As the first 16-bit console, the Sega Genesis represents a significant leap in gaming technology. It was first released in Japan on October 29, 1988, reaching the United States in August of 1989. The 16/32-bit CPU, developed by Motorola, was supported by a subprocessor that enabled backwards compatibility with Sega Master System cartridges. While originally released with a three-button controller, Sega later released a six-button controller to better mimic arcade game controls.
Sega marketed the system to a younger demographic with such titles as Mortal Kombat (1992), NBA Jam (1994), and the flagship Sonic the Hedgehog series (1991, 1992, 1994). The Genesis achieved moderate global success, but was ultimately vastly outsold by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.