Geek Trivia

Which 1980s Game Console Is Still In Active Production?

The Atari 2600
The Sega Master System
The TurboGrafx-16
The Nintendo Entertainment System
Which Video Game Company Originally Sold Leather Goods?
Example of a current release model of the Sega Master System

Answer: The Sega Master System

The Sega Master System is a third generation 8-bit gaming console—other consoles from the third generation include the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Atari 7800. Although the Sega Master System had its share of noteworthy titles like Phantasy Star, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Golden Axe, it failed to gain the traction and widespread adoption that the Nintendo Entertainment System enjoyed.

Except, that is, in Brazil. Brazil was largely ignored by many of the console manufacturers in the early days of the burgeoning home video game industry, except by Sega. Rather than overlook the fledgling market, Sega promoted the Master System in force and Brazilians fell in love with it—so in love with it, in fact, that the relationship never grew stale.

The system has been in continual production in Brazil since 1989 and, although it has undergone some minor revisions and cosmetic changes, the guts of the machine are largely unchanged. Some of the more interesting changes made to the system over the years include eschewing slot-loading cartridges for an internal ROM memory bank that comes with 132 built-in games and upgrading the controllers. Well into the 2000s, new games were coming to the platform. Even now, the electronics company that produces and distributes the console in Brazil, Tectoy, sells around 150,000 units a year. Not bad for a console system that is over 30 years old.