Unreleased SEGA console resurrected by modder who actually built it

Rebecca Hills-Duty
Neptune console mode internal on display

Flashback to the 90s as a dedicated modder builds a working version of a never-released SEGA console – the Neptune

The late 90s were a rough time for SEGA. The back-to-back failures of the SEGA CD and 32X add-ons put them in a bad position. There were initial plans to try and recoup the loss by releasing a console that brought the Genesis and 32X into one console, dubbed the Neptune. Though this machine ultimately never made it to market, a pair of modders and SEGA fans made it his mission to bring this near-forgotten console back to life.

There have been previous attempts to combine the Genesis and 32X into one unit, notably by Longhorn Engineer and Infidelity NES, but those modding projects usually involved stuffing the additional circuitry into a Model 2 Genesis shell. This approach ultimately made it a Genesis with extra steps, instead of anything like what SEGA envisioned in 1995.

A console 27 years in the making

SEGA fan and modder Dan – also known as DIVIZX – had spent 27 years feeling that there was a Neptune-shaped hole in his life. So he embarked on a quest to create a faithful reproduction of the Neptune’s outer shell, which would be able to properly accommodate the combined Genesis and 32X circuitry.

Dan worked alongside another engineer called PCBAssembly99 in order to develop the shell, as well as a new method of fitting the Genesis and 32X circuitry together to create a Neptune. This new mod was named the ‘modular’ Neptune build, and it considerably simplified the process of connecting the 32X to the Genesis. The modded console thus produced is a remarkable match for the pre-release images and prototypes of the device.

The two documented their process extensively, producing not only a YouTube video, but also a ‘How to’ guide and a project page on maker website PCBWay, allowing other modders and hobbyists to follow in their footsteps.

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