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Is The Sega Master System Region Free?

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Do you have a Sega Master and want to know if it’s region free? Maybe you are considering buying one, but you are not sure you can play certain games on it. If you keep reading this article we will be sure to answer all of your questions. 

So is the Sega Master System Region Free? 

While the Sega Master System is region free where you can play all of its games on any region console without any problems, it is not region free due to the fact the game cartridges in the western hemisphere have a different shape and will not work. 

So if you wanted to be clear, you could say that the console is region free except the games that were produced in the Western Hemisphere. If you would like to know more about region locks and what games work on the Sega Master System, you should keep reading. 

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What Is A Region Lock?

A region lock is normally put on a game or game system to ensure that the product is only sold in a specific region of the world and only used in that same region. This means when a game console is region locked, it cannot play games from any other region besides the one the system was purchased in. 

Can The Phantom Modchip Make The Sega Master System Region Free?

Unfortunately the phantom mod chipt cannot fix the issue with game cartridges in the western hemisphere not working. Although many people want to try the phantom modchip to make the Sega Master System work with other cartridges, it just doesn’t work. 

Although there are some people who have tried to mod the system they have all ended with the system either not working at all, or not working properly. 

What’s The Difference Between The Sega Genesis And The Sega Master System?

Although a lot of people believe that the Sega Genesis and the Sega Master System are the same console, they are wrong. They are actually two separate systems that were released at two seperate times.

Below we will compare the two systems side by side. You can also watch this video that compares the two gaming systems. 

Sega Genesis

  • Sega Genesis or Sega Mega Drive is a 16-bit home video game console.
  • It was released in Japan in 1988 and in North America in 1989.
  • Sega genesis made around 35 million unite sales
  • In Japan, the Mega Drive fared poorly against its two main competitors, Nintendo’s Super Famicom and NEC’s PC Engine.
  • Its play library included more than 900 games created by Sega.
  • Several add-ons were released, including a Power Base Converter to play Master System games.

Sega Master System

  • Sega Master System is a third-generation 8 bit home video game console.
  • It is released in 1985 in Japan and the Sega Master System is the export version of the Sega Mark lll.
  • Sega had significant success in Brazil and Europe but the Sega Master System badly failed against Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • Its game library is smaller and few well-reviewed games included.
  • The original Master System models use both cartridges and a credit card-sized format known as Sega Cards.

What Are The Best Games For The Sega Master System?

Although the Sega Master System had a smaller library and few well-reviewed games, there are some that are good and that people love to play. The Sega Master System is different for many people because in North America, Brazil, and Europe are known as the Sega Master System but in Japan it is known as Sega Mark III. 

The Sega Master System was a huge success in Europe and Brazil, while Japan and North America’s sales were also pretty good. No matter where you experienced it, the Master System’s library is worth remembering; not only for its place in Sega history but for its surprisingly strong selection of games.

The Master System saw a number of great original games come with this console! We are hoping that we will see these games again with the Sega Forever. The Sega Forever is bringing Sega games from all eras to the mobile gamers for free.

These are the games we would love to see available and were the most popular games that were on the Sega Master System:

  • Asterix
  • Land of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
  • Road Rash
  • Sonic the Hedgehog the New Zealand Story
  • Prince of Persia
  • Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine
  • The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck
  • Sonic Chaos
  • Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

These are the most famous and best games from the Sega master system.

Technical information Of Sega Master System

The main CPU of the Master System is a Zilog Z80A and it’s running with a 4MHz 8 bit processor. It has 8 KB of ROM, 8 kB of RAM and 16 kB of video RAM. Video is provided through an RF switch and displays at a resolution of 256 × 192 pixels and up to 32 colors at one time from a total palette of 64 colors. 

Physically, the Master System measures 14.5 by 6.5 by 3 inches. There are two slots for game input, one is for Mega Cartridges and another one is for Sega cards.

The sound is provided by the SN76489 PSG chip, which is capable of producing three square wave channels and one noise channel. 

The controller for each console consists of a rectangular shape with a control pad and two buttons. There are also additional controllers like the bike handle controller and paddle controller. Sega also introduced 3D glasses known as Sega scope with this console.

History of the Sega Master system

The Sega Master System is a third-generation 8 bit home video console manufactured by Sega. In 1985 it was released in Japan as the Sega Mark III. It was then released in North America In 1986, Europe in 1987, and Brazil in 1989. 

In North America and Europe, a cost-reduced model was released known as Master System II, while in Japan, a system with more features was released known as the Sega Mark III

Cartridges were in a credit card-sized format known as Sega Cards, and were used in the original Master System models. Accessories for the consoles include a light gun and 3D glasses that work with a range of specially designed games. 

How Many Units Did The Sega Master System Sell? 

The Sega Master System has a small game library and well-reviewed games. The competitor was the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES had a significant market share advantage in Japan and North America at that time. 

Even though it was competing against the NES it still managed to have decent sales. The Sega Master System still managed to sell around 10-13 million units all over the world! 


Although some people are unsure about if the Master System is region free, and even if it is the same console as the Genesis, one thing everyone can agree on is that the games and the console are beyond their time and were loved and adored by so many people.

Even with online gaming there are still quite a few people who play the Sega Master System on a daily basis.