For as long as video games have been around there’s always been those really well known consoles or video games that everyone seems to have heard of and had experiences with. However, even from massive gaming compaines such as Sega, there also happens to be those lesser known consoles and games that gained little publicitiy whether it may be exclusive to Japan or just an utter failure that nobody wanted to own.
Today I will be focussing on something that falls under both reasons, a strange multimedia console from one of our favourite gaming companies, Sega.
Introduction to the Aiwa Mega CD
The Aiwa Mega CD was made in 1994 and was exclusive to Japan and even there it only saw limited release for reasons I shall explain. I should make it clear that Sega is not entirely repsonsible for this failure of a system. As the name of the system may suggest this is also the work of the Japanese consumer-electronics company, Aiwa.
Basically the Aiwa Mega CD (also known as the Aiwa CSD-G1M) is a large Aiwa CD player which can play your regular CD’s on and also Sega Mega CD games on it. There is an external component however, that when attached to the bottom of the system and connected to the system using a large clunky lead, can play Sega Mega Drive games. Oddly enough, Aiwa had the option to place the interface between the CD player and the Sega Mega Drive component which would have got rid of the need for cable to connect the 2 components. It’s basically like slapping a Sega Mega Drive onto the bottom of a CD player.
The Aiwa Mega CD was shipped with what appears to be an exact copy of a Sega Mega Drive controller, but blue and I’m not going to lie I really like the simple colour change, it’s something different and it matches the colour of the System
The Aiwa Mega CD’s Value
Although the retail price of this odd Sega invention is unknown, I can tell you that you could sell one of these for a grand or two no problem… yes, it really is that rare. In fact it’s one of the rarest Sega systems around so should you stumble across one at a car boot sale or anywhere for that matter, do not miss the opportunity to buy it if it’s going cheap because even if your not a collector and you don’t feel the need to treasure it and guard it with your life like I probably would, then you’re still going to get a fair bit of money out of it!
This device failed for a number of reasons. Firstly it was clumsy to use having to use docking stations and wire hook-ups in the back and it wasn’t the most portable of System, attaching a 32X to the system just made that situation worse as then you would have to lay the entire thing on it’s side just to make it stay still which is a funny image but nothing short of an inconvenience if actually using the system. It’s failure is also due to the fact the Sega CD itself wasn’t doing to well never mind a larger Sega CD that was a bother to use. Finally the time this system was released also created a problem for it’s success.
The Mega CD and Sega Mega Drive hybrid was released six years after the Mega Drive, three years after the Mega CD, and the same year that the Saturn launched in Japan. How did they expect to sell this when Sega had a new gaming system on the way and both the Sega Mega Drive and Mega CD were becoming a thing of the past?!
Watch Final Fight CD and Ghouls n’ Goblins for the Mega Drive being ran on an Aiwa Mega CD:
It’s true when they say you learn something everyday, and today you learned about a failed 20 year old multimedia system by Sega. Is it essential knowledge that you can’t live without? No, it’s not but for all you retro gaming collectors out there including myself, it’s something to seek out and add to your collection and for all you who own one of these but don’t collect retro games, it’s an easy £1000 you can add to your pocket. Not bad eh? It’s an interesting invention nevertheless but unfortunately for Sega it was doomed to fail.
There’s a good chance your unable to play on one of these but why not play on another Sega system whether it be the Mega Drive, Master System, Game Gear whatever it’s hard to go wrong with Sega! (unless it’s an Aiwa Mega CD) Whatever you chose to do I wish you happy gaming!
Want to add to your Sega collection? Take a look at what Sega products Funstock has to offer.