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Model 1

The Sega Model 1 is an arcade system board that was released by Sega in 1992. It is the successor to the Sega System 32 (released in 1990). While earlier Sega hardware was capable of handling 3D polygons (such as the Mega Drive, released in 1988), the Model 1 was Sega's first hardware specifically designed for 3D polygon graphics.

Originally, the Model 1 was simply known as the CG Board, but was retroactively given the Model 1 name after work on the Model 2 began. The Model 1 was succeeded by the Sega Model 2 (released in 1993). Both the Model 1 and Model 2 were eventually succeeded by the Sega Model 3.


It began development in 1990, with Yu Suzuki's Sega AM2 team involved in its development from the drawing board. The Model 1 was intended to compete with Namco's System 21; Namco was then the market leader in polygonal 3D video games, with titles such as Galaxian³ and Starblade. The Model 1 was eventually released in 1992, debuting with Virtua Racing. While it was a significant improvement over the System 21, the Model 1 hardware was expensive, and only a few games were developed for the platform.

“ Dedicated 3D processors didn’t exist yet, and so I had to manually write a 3D graphics engine that would compress and process things faster. Just using assembly language. Now, of course, everyone writes in C++, but back then there was no other choice than machine code, otherwise we wouldn't be able to make everything fast enough. „

— Yu Suzuki [6]

Unlike the Model 2, Lockheed Martin was not involved with the development of the Model 1, but it was developed internally at Sega, before Lockheed Martin became involved with the development of the Sega Model 2, according to former Lockheed Martin employee, Real3D's Jon Lenyo, in 1998.

Like the Model 2, Fujitsu was involved with the development of the Model 1. They provided the DSP coprocesors, which were modified by Sega with custom microcode for hardware T&L capabilities; hardware T&L would not appear on consumer home systems for many years. Fujitsu also provided several other components, including the tilemap generator chip, the DMA controllers, and several memory chips.

The Model 1 also had support for the Sega VR headset. It was used for only one known Model 1 game, Dennou Senki Net Merc. It is unknown whether Model 1 hardware was used for the VR-1.


Games for this system

Games medias completion

Media type Completion
Cover 2D
Cover 3D
Instruction card


Regional release dates
01 Jan 1992
01 Jan 1992
01 Aug 1992
01 Jan 1992
NEC V60 uPD-70616 32bit RISC cadencé à 16 MHz
Motorola 68000 cadencé à 10 MHz
496x384 60


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