Retro Vault: Mega Drive, The Simpsons arcade game

Plus: Super Smash Bros. Melee and Konix - the console that never was

Retro Vault is our regular weekly feature in which we dive into gaming's past and share five classic nuggets of retro nostalgia. If you missed last week's Retro Vault you can read it here.


August 1989 - "Genesis Does" US print advert

After its Master System lost the 8-bit war to the NES by some margin in the US, Sega wanted to make sure the 16-bit race was far closer. In order to get a headstart on Nintendo it released its 16-bit Genesis (the Mega Drive in Europe and Japan) in 1989, a full two years before Nintendo had time to respond with the SNES.

This meant that for the first two years of its life the Mega Drive was in direct competition with the NES, a far less powerful console. Sega played on this with its "Genesis Does" campaign, running in magazines and on TV.

The claim was that "Genesis does what Nintendon't" - or, in other words, the sort of stuff the Mega Drive was capable of couldn't be done on the NES. TV ads drove this home with a catchy jingle that hollered: "You can't do this on Nintendo."

By the time the SNES arrived in the US, the Mega Drive had two years' worth of games, so Sega switched its marketing campaign to ask gamers why they would bother buying a system with hardly any titles.

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