The SG-1000 Mark III (エスジー・セン Esujī Sen III), also known as the Sega Game 1000 Mark III or the Sega Master System, is a cartridge based video game home console manufactured by SEGA and first released in Japan, Australia, USA, Europe, Brazil and other countries in the mid 80s.
The Master System was released in the USA in June 1986 and a year later in Japan as the Sega Mark III. It was a third-generation console produced as a redesign and improvement of a previous console called the Sega SG-1000 II. It was capable of using regular game cartridges as well as smaller-sized Sega Cards which held less memory, but quickly became unpopular in favor of cartridges.
While having low sales in Japan and even less in the USA (and losing against the Nintendo Famicom/NES in those countries), the console proved extremely popular in Europe (with more than 6 million units purchased in the early 90s) and is still being sold in South America.
Brazil is still the longest lasting market for the Master System. Tectoy, Sega's distributor in Brazil, is still responsible for marketing, sales and producing original games for it. Several different models of the console have been released in that country during the past decades. These are the Master System I, II, III (and a white colored relaunch version from the 2000s), the cordless Master System Compact, the pink Master System Girl, etc. All the existing Sega Game Gear games have been also ported to the system by Tectoy.
In 2009 and 2011, two variants of the Master System Evolution, a new console version successor to the Master System III that included 132 built-in games, were released only in Brazil. Another system called the Master System Portable which is a yellow gamepad with 30 built-in games has also been released recently by Tectoy.
The Sega Master System was succeded by the Sega Mega Drive in the early 80s.
- Wikipedia: Master System