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A Brief History Of Console Revisions

Genesis 3With all of the recent talk of Nintendo's latest Wii hardware revision, it's only natural that there would be some curiosity in the gaming community regarding other video game consoles that have shed a few pounds and a few features as their lifespans play out.  Dan Ryckert over at Game Informer has put together a brief look back at key consoles that have molted over the years spanning from the original Nintendo Entertainment System to the Sega Genesis to the Sony PlayStation and the Microsoft Xbox 360.  Here's the quick take on the Genesis's redesign:

Sega made several changes to the casing of the Genesis between the first and second versions, from changing the power switch to a button to omitting the volume slider. When the Genesis 3 (far right) was introduced in 1998 (well into the Playstation/Nintendo 64 era), it featured the low price of $49.99 and a dramatically smaller frame. Unfortunately for cheaters, this version was the only one that wasn't compatible with the Game Genie.

This piece leaves out the extensive details regarding just which features and capabilities were removed from all of these machines.  Yes, the Genesis 3 did not support the Game Genie, but it also was incompatible with the Sega CD, 32X, Power Base Converter, and a few games that relied on hardware tricks made possible by the removed Z80 processor.  Not only that, but there were many more Genesis revisions than the few presented in the article.  Let this Game Informer piece be your introduction to the world of console revisions, and I'd recommend doing further research on your own if what you see really interests you.  There's a lot to learn about just how hardware developers were able to make these devices more cost efficient at the expense of little-used or pricey components.  I think it's a fascinating topic.