• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

Opinion Retro Trailer The Sega Genesis vs The Sega 32X


NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014

Let's look at the games that were released on the Genesis and 32X. Were they any better on Sega's 32-bit add-on?

Episode Notes:

1. Nearly all footage captured on real hardware. The only exceptions were NBA JAM TE for the 32X. I could not get my Japanese 32X to start the game.

2. There are some content differences between these two games. Pitfall has extra stages for instance. After Burner Complete has the landing sequences from the arcade. Mortal Kombat II has the arcade opening story. Etc.

3. Part 2 will include:
Virtua Racing
World Series Baseball
WWF Wrestlemania Arcade
Brutal Unleashed
RBI Baseball
FIFA Soccer

4. I considered putting Space Harrier against Space Harrier II in this series, but felt the content was just too different between the two games.

5. Despite the big increase in processing power and added sound enhancements, the 32X lacked a surprising amount of basic features. Without the Genesis, it was nearly useless for fast scrolling 2D graphics. There are a number of titles that run at 30fps because the 32X is handling both the sprites and environment scrolling.


Dec 26, 2016
32X was a waste of time for everyone involved. What's the point of releasing games with the same rom size than those available in Genesis/MD. What's the point of re-releasing Primal Rage for the 32X and keeping the same tiny sprites? Worse performance in Pitfall and NBA Jam, what a joke.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Goro Majima

Captain Toad

I advertise for PlayStation. For free.
Dec 1, 2020
In hindsight, it's amazing Sega consoles lasted as long as they did.

Every choice they made after the base Genesis was doomed to fail.


Aug 2, 2013
I find it a bit of a pointless comparison, the 32x had no chance to stand on its own two feet...a better comparison would have been the 32x vs the Saturn...seeing as they were using similar chipsets...

Patrick S.

Amiga Forever
May 4, 2013
I was hyped for the 32X because of Star Wars: Arcade. That was a super impressive game I used to daydream about, but when I saw the first images (in a magazine, remember those?) of the 32X version, well, preorder cancelled as we would say now xD
  • Like
Reactions: mansoor1980


Mar 21, 2019
The key takeaway was while it didn't really have big improvements over the Genesis in 2D, the 3D games just weren't possible to the extent of Shadow Squadron or Virtual Racing without co processors, and even then they fell far short.

We also have to take into account the development strain, 32x was super rushed to the market, as was the software.

32x hacks prove the hardware was pretty capable considering the era it released.
Last edited:
Aug 28, 2019
Maybe that's the reason why the console was built as an add-on to begin with. Scrolling entire pictures built by the 32X was not the intended purpose...
This honestly is something that keeps getting distorted as time goes on and I don't understand why. Both Sega CD and 32X are peripheral add-ons, not main-course meals (that would've been the MegaDrive). I could understand if either were able to run without presence of a MegaDrive but that isn't the case.

The fact people judge them as if they were self-reliant consoles instead of peripheral add-ons is pretty irritating. By that notion, we should treat every peripheral add-on in that way, including the Wii Fit, Kinect, and PSVR.

That all said, I still think the 32X was a bad idea, too little too late. They already had a good thing going with the SVP technology; I think that would've been preferable to yet another add-on when it took the Sega CD up until late '93/early '94 to start getting some genuinely solid games somewhat consistently.

32X is an even bigger mistake because it literally released at the same time as Saturn in Japan, and would've only had about a year on the market by the time of Saturn's planned American launch. In practice it was even less because the botched rushed Saturn launch in May forced them to focus resources on getting that up to speed, neglecting the 32X that much more.
  • Like
Reactions: cireza