CIBSunday: Sega MultiMega 3
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

While Sega made plenty of odd hardware choices during the '90s, one particular product always fascinated me as a kid – the Multi-Mega.

The moment I saw the first print advertisement for this all-in-one Mega Drive and Mega CD console – which proudly showed its actual size on a single page – I knew I had to own one.

However, its high price point ($399.99 / £399.99) – coupled with the fact that, in 1994, I was already keenly aware that a new and more powerful generation of hardware was on the horizon – meant that I quickly put such aspirations to rest and shifted my focus to the forthcoming Saturn and PS1, both of which would arrive in Japan towards the end of the same year.

CIBSunday: Sega MultiMega 5
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension
CIBSunday: Sega MultiMega 2
Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

Even so, the Multi-Mega (or CD-X as it was known in the US) continued to hold appeal; with its CD player-like dimensions and sleek design, it tempted me sorely over the next decade or so until I was eventually able to obtain one online for a very reasonable price in the early 2010s – only to discover that it was faulty, and had to be returned to the vendor.

More recently, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased a CIB example (albeit in a rather scratched-up box) from a retailer in the UK and promptly had it modded by the ever-dependable Simon Lock, so it's now capable of playing US and Japanese discs – and it runs at 60Hz, too.

Removed from the 32-bit landscape of the late '90s, the Multi-Mega makes a little more sense; twinned with a suitable flash cart, it's capable of running every Mega Drive and Mega CD game – all via a system which looks great even in your modern-day AV setup.

The elephant in the room, of course, is that the Multi-Mega costs an absolute fortune today – but can you really put a price on such overstated elegance?

(Spoiler: yes, you can, but we still love it).