- Oct 24, 2017
The ultimate accessory for Genesis/Mega Drive. Complete FPGA recreation of the entire Mega-CD/Sega CD hardware into a plug and play Cartridge
World’s First Mega-CD/Sega CD FPGA Optical Disc Emulator
• Plays both ISOS (bin+cue) and ROMS
• RAM based cartridge for instant boot
• Compatible with all original and region free patched Mega-CD / Sega CD bios
• Supports Megadrive / Genesis, Sega CD / Mega-CD, Master System and 32X games (requires 32X add-on)
Fully Supports original Megadrive and Genesis hardware (Nomad included)
• Fully compatible with Analogue Mega Sg!
• Easy to use interface for navigating your collection with screenshots, genre, year and description
• Save State support for Megadrive and Genesis Cartridge games (8 slots)
• Built in cheat engine for Megadrive and Genesis cartridge games
• Emulates all different Genesis / Mega Drive / Master System / 32x cartridge mappers.
• Stores all different Genesis / Mega Drive / Master System / 32x cartridge saves into microsd card.
• Per game Mega-CD / Sega CD Backup RAM and Cartridge RAM stored into microsd card
• Master System FM Core
• In-Game menu for fast reboot and swapping games (Genesis / Megadrive and Mega-CD / Sega CD)
Enhanced Mega Drive games with CD audio and Mega-CD / Sega CD hardware (MSU1 like)
• 400GB Exfat microsd supported
NOTICE : This item starts shipping first week of August 2019 by strict purchase order, shipping times will depend on sales volumes
Terraonion's MegaSD will play Sega CD games with FPGA power
Analogue's Mega Sg remains one of the more interesting niche products we've reviewed in the last little while, but one thing it couldn't do was play Sega CD games on its own. As we mentioned in the Mega Sg review, this hardware is all pushing 30 years old, and failures are bound to happen. What's a
Terraonion is already widely known for its line of NeoSD cartridges that play in NeoGeo MVS (arcade) and AES (home console) systems and the Super SD System 3 (SSDS3) which emulates the PC Engine and TurboGrafx-16's CD add-on with an FPGA. The SSDS3 is closer to the MegaSD, since both add-ons replace the original consoles' optical add-on with an SD card reading ISO images and playing them back on original hardware. Several retro YouTubers have gotten their hands on the hardware early and have nice things to say. Bob from RetroRGB says on Twitter that the cartridge pulls less power than the original Virtua Racing cartridge for the Genesis and shouldn't put any undue strain on your vintage hardware.
The Sega CD is a beefier beast than the PC Engine Super CD drive. Sega's add-on boasts a second Motorola 68000 CPU and a custom video display processor (VDP) from Sega. These extra processors have been emulated in FPGA to work on the Mega Sg as well as original hardware, including the Genesis 3 (which can't interface with the Sega CD) and the ill-fated Genesis Nomad handheld. The Nomad does require some minor modifications to connect analog audio from the cartridge, however.
The MegaSD works with these previously-incompatible systems because it connects to the console via the cartridge slot, not the side connector normally reserved for the Sega CD. One downside to Terraonion's approach of using the cartridge slot instead of the extension port on the side of the console is that the six games that use both the Sega CD and the 32X will not work since the 32X hardware blocks access to the CD bits in the cartridge slot. However, Terraonion promises that this can be fixed with a passive adapter that lets the cartridge run from the expansion port, and will produce one if there's enough interest.
Terraonion's SSDS3 was mired in a little controversy because both the RGB video and analog audio output from the system were marred by noise, and when confronted about it, Terraonion initially refused to acknowledge the issue. The retro modding community stepped up with a pair of fixes: a video board designed by Voultar and an upgraded audio amp created by FirebrandX. Both of those projects were released as open-source designs, and some industrious modders offer modification services for one or both of these mods. Terraonion later fixed these issues in its Revision B hardware and directly addressed the SSDS3 in today's video. The company says that not only did it learn from those mistakes, but hired on FirebrandX to help design the cartridge audio connector for the MegaSD. Since the Sega CD didn't output video directly, analog noise in video isn't an issue. With any luck, this device will come out of the gate sans controversy.
The most surprising thing to come out of Terraonion's announcement is that the MegaSD will be ready to go very soon. Terraonion's web shop lists the MegaSD at a hair-raising €232 and €18 shipping to the USA. The company says the MegaSD will start shipping in early August. That's around $280 US at current exchange rates. When compared with the $180 Mega Everdrive X7, which will play Master System games but not Sega CD games, Terraonion's optical emulator delivers additional value for less than the cost of a used Sega CD on eBay. I'm currently scrounging around in the couch cushions to see what I can dig up.
Analogue’s Mega Sg remains one of the more interesting niche products we’ve reviewed in the last little while, but one thing it couldn’t do was play Sega CD games on...