Monday, 30 March 2009

Mega Drive sales figures - more info

Recently, after reading a thread on Digital Press, I posted the question "What is the Mega Drive's total sales figure?". Despite getting no further in answering this, there has been further debate on the forum.

One suggestion was that the figure of 29 million Mega Drives sold is more or less correct - it could be the SNES's sales figures that are false. This has been backed up by the infamous 1993 book Game Over, which told of Nintendo greatly exaggerating sales figures which were more a reflection of the shipped figures.

This means that the "official" figure of 49.1 million SNESs sold may be incorrect after all, making the sales margins between the Mega Drive and SNES much smaller. Of course, there could be a combination of factors - the Mega Drive may have sold more than quoted, and the SNES less.

One model of Mega Drive not included in the list I posted earlier was the Wondermega, or X'eye. This has been quoted as selling 10 million units, although whether this applies to worldwide sales or just North America is unknown.

Another point made on the forum was that the Mega Drive's support was not stopped in 1998 after the Genesis 3, but in 2000. This is because consoles were still being sold officially in Brazil by their local distributor TecToy. In fact, Mega Drive and Master System models are still being produced by them!

In response to whether or not newer officially-licensed Mega Drive models should be counted in the sales, one poster pointed out that even some first-party Mega Drives used "clone parts", although not to the same extent as these newer models.

So, the speculation continues. A rather pointless waste of time you might say, to care about a single number. But not if you're a Sega fan!

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