Master System emulators

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Revision as of 22:58, 14 November 2019 by LilShootDawg (talk | contribs) (removed Genesis stuf)
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Sega Master System
Top: Sega Master System.
Bottom: Sega Game Gear.
Developer Sega
Type Home video game console
Generation Third generation
Release date 1985
Discontinued 1992
Predecessor SG-1000
Successor Genesis / Mega Drive

The Sega Master System (SMS) was an 8-bit console released by Sega on October 20, 1985 in Japan and in September of 1986 in the US. It was retailed for $200 ($457.42 in 2018 money). It had a Zilog Z80A at 4 MHz with 8KB of RAM and 16KB of VRAM. It had a Yamaha YM2602B VDP GPU. It was designed to be a direct competitor to the Nintendo Entertainment System, and was technically superior to it. The Sega Game Gear was released in April of 1991 and was a competitor for the Game Boy. It had a backlet screen, color, and a nice looking design. It retailed for $149.99 ($279.61 in 2018 money). It had a Zilog Z80 CPU at 3.5 MHz with 8KB of RAM and 16KB VRAM.

There are a lot of hardware similarities between the SMS and the Game Gear (GG). Notably, SMS game cartridges can actually be played on the Game Gear via an adapter. For this reason, most SMS emulators can also run GG games.

Internally the Master System extends Sega's older SG-1000 by adding a single new video mode; since the SG-1000 was built from the same CPU, video and audio chips as the ColecoVision many Master System emulators also run ColecoVision games.


Name Operating System(s) Latest Version SMS GG Libretro Core Accuracy Active Recommended
Genesis Plus GX[1] Multi-platform 1.7.5 RC1 Very high
MAME Multi-platform 0.243 High
Emulicious Multi-platform 2022-04-30 Very high ~
BizHawk Windows 2.8 Very high ~
Phoenix Multi-platform 2.8.JAG Very high ~
Pantheon Windows 11.468 High ~
TwoMbit Windows, macOS, Linux 1.0.5 Very high
CLK macOS and UNIXalikes Template:Clkver Very high
higan Multi-platform v110 High
Gearsystem Multi-platform 3.4.1 High
MasterGear Multi-platform 4.5 High
Kega Fusion Windows, Linux, macOS 3.64 Mid
PicoDrive Multi-platform (PC) 1.93 Mid
FreezeSMS Windows 4.6 Very high
DarcNES Multi-platform 9b0401/9b0313 Low
SMS Plus Windows, macOS, Linux 1.3 ?
Osmose Linux 1.3 ?
HiSMS Windows 0.01 beta ?
nemulator Windows 4.2 ?
Essgee Windows v001.5 ?
Genesis Plus GX[1] Multi-platform 1.7.5 RC1 Very high
PicoDrive Multi-platform (ARM devices) 1.93 Mid
GearMasterPlayer Android 1.0.5 ?
PicoDrive PSP, ARM Devices 1.93 Mid
Genesis Plus GX Wii, GameCube 1.7.5 RC1 ?
MasterBoy PlayStation Portable 2.10 ?
Virtual Console Wii, Nintendo 3DS N/A ?
  1. 1.0 1.1 Only available on PC and mobile as a libretro core (e.g. RetroArch)
Dreamcast logo.png
Consoles: SG-1000Master SystemGenesis / Mega DriveCD32XPicoSaturnDreamcast
Handhelds: Game GearVMU / VMS
Arcade: System seriesModel 1Model 2Model 3Naomi