The Sega Master System was a console manufactured back in the mid-to-late 1970s, by Sega Enterprises Ltd. It was an 8 bit, third generation console, and it was in direct competition with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and was losing. It was the successor to the SG-1000, and successed by the Sega Mega Drive. The console had an official Sega 3D goggles peripheral, the SegaScope 3D, which allowed games to be played in virtual 3D. Although, it was not the first to use virtual 3D capabilities, being beaten by the MB/GCE Vectrex. The console played Sega Master System cartridges, which were rectangular, blocky, and were black with a red sticker on the top of the cartridge. The cartridges came in protective boxes, much similar to those of the Sega Mega Drive's boxes. There was also a card input for budget games, where a card about the size of a credit card would insert into the Master System. The cards also came in protective boxes, and protective sleeves. There was a hardware peripheral for the Mega Drive, called the Master System Power Base Converter, which allowed a player to play Master System games through the Mega Drive.
Sega had previously released a console to the Japanese market, the Sega SG-1000. The console had to models, the Mark I, and the Mark II. The Sega Mark III came with increased RAM and power, and was a huge hit in Japan. It spawned the Master System overseas. The Master System was later marketed in Japan, in 1987. The Master System had two mascots of it's era - the slightly unpopular Alex Kidd, and the later successful Sonic the Hedgehog. Arcade conversions were made for the Master System, such as Afterburner, F-16 Fighting Falcon and many more. The Master Sytem didn't do well in Japan, and even worse in North America, but in Europe and Brazil, the Master System was a huge success. Brazil having the largest success rate, it had many, many official Sega designs for the system.
The Master System was at first a wide, blocky system, and the cartridge and control pad designs matched the system. The newly redesigned Master System II was released as a cost effective way to manufacture the Master System. It was more round in shape, and had a sliding cartridge input cover instead of the traditional swinging door style mechanism. The controllers were smaller than the NES control pads and Nintendo Famicom control pads, and didn't have Start or Select buttons on them, instead, using button I as Start, and having a Pause button on the console itself. The d-pad was big and was a rounded square, and some models of the controller had a little hole in the middle of the d-pad where a player could screw in a little raised joystick. There were also arcade sticks released for the system. The Sega Light Phaser was also released for lightgun games. It was black in color.