> "Project Jupiter" is where the 32X originated. Sega CEO (Hayao
Nakayama) directed his company to produce a 32-bit cartridge-based console
on January 8, 1994, which was to be in stores by Christmas 1994.
The idea to have a Mega Drive console with more colors and a 32-bit processor
was presented to Joe Miller of Sega of America by Hideki Sato and other
engineers from Sega of Japan. Miller opted to produce an add-on for
the Mega Drive/Genesis instead. The code-name "Project Mars" was
adopted and the design task was given to Sega of America.
> Among other things, Sega of Japan began work on its next generation console,
which was the 32-bit Saturn. For a time, a combo Genesis/32X system
(known as Neptune) was considered and even developed, but was ultimately
discarded. Sega wanted to bridge the gap between its Genesis/Sega
CD and the forthcoming Saturn. The Sega Genesis 32X was the result.
> Mid 1994 is when the 32X was first shown at CES in Chicago. The
Sega Genesis 32X debuted in mid-November 1994 in America for US$150.
Japan got the Sega Super 32X in December, while Europe and Australia received
the Mega Drive 32X in January 1995. The system plays 32X cartridges
and CD's, all Sega CD's, and all Genesis cartridges except Virtua Racing
(which has a built-in SVP chip that causes conflicts). It also incorporates
advanced regional lockout technology.
> Since it was hard to develop for, with little third party support, the
32X was a commercial failure. Even so, games like Star
Racing Deluxe, BC Racers
and Spider-Man: Web of Fire
were very good. The 32X is destined to be a rare collector's item.
Hitachi (SH2) 32-bit RISC
(4 MBit) RAM (adds to Genesis/Sega CD)
VDP (Video Display Processor)
mapping, hardware scaling and rotation
and TruVideo playback with Sega CD
mixing with Genesis/Sega CD
(adds to Genesis/Sega CD)
carts, Sega CD/32X-CD's