Sega SG-1000 last edited by Nes on 02/01/21 10:21PM View full history

Overview

The SG-1000, also known as the Sega SG-1000, the Sega Game 1000 and the SG-1000 Computer Video Game is a third-generation home game console produced by Sega. It was released in Japan on July 15, 1983, on the same day as the release of Nintendo's Family Computer console, and competed with not only that but Epoch's redesigned Cassette Vision (the Cassette Vision Jr.) and Tomy's redesigned Pyūta (the Pyūta Jr.). It was sold primarily in Japan, with a few limited markets in Australasia (as the Sega 1000) and Taiwan. Few clones of the SG-1000 exist, including the officially-licensed Othello Multivision and the Taiwanese bootleg DINA 2-in-1 (which also supported ColecoVision games and was released in North America as the Telegames Personal Arcade).

Similar to the Famicom, the console features a top-loading cartridge slot and an attached wired controller (with a joystick and two tall side-mounted buttons) with a port for a second detachable controller. The system hardware utilizes a Zilog Z80 clone (the HEC 780C) at around 3.5 MHz with 1 KB of RAM for the CPU with 1 KB of main RAM, a Texas Instuments TMS9918A and 16 KB of VRAM for graphics, and a Texas Instruments SN76489A for sound. The system mainly includes ports of Sega's arcade games, as well as official Sega ports of games by Namco (such as Galaga) and Activision (such as Pitfall II: Lost Caverns and H.E.R.O.). It also includes some notable original titles, such as Girl's Garden (the first game programmed by noted Sega developer Yuji Naka).

The SG-1000 later received a redesigned model on July 1984 known as the SG-1000 II (or Sega SG-1000 II). Rather than having the first-player controller attached directly to the unit, it includes a standard controller (which is now redesigned for a now-traditional layout, replacing the joystick with a directional pad and detachable thumbstick). The console would later receive a major revision as the Sega Mark III (later known as the Sega Master System) and received a separate card-based cartridge format (the Sega My Card, requiring the use of the Sega Card Catcher peripheral cartridge).

The system was also used as budget arcade hardware for three arcade ports: Champion Boxing, Champion Pro Wrestling, and Doki Doki Penguin Land.

Microcomputer Variant

The system was sold alongside a microcomputer variant known as the SC-3000 (or Sega Computer 3000, also known as the Sega SC-3000). This version includes an on-console 64-key keyboard (chiclet keys for the standard SC-3000, mechanical keys for the premium SC-3000H), side-mounted cartridge slot, two controller ports, and additional expansion ports (allowing support for composite video output, the SP-400 four-color plotter printer, the SR-1000 cassette recorder, and the SF-7000 "super control station").

The SG-1000 can be upgraded to have most of the functionality of the SC-3000 using the official SK-1100 (SG-1000 Series Keyboard) peripheral. While it includes the full chiclet keyboard and ports for the SP-400 and SR-1000, it is incompatible with some SC-3000 cartridges. This peripheral is also supported with the Sega Mark III and competed with the official HVC-007 keyboard peripheral for the Family Computer.

Sega BASIC

It was designed to be used with Sega's BASIC line of cartridges, allowing users to program their own applications and games in the "Sega BASIC" language while utilizing the SR-1000 or SF-7000 for saving/loading. As the SC-3000 only includes 2 KB of main RAM (up from 1 KB of the SG-1000), multiple versions of the BASIC cartridge included expanded RAM built on the cartridge:

  • BASIC Level II (B-10) - No additional RAM.
  • BASIC Level II B (B-21) - 4 KB
  • BASIC Level III A (B-30) - 16 KB, includes advanced statements and functions.
  • BASIC SK-III (B-41) - 16 KB
  • BASIC Level III B (B-50) - 32 KB, includes advanced statements and functions.
  • Home BASIC - 16 KB (includes a built-in game, advanced calculator, and tile editor)
  • Home BASIC LEVEL II B (B-51) - ?

All versions of the BASIC cartridge, other than the two BASIC Level III ones, support the SG-1000 with the SK-1100 peripheral.

Educational Software

Along with BASIC, Sega has released official educational cartridges for the SC-3000. Intended for elementary and junior-high students, this includes cartridges for music, English (words, composition, and grammar), history (Japanese and world), physics (force and energy), chemistry, and math. A fortune-telling cartridge was also made.

Othello Multivision

The Othello Multivision (also known as the FG-1000) is a licensed clone of the Sega SG-1000 produced by Tsukuda Original in 1983. As the manufacturer owned the "Othello" trademark, it is notable for including an official version of Othello as the system's built-in game.

Rather than rely on external controllers, the system includes all controls built-in to the console itself (similar to the Cassette Vision), including a small joystick, two main buttons, a Pause button, and a limited 20-key keyboard (with numbers 0-9 and letters A-H) intended to be used with the built-in game. A second SG-1000 compliant controller can be connected to the side of the console.

A second version, the FG-2000, was released a year later. This version replaces the joystick with a d-pad and changes the color of the keyboard.

The console is compatible with several SG-1000 add-ons and games. In addition, Tsukuda Original released eight additional game cartridges (all of them featuring compatibility with the standard SG-1000/SC-3000 models:

Controllers and Peripherals

  • SJ-200 (Joystick) - The standard controller, with one of them attached directly to the SG-1000. Along with a small joystick, it features two buttons mounted to the left and right sides of the controller itself (near the top corners).
  • SJ-300 (Joystick) - A premium version of the SJ-200, changing the layout to a more traditional arcade-style layout (with the joystick on the left side and the buttons on the right side, with both buttons next to each other). The joystick is larger and has a ball-top while the buttons are more-standard cylindrical buttons.
  • SJ-150 (Joypad) - Bundled with the SG-1000 II. Similar to the Famicom's controllers, the SJ-150 replaces the joystick with a directional pad (with a detachable thumbstick) and puts the two buttons next to each-other closer to the bottom of the controller. It is notable for having the cable
  • SH-400 / BH-400 (Handle / Bike Handle) - Designed for racing games, including a method to steer (wheel for the SH-400, handlebar for the BH-400) and a simplistic gear shifter.

Hardware Specs

  • CPU: NEC 780C (clone of Zilog Z80)
    • 3.579545 MHz for NTSC, 3.546893 MHz for PAL
  • Main RAM: 16 kbit (2 kB)
  • Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 kB)
  • Video processor: Texas Instruments TMS9928A
    • 256×192 resolution
    • 32 sprites
    • 16 colors
  • Sound: Texas Instruments SN76489
    • 4-channel mono sound
    • 3 sound generators, 4 octaves each, 1 white noise generator
  • Ports:
    • 1 cartridge
    • 1 DIN composite video/audio (SC-3000 only)
    • 1 RF out
    • 1-2 joystick (1 port for SG-1000, 2 for SG-1000 II and SC-3000)
    • 1 expansion parallel bus (used for SK-1100 keyboard and FM Sound Unit; (SK-1100)SG-1000 and SG-1000 II and Sega MarkIII / (FM Sound Unit)Sega MarkIII only )
    • 1 cassette (SC-3000 and SK-1100 keyboard)
    • 1 printer (SC-3000 and SK-1100 keyboard
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