The Sega 32X is an add-on device for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis video game console. It was released on November 21, 1994 in North America and December 3, 1994 in Japan. Due to low sales, the system was discontinued in October 1995. The add-on originally was going to be a cartridge based unit code named “Project Jupiter,” but Sega decided to modify the project to also accept CD-ROM games and the Sega 32X was produced, code named “Project Mars”.
The initial sales for the Sega 32X were strong, but order fulfillment and game developers abandonment of the game development caused sales to drop considerably. Game development for the unit ended in 1996 with one of the last games produced, Spiderman: Web of Fire. Only six Sega 32X CD-ROM games were produced.
The Sega 32X can only be used with the Mega Drive / Genesis system plugging into the cartridge slot. It has a separate power supply and cable for connecting it to the Mega Drive / Genesis. Without the cable, the sprite layers would not be visible. The unit came with a spacer so it could also be used with the Mega Drive / Genesis II. It will not work with the Genesis 3.
The Sega 32X has two 32-bit 23.011 Mhz CPU’s, two linear 128 KB frame buffers, 3 KB ROM, and 256 KB RAM. The predecessor of the Sega 32X was the Sega CD.
Image Caption: Sega 32X attached to a Sega Genesis. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia