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Thread: Mega CD/Sega CD system worldwide sales figures.

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Default Mega CD/Sega CD system worldwide sales figures.

    This is something I'm curious about as I have heard and read a lot of conflicting reports about how many Mega CD units were actually sold back in the day. According to the book Sega Mega Drive/Genesis:Collected Works, the figure is stated as roughly five million, but in the book I'm currently reading, Service Games:The Rise and Fall of Sega, by Sam Pettus, he states that about six million Mega CD units were sold worldwide and breaks the number down like so: "That makes for approximately two to three million Japanese Mega CDs, 2.5 million U.S. Sega CDs, and one million English and European Mega CDs. Add to that 20,000 to 30,000 JVC WonderMega/X'Eye consoles sold worldwide, a few thousand Mega CD-capable Pioneer Laservisions and other assorted clones, and the total tops at somewhere close to 6.1 million."

    With those figures in mind I regard the Mega CD/Sega CD to be a moderate success, certainly considering that the system was an add-on and not a console in it's own right. It's reputation for being a fail and the first of many fuck ups by Sega is grossly unfair. There are so many excellent games on the Mega CD. The 32X on the other hand...

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    Raging in the Streets bultje112's Avatar
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    both figures ate pretty wrong I think. it only sold about 3 million units probably, of which most did in the us, where it was a success until the senate hearings in late 93.

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bultje112 View Post
    both figures ate pretty wrong I think. it only sold about 3 million units probably, of which most did in the us, where it was a success until the senate hearings in late 93.
    Only three million units sold you think? There's a big jump between that figure and five to six million! That's why I started this thread really, because nobody seems to know the real figure.

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    Raging in the Streets Thierry Henry's Avatar
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    You don't mention the CDX/Multi-Mega. But then again the sales figures of those were pretty low. So it wouldn't make much of a difference to the overall total.
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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thierry Henry View Post
    You don't mention the CDX/Multi-Mega. But then again the sales figures of those were pretty low. So it wouldn't make much of a difference to the overall total.
    Sales of the CDX/Multi-Mega were very low due to it's very high price tag. When the Multi-Mega was released here in England, either late '94 or early '95, it retailed at about £499! I always wanted one though because they look gorgeous.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    This is something I'm curious about as I have heard and read a lot of conflicting reports about how many Mega CD units were actually sold back in the day. According to the book Sega Mega Drive/Genesis:Collected Works, the figure is stated as roughly five million, but in the book I'm currently reading, Service Games:The Rise and Fall of Sega, by Sam Pettus, he states that about six million Mega CD units were sold worldwide and breaks the number down like so: "That makes for approximately two to three million Japanese Mega CDs, 2.5 million U.S. Sega CDs, and one million English and European Mega CDs. Add to that 20,000 to 30,000 JVC WonderMega/X'Eye consoles sold worldwide, a few thousand Mega CD-capable Pioneer Laservisions and other assorted clones, and the total tops at somewhere close to 6.1 million."

    With those figures in mind I regard the Mega CD/Sega CD to be a moderate success, certainly considering that the system was an add-on and not a console in it's own right. It's reputation for being a fail and the first of many fuck ups by Sega is grossly unfair. There are so many excellent games on the Mega CD. The 32X on the other hand...
    Those seem to be inaccurate numbers and I wouldn't trust them without a clear source. This has already been posted here before, but I'll re-post:



    This comes from the January 1994 issue of Beep! MD and is reported directly from Sega. Note that the last few months are estimates.

    The top left graph is for the Genesis/Mega Drive, the top right for the Mega-CD/Sega-CD, and the bottom right for Game Gear. The solid white is Japan, the light-shaded is for America, and the dark-shaded is for Europe. Numbers are reported in 10,000s.

    So total sales of the Sega CD worldwide as of March 1994 were roughly 2.15 million. Of course, that's not everything since the Sega CD probably wasn't dead by then, so you have to extrapolate the remaining year or so (I doubt sales were increasing at that point, though).

    As an aside: the recent comments by Hiroyuki Takahashi indicate that the numbers reported here for Japan also include Asian exports, so the actual number of units sold in Japan is likely lower.
    Last edited by Gryson; 11-30-2017 at 09:08 AM.

