The SG-1000 II is often just considered the SG-1000 in a different box. And that is somewhat true! There are no games exclusive to the SG-1000 II. No graphics modes. No sound features. But yet, this variant of Sega’s first console features huge changes, and its DNA probably continued to echo down the Sega lineage to the Genesis. How so? And will an RGB mod always solve your problems?
The SG-1000 was Sega’s first home video game console. It definitely isn’t a ColecoVision in a different box, but it may or may not be identical to the ColecoVision except for minor port differences and missing the ColecoVision’s copyrighted ROM. It hasn’t shown up in this blog, but its computer cousin, the SC-3000 has.
The SG-1000 came out on the same day as the Nintendo Famicom. And the Nintendo Famicom destroyed it in almost every way. Note that these are based off of the 1983 specs; things like mappers didn’t show up until later. (The SG-1000 would get some mapper-using games too, like Loretta no Shouzou and… that’s pretty much it)
Now, this isn’t quite fair. Most of the limitations of the Sega SG-1000 come from its Texas Instruments TMS9918A video chip, designed back in 1981 for the TI-99/4A computer. Nintendo and their graphics chip designer, Ricoh, could and did learn from its limitations and expand upon them. But Sega doesn’t get any points for using an earlier chip.