The Sega Genesis was the first console I ever owned and as a young teenager, I bought into the hype of all of Sega’s technological promises such as the Sega CD and 32X. OK, so I didn’t actually buy all the add-ons for myself since they were way out of my video game budget, but I lusted after them and tried them out at friends houses on numerous occassions.
I can’t quite remember where I first saw a picture of the Neptune, but I remember being captivated at the thought of having a Genesis and 32X in one sleek machine. (At this point, the 32X was still a viable platform). As you can see from the write below from MegaPlay magazine, the Neptune was supposed to be an upgraded Genesis that would include 32X technology at an afforable $200 price point..
As Sega was getting closer to releasing the Saturn as their 32-bit platform of choice, the Neptune was never made it past the prototype phase. Since then die-hard Sega fans have always wondered “what if?” in regards to the Neptune’s possible success. Electronic Gaming Monthly didn’t help matters in 2001 when it used the Neptune as an April Fools Joke telling readers that Sega had a warehouse full of the machines and was looking to sell them off cheap online.
Most of us now have closure about Sega’s poor business decisions and their software-only, but some hardware hackers are determined to make the Neptune a realtity in one form or another. The Longhorn Engineer has just published his adventure in converting a stock Genesis and 32X into a combined machine that actually fits into the Genesis Model 2 case. The end result is quite elegant and is a thrill to see in action.
Now that he has been successful with the project, I can’t help but wonder if he would start making more and selling them off. Or perhaps he’s be ok with others doing the same. The base hardware is pretty cheap on the aftermarket, and I’m sure a number of Sega fans would be interested!