Amstrad MEGADRIVE computer.

Amstrad was licensed by SEGA to  produce their own version of the Teradrive. (The Teradrive is an IBM compatible PC with a megadrive built into it.)

There are a lot of differences between the original Japanese and the Amstrad models, the most notable being size and shape.

The Teradrive was very underpowered for its time. Amstrad seems to have taken the smartest route and picked the most powerful configurations made.

However, it was still just a novelty with few benefits.

At the time, gaming computers were very popular in Europe. Amiga and Atari being the most notable and memorable. I suppose Amstrad thought that it was an easy way into that market as Sega had already gone through the trouble of designing the machine.

Unlike its counterparts, the Amstrad machine only plays dedicated carts. All of the fan made software that had made the other formats so popular was left out.

The machine has a sliding faceplate. The Japanese model had hinged covers. The reason for this being that you can't use the Megadrive and PC parts at the same time! So you slide the cover and it makes sure you slide the switch the right way.

What suprises me is that the Amstrad version is missing ALL external video out capability! All it supports is the monitor.

The Amstrad has an expansion card in it. I'm not sure what it is. Possibly a PC compatible joystick card?I'm still investigating.

Compared to the Japanese models, the Amstrad is a really decent rendition. The Japanese model places a lot of emphasis on the external looks. Expensive finishes and molding, a smaller profile. What I like about the Amstrad model is that is seems more user friendly, more refined with the user in mind. Everything on it is a bit more rugged. With my Japanese machine, I feel like I can snap the pieces off the front if I am not careful.

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