CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A at 3.546893 MHz for PAL/SECAM, 3.579545 MHz for NTSC MEMORY: Boot ROM: 64 kbit (8 KB) to 2048 kbit (256 KB) Main RAM: 64 kbit (8 KB), can be supplemented by game cartridges Video RAM: 128 kbit (16 KB) GRAPHICS: Texas Instruments TMS9918A Up to 32 colors on screen (one 16-color palette for sprites or background, an additional 16-color palette for background only) from a palette of 64 (can also show 64 simultaneous colors using programming tricks) Screen resolutions 256x192 and 256x224. PAL/SECAM also supports 256x240 8x8 pixel characters, max 463 (due to VRAM space limitation) 8x8 or 8×16 pixel sprites, max 64 Horizontal, vertical, and partial screen scrolling SOUND: Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 channel mono sound Yamaha YM2413, mono FM synthesis MEDIA/STORAGE: one cartridge slot and one card slot (not for Sega Master System II)
The Sega Master System and Sega Master System 2 is an 8-bit cartridge-based video game console that was manufactured by Sega and was first released in 1986 in North America (7 months after its direct competitor Nintendo NES) and in 1987 in Europe. Overall, the Sega Master System was mildly successful worldwide, but failed to capture the Japanese and North American markets. However, Sega was able to garner a greater market share with the Master System's successor, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in Europe, Brazil, and North America. One of the most unusual features of the Sega Master System (not the MS 2) is its dual media inputs: one cartridge slot and one card slot. The card slot accepted small cards about the size of a credit card, much like the later PC Engine / TurboGrafx 16! The card slot was removed in the redesigned Master System 2, providing support for only cartridges. This helped to reduce the cost of manufacturing the console since the cards were unpopular and few card-based games were made. Most of the card games were later re-released as cartridges. On the original release of the Master System, a hidden game known as Snail Maze is built in the console, which was a number of labyrinth puzzles with a time limit. This game can be accessed from the system BIOS by starting the system without a game cartridge inserted, and holding Up and buttons 1 and 2 simultaneously. Alex Kidd in Miracle World is integrated into Master System II consoles in North America and Europe. Sonic the Hedgehog is integrated into newer PAL Master System II consoles. The Sega Master System was re-released in a smaller handheld form factor in late 2006. This small handheld device is powered by 3 AAA batteries, has a brighter active matrix screen, and contained 20 Game Gear and Sega Master System games.