Frequently Asked Questions About the Mega CD

The Mega CD, also commonly known as the Sega CD in North America, is a CD-ROM add-on device for the 16-bit Sega Genesis console. Released in the United Kingdom in 1993, it was one of the first systems on the market to be compatible with the CD format. The system attaches to the side of the Genesis console and provides additional functionality. 

Are there different types of Mega CD models? 

Yes, Sega officially released two different models, plus an additional model that combined the Genesis and the CD together.  

  • Original Model: This model has a front-loading motorised disc tray and sits beneath the Genesis console.
  • Second Model: The second version has a top-loading disc tray and sits directly next to the Genesis.
  • Genesis CDX: Known as the Multi-Mega in Europe, the CDX combined the two consoles into a single unit and also doubles as a portable CD player.

What are some features of a Mega CD? 

Apart from the ability to play audio CDs and karaoke CD+G discs, the system was also designed to enhance and augment the power of the Sega Genesis. It has a faster CPU and improved graphical capabilities. However, the Mega CD was more like a pseudo-console rather than a full upgrade or a mere accessory to the Genesis. It has the ability to play entirely new CD-based games that could not be played on the original Genesis system. 

More than 200 games were released for the system. Some of these games were little more than upgrades and enhanced ports of existing Genesis titles, but the system also had several games built from the ground up, including “Sonic CD,” “Lunar: Eternal Blue,” and “Night Trap.” Some of these games had the ability to play video clips known as full-motion video, or FMV. Purchasing a Mega CD is the only way to play many of these games as they were originally intended. 

What are the requirements to use the Mega CD? 

The Mega CD can only operate once attached to the Sega Genesis console. It also requires a separate power supply independent from the Genesis. The power supply should come with the system. The optional 32X accessory, which allows the Genesis to play 32-bit games, is not required. However, there are six games that require the use of both the 32X and the Mega CD. These six games include “Fahrenheit,” “Corpse Killer,” “Slam City with Scottie Pippen,” “Night Trap,” “Supreme Warrior,” and “Surgical Strike.” It is important to note that “Fahrenheit” and “Night Trap” have a Mega CD-only version. Only the 32X version requires the Mega CD to run. There are only minor differences between them such as enhanced video quality. 

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