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Thanks Gryson, that's very interesting. I wonder why authors like Sam Pettus and others have such inflated numbers to account for sales of the system? So the bottom line is that sales figures of the Mega CD have been greatly exaggerated? Well I love it anyway and will fight it's corner any day of the week.

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    selling between 3-6 million add-ons is not a failure, it's like saying the Saturn failed... well it outsold the Mega Drive in Japan and is their most successful console in the country that invented modern videogames, and so on and so on...
    The 32X was a failure, and the Saturn worldwide.
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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mega Drive Bowlsey View Post
    Thanks Gryson, that's very interesting. I wonder why authors like Sam Pettus and others have such inflated numbers to account for sales of the system? So the bottom line is that sales figures of the Mega CD have been greatly exaggerated? Well I love it anyway and will fight it's corner any day of the week.
    Well, it's possible they didn't have access to the resources to do the proper research and instead relied on rumors and/or the possibly faulty memories of former employees (who might not have been in a position to really know in the first place). Thankfully there is more information available nowadays.

    Quote Originally Posted by chilled View Post
    selling between 3-6 million add-ons is not a failure, it's like saying the Saturn failed... well it outsold the Mega Drive in Japan and is their most successful console in the country that invented modern videogames, and so on and so on...
    The 32X was a failure, and the Saturn worldwide.
    Yeah, it's an interesting question of what "failure" means when it comes to consoles. People too easily assume that number of consoles sold compared to the competition determines this. In fact, there's a lot more: number of games sold, 3rd-party investment, brand image, legacy, and so on. For example, I tend to think the Mega Drive was actually quite successful in Japan despite it's low sales relative to Nintendo. It had a continuous stream of releases from a variety of strong 2nd/3rd parties for over 6 years, the top of which could push 100,000+ in sales. The quality of its top games was excellent, which helped build up Sega's image in the home consumer market. It offered smaller developers a platform to build success on, since competition on the SNES was so cut-throat at the time (really, what small dev wants to compete against Square/Enix/Nintendo?).

    Regarding the Sega CD, one positive aspect that people sometimes overlook is the effect that the Sega CD had on Sega's general image as an innovator. Sega was willing to push the available technology, to try something new; this really correlated with their arcade presence, where I would argue they were by far the number one innovator. How many Genesis/MDs were bought by people who had drooled over Sega CD magazine ads and wanted to keep the hope alive of one day getting a Sega CD? I certainly think the Sega CD had a positive effect in this regard, and that goes beyond pure units sold.

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    Mega Driver Hedgehog-in-TrainingMaster of Shinobi Gryson's Avatar
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    Thanks! That's where I got that image from. Couldn't remember where at first...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gryson View Post
    Thanks! That's where I got that image from. Couldn't remember where at first...
    You're welcome.

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    Master of Shinobi Mega Drive Bowlsey's Avatar
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    Sales of all Sega products were excellent here in the UK, and England truly was a Sega stronghold which fills me with pride. The Mega CD did well here relatively speaking and was only held back by it's hefty price tag. In a poll conducted a couple of years back literally thousands of people up and down the UK, and all of a certain age, were asked which was their favourite games console of all time. The PS1, N64 and SNES all had to fight it out for second, third and fourth spot (can't remember the exact rankings) but taking top spot was the Sega Mega Drive. Oh yeah, us Brits have taste! Sorry, that was ever so slightly off topic lol!

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    The Amiga and ZX Spectrum sold better in the UK than either the Snes or NES and the Mega Drive out sold the lot. This is what gets me, everyone talks of the great TOM, when it's SEGA Europe that kiled both the NES and SNES for sales. You are right the Mega CD sold well in the UK, the trouble was it software sales were dire and Sega Europe did a pretty rubbish job with its software, many of the systems better titles were left to Import only or took too long to come to Pal land
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    So's your old man! Raging in the Streets zetastrike's Avatar
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    What made the UK and Europe take to the MD like they did? Consoles were always overshadowed by computers there. Were MD carts relatively cheaper than most? Was the price on par with ST and Amiga games? I usually hear it was the price of carts that held consoles back in Europe.
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