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SEGA Multi-Mega / Genesis CDX

In 1994 Sega was doing well, however the SNES’ strength began to show it some small dominance in Japan, and it seemed America was beginning to turn attention to Nintendo as well. Some problems with sales were accounted down to the poor sales of the Mega CD, and so Sega decided that the best way to rectify the problem was to make the Mega CD much more widely available.

The Multi-mega was the end effort, and it’s really quite a significant achievement. The Multi-mega is almost half the width of a Mega Drive I, and yet it not only houses both a Mega Drive and Mega CD, but also a battery compartment to allow it to be used as a portable CD player. You may look at the size of it and laugh now, but at the time the Multi-mega was a pretty small CD Walkman especially when it included a MD and MCD as a bonus. It also only ran on only two AA batteries (Which we will test lifespan for you soon), however the batteries didn’t run the console section, just the CD player.

Despite it’s compact size, the Multi-mega had few drawbacks. It brought back the headphone jack missing on the Mega Drive II (Though mostly for the purpose of it being a Walkman), also came with a seperate Line Out/Auxiliary jack port, a volume control wheel and a nice orange-backlit LED screen which gave you information on the track you were listening to (Or which drive you were accessing). The Walkman control functions and Reset button are located at the top front of the machine, with the big power button on the front between the two controller ports. The fact all of these were compacted down into the size of a standard CD player was exceptional.

However there have been rumours of it not being compatible with the 32X. Upon use, the Multi-mega is compatible with the 32X without problems, the only possible drawback being with the console’s small size, or the epic size of the 32X itself. The metal stabilisers for the Mega Drive cartridge slot don’t fit the Multi-Mega, so the 32X has to be inserted unstabilised, it then can suffer from balance issues (It might raise the front of the Multi-mega with it’s sheer weight) and move around which can cause possible damage to both systems. I didn’t suffer problems with this when I connected the two, as my Multi-mega stayed flat and the 32X didn’t seem to move alot, but it’s a possibility given that it’s been said on the internet quite a bit.

Oddly enough, alot of places state that the 32X is so bulbous that it blocks the drive door mechanism on the Multi-mega. There are photos attached here to prove that this is not the case. Simply remove the supporting plastic from underneath the mushroom (The piece that’s designed to come off) and the drive door opens all the way. It’s not all the way open here because it looked better only part open, however it is possible to open it to the lid’s full extent. This might be a confusion made with the Power Base Convertor (For playing Master System games) which is too bulky to allow the drive door to open. Again picture evidence is attached. All in all I think the 32X looks quite cool atop a Multi-mega, it kinda looks like a sci-fi battleship, it at least looks better that way than atop a standard Mega Drive.

It’s build quality is fantastic and as a piece of engineering I can only be marvelled by it. Unfortunately the upcoming Sega Saturn launch put people off of it, as well as the announcement of the Neptune/Genesis 32. This makes it a rare item to find, but one well worth having especially if you’re a collector or Mega Drive fan fast running out of shelf space.

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