From WE Computers Museum
Type Subsidiary of Sega Sammy Holdings
Founded Irving Bromberg Co.
Service Games
Standard Games
Rosen Enterprises
Service Games of Japan
Japan Entertainment Products & Japan Machinery Manufacturing
June 3, 1960
Sega Enterprises
Headquarters Tokyo, Japan
Key people David Rosen, founder
Martin Bromley, founder
Irving Bromberg, founder
James Humpert, founder
Industry Video games
Products Arcade games
Arcade hardware
Video games
Number of people 5,349

Sega (セガ) is a game company that was founded on June 3, 1960, when Japan Entertainment Products was created and used the trade name Sega, a contraction of its preceding company, Service Games. However, it has roots in companies dating back to the 1930s.

Formation of Sega

In 1930, Irving Bromberg founded a coin-operated machine distribution company named Irving Bromberg Co.. The company distributed coin-operated machines to New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. In 1933, he sold the New York office to office manager Leon Taksen. Then, according to an advertisement in the July 1933 issue of Coin Machine Journal, the Supreme Vending Company of Brooklyn had purchased the Irving Bromberg Company of Brooklyn. After the sale of his company, Bromberg moved to Los Angeles, California. In 1934, he started a new coin-operated machine distribution company in Los Angeles named Standard Games.

By 1940, Irving Bromberg's son, Martin Bromley, had enlisted in the Navy and was sent to Honolulu, Hawaii. However, he was placed on inactive duty due to his employment at the Pearl Harbor Shipyard. Later that year, Martin Bromley, his father Irving Bromberg, and a fellow shipyard worker named James Humpert formed a company in Honolulu, Hawaii also named Standard Games. This company provided coin-operated amusement machines to military bases, for soldiers to use during their leisure time. In 1945, after World War II had ended, Standard Games was sold. The three Americans that founded that company started a new coin-operated machine distributor named Service Games, due to the company's focus on military personnel.

In 1951, the United States government passed a law that outlawed slot machines in United States territories. Thus, in 1952, Martin Bromley sent two of his employees, Richard Stewart and Ray LeMaire, to Tokyo, Japan. They set up a distribution company there to provide coin-operated slot machines to the United States military bases in Japan. By 1953, this company was active and operating as Service Games of Japan.

In 1954, an officer in the United States Air Force stationed in Japan, David Rosen, set up a two-minute photo business. This company, Rosen Enterprises, began importing coin-operated games to Japan in 1957.

On May 31, 1960, Service Games closed Service Games Japan. However, on June 3, 1960, two new companies were set up to handle the business. Japan Entertainment Products (日本娯楽物産, Nihon Goraku Bussan) was set up to handle distribution, while Japan Machinery Manufacturing (日本機械製造, Nihon Kikai Seizō) was set up to handle manufacturing.

In 1960, Japan Entertainment Products released the Sega 1000 jukebox, named after the first two letters in the first and the second word of Service Games. The game was a hit, and as a result, the company, while still retaining its legal name, began using the trade name of Sega. Due to this, Sega considers its official foundation as June 3, 1960.

In 1964, Japan Entertainment Products acquired Japan Machinery Manufacturing, bringing both arms of the business together once more.

By 1965, Rosen Enterprises had grown to a point where they operated over 200 arcades in Japan. That year, David Rosen sought a merger of Rosen Enterprises and Japan Entertainment Products. In the resulting company, David Rosen was named the chief executing officer. The company was named Sega Enterprises, after the trade name of Japan Entertainment Products.

Home video game and computer hardware by Sega

Title Release Added to Museum Notes
SG-1000 1983 Not Added Yet There are several variants, as it was licensed for production by other companies. Sega released two variants themselves:
The original SG-1000 had one hard wired joystick and a port for an optional second controller.
The SG-1000 II had two detachable joypad controllers.
SC-3000 1983 Not Added Yet The SC-3000 was a computer that used the SG-1000 architecture. It had a built-in keyboard and support for more hardware expansions.
Mark III
Master System
Not Added Yet The original Japanese release was named the Mark III, due to the fact that it was the successor of the SG-1000 II.
The Master System II lacked the port for games that came on Sega Cards.
AI Computer 1986 Not Added Yet Had an NEC V20 processor (based on the Intel 80186) and 256KB of RAM.
Mega Drive
Not Added Yet The reason behind the North American rename to Sega Genesis is unknown, but it's possibly due to a trademark dispute with Mega Drive Systems Inc.
The Mega Drive II lacked a headphone jack.
The North American exclusive Genesis 3 lacked expansion ports, which made it incompatible with the Sega CD and 32X.
The Sega Nomad was a portable version of the Sega Genesis.
Video Driver 1989 Not Added Yet VHS-based video game console co-designed by Tyco Toys.
Mega CD
Sega CD
December 25, 1992 The Sega CD connects to the Genesis, adding CD support as well as extra processors and memory.
It could be used in conjunction with the 32X to play Sega CD 32X games.
Teradrive 1991 Not Added Yet An IBM computer powered by an Intel 80286 processor and integrated Mega Drive hardware.
There were three models: Model 1 had 640KB of RAM. Model 2 had 1MB of RAM. Model 3 had 2.5MB of RAM
Mega PC
Mega Plus
1993 Not Added Yet An Amstrad computer powered by an Intel 80386SX processor, 1MB of RAM, and an ISA card containing Mega Drive hardware.
The Mega Plus had a Cyrix Cx486SLC processor, 4MB of RAM, and an ISA card containing Mega Drive hardware.
Sega PAC 1993 Not Added Yet A module for the LaserActive laserdisc video game system that allowed it to play Genesis/Mega Drive games, Sega CD/Mega CD games, and Mega LD games.
32X 1994 Not Added Yet The 32X connects to the Genesis, adding a 32-bit processor and the ability to display texture-mapped 3D polygons.
It could be used in conjunction with the Sega CD to play Sega CD 32X games.
Saturn 1994 Not Added Yet
Dreamcast 1998 September 9, 1999
Sega Genesis Mini 2019 May 4, 2019 Dedicated console with built-in Sega Genesis games that run on a custom emulator by M2.
Sega Genesis Mini 2 2022 Not yet Dedicated console with built-in Sega Genesis and Sega CD games that run on a custom emulator by M2.

Handheld video game hardware by Sega

Title Release Added to Museum Notes
Game Gear 1990 December 25, 1991 Based on Sega Master System hardware with support for palettes with a wider variety of colors and stereo sound.
Pico 1993 Not Added Yet An educational portable video game system that was the first to utilize touch controls.
Sega Toys inherited the system after it was formed in 1994.
Visual Memory Unit 1998 September 9, 1999 Memory card for the Dreamcast that had a screen, a joypad, buttons, and also functioned as a portable video game system.
Game Gear Micro 2020 March 26, 2021 Dedicated handheld consoles with built-in Game Gear games that run on a custom emulator by M2.