Finally, Someone Has "Fixed" The Mega Drive's Audio Issues 1
Image: Criapolis

Whenever a SNES and Mega Drive fan become embroiled in a debate on the merits of each console, you can bet your bottom dollar that the topic of audio will be raised at least once.

The Mega Drive / Genesis is equipped with a Yamaha YM2612 sound chip which delivers a unique '80s FM-style sound, and it certainly can perform wonders when placed in the right hands – check out any Mega Drive soundtrack by Yuzo Koshiro and you'll see what we mean.

However, the SNES had the benefit of a more advanced Sony-made audio chip and is widely regarded to be the better of the two consoles in this department; in fact, the Mega Drive has gained a largely unfair reputation over the years for its sometimes discordant audio.

(Before we get too many angry replies, let it be known that we absolutely adore the sound the Mega Drive produces – in fact, some of our favourite soundtracks are from Mega Drive games. So put down that torch and lay down that pitchfork.)

It would seem the days of Sega fans feeling inferior are now over, as Brazilian modder and developer Criapolis has created the MegaMP3 – cartridge-based hardware which allows the Mega Drive to stream high-quality audio files without the need for a Sega CD attachment.

Criapolis says the prototype – which he's working on making smaller so it fits into a normal-sized cart – functions perfectly on the Mk1 and Mk2 Mega Drive hardware but currently isn't compatible with the Mk3 version, although he's working on a solution for that.

It looks like we could see this technology incorporated into new Mega Drive games in the next few years, giving the console CD-quality audio without the need for CDs.