaller than the original Mega Drive/Genesis, and had a square shaped design. After Sega had discontinued its support for the Genesis in North America in 1997, they made a deal with Majesco the following year to let them re-release the console as the "Genesis 3". This was even smaller, and could not support the Sega CD, Sega 32X or Power Base Converter. In 2009 the Firecore was released, which was a remodeled Sega Genesis, manufactured by ATGames. The console had 20 built-in-games, as well as a cartridge slot.

Sega Teradrive

Sega TeraDrive

In Europe the Firecore was simply called "Sega Mega Drive". In Brazil, the TecToy Mega Drive 4 was released in August 2009, and had a totally revamped design. Instead of the original black design, the Mega Drive 4 was white and gray, and in addition to standard six-button controllers, a new guitar controller was also included. This console had 87 built-in games, but no cartridge slot. A SD card slot would however let you play MP3 songs, as well as game ROMs.

Mega Drive technology has also been used in numerous other devices, such as the Sega Nomad, which was a portable Genesis, only released in the North American market. It tracks back to the Mega Jet, which was a semi-portable version of the Mega Drive that was used for in-flight entertainment by Japan Airlines. The device lacked its own screen, but could play Mega Drive cartridges when hooked up to a small monitor used on Japan Airlines flights.

A consumer version of the Mega Jet was released by Sega of Japan in March 1994, but it still lacked its own screen, and could not be powered on without an AC adapter. Then, Sega of America in October 1995 followed it up with the Genesis Nomad, which was a Mega Jet featuring a 3.25 inch color LCD screen, and a battery pack consisting of six batteries. The Nomad used the same cartridges that the Genesis used, but was, however, not very successful.

Another item worth mentioning, is the Sega TeraDrive, which was a 16-bit PC with an integrated Mega Drive, manufactured by IBM for Sega, and sold only in Japan. Sega was hopeful that by integrating its Mega Drive console into an IBM PC would be an attraction for potential customers wishing to purchase a PC, but the system proved unpopular with the Japanese market and ultimately failed. A similar, but unrelated, computer, called the Amstrad Mega PC, was sold in Europe and Australia, but was also not very successful.

Even though the Mega Drive failed to attract a huge interest in Japan, the Genesis put Sega on the map in America, and continued what the Master System had started in Europe. And with modern emulators like RetroCopy, the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis-games continue to live on, and the system's fan base remains strong.

sega mega drive logo

Sega Mega Drive Logo

Japanese Mega Drive Model 1 Console

Japanese Mega Drive Console

3 button controller

3 button controller

Mega Drive 2 Console

Mega Drive 2 Console

6 button controller

6 button controller

Mega Modem

Mega Modem

Sega Nomad

Sega Nomad

Sega Channel

Sega Channel

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