In the 90s Sega was in direct competition with Nintendo. Not just with their home consoles, but with their portable systems as well. We all know who the winner was in that battle, but Sega proved that it was willing to try new things and one-up Nintendo at just about every corner. The Sega Mega Jet was one of those things.
So, what was the Sega Mega Jet? It essentially was the predecessor to the Sega Nomad, a portable console that could play Genesis games. Only the Mega Jet lacked a screen. Initially, the console was rented for use on Japanese Airlines
The device lacked its own screen but could play Mega Drive cartridges when connected to a small armrest monitor used on JAL flights. The unit featured a directional pad on the left side and six buttons on the right, similar to the layout of a game controller. There was a second joypad port on the bottom of the Mega Jet for multiplayer games.
A consumer version of Mega Jet was released by Sega of Japan on March 10, 1994 at the cost US $123. It was essentially the same as the unit that was used on JAL flights, meaning that it still lacked a screen and couldn’t be powered without an AC adapter. Other than the addition of a mono DIN plug cord and the necessary AC adapter, no other additions or improvements were made.
This particular licensed Sega system was manufactured by JVC, released as the X’Eye in the US. Compatible with Mega Drive and Mega CD formats, the console originally boasted some quality audio and video output methods before it was iterated upon.
The Wondermega went through several renditions, all keeping the same theme and design. Sega would eventually would release their own version of the Wondermega, seen above.
The Wondermega (ワンダーメガ) is a combined Sega Mega Drive and Mega CD which was made by JVC/Victor and was initially released in 1992. It features a DSP for audio enhancement, a MIDI output jack, two microphone inputs and S-video output. In 1993, a redesigned model known as the Wondermega M2 was released, which dropped several features (including the MIDI output, DSP and motorized disc door) but added wireless controllers. Victor released the system in the US as the X’Eye, but not in the same way as they did in Japan. The system never made it to Europe, although several magazines back then had predicted an official European release.
Like the Mega CD, the Wondermega and X’Eye are compatible with CD+G (CD and Graphics) discs. The original Wondermega also supported the “Wonder CD” peripheral, which included a full complement of MIDI jacks (in, out and thru) as well as a music keyboard called the “Piano Player”.
The Wondermega is compatible with the 32X, although it looks a bit odd when connected. It also blocks the cd door so the 32X must be removed every time the CD drive needs to be opened.
While the PSX is not supplied with any game controllers, there are two controller ports on the back of the device. Black or Ceramic WhiteDualShock 2‘s with 4-meter long cables were sold separately, and standard DualShock and DualShock 2 controllers were also compatible. Two PlayStation memory card ports were on the front of the PSX, behind a panel cover.
Like the “regular” PlayStation 2 models, the PSX can be laid horizontally or stood vertically.
The Panasonic Q might be a bit familiar to some and it’s not a completely original console. The Q is basically a Gamecube that supports full-size DVD’s as opposed to just mini-DVDs. It’s still easy to pass by, but if you’re going to talk about the Gamecube, this is bound to come up.
The console itself sported a few extra hardware features, but otherwise wasn’t that special.
The Panasonic Q (sometimes known as Q and GameQ) is a hybrid version of the NintendoGameCube with a DVD player manufactured by Panasonic in cooperation with Nintendo. The system was officially released only in Japan. A feature of its main competitors Xbox and PlayStation 2, the GameCube lacked commercial DVD movie playback functionality due to the use of the Nintendo optical disc format for games and the correspondingly small disc tray. The Q system was licensed by Nintendo and released on December 13, 2001 and listed at US$439.