The Master System’s Swan Song
Upon Sonic the Hedgehog’s 1991 release, Sega emphasized that the speedy title was something only the Genesis was capable of playing (it coined the term “Blast Processing” to define this concept) vs. Nintendo’s 16-bit Super NES.
Ironically, Sonic showed up on two 8-bit Sega consoles that same year: the Master System and the Game Gear. While not as colorful as its Genesis counterpart, the Master System version did a fine job of portraying Sonic’s trademark speed.
Sega barely supported the Master System by 1991 due to its poor performance in the face of the NES juggernaut. It’s no surprise that Sonic the Hedgehog was the last licensed game released for the Master System in North America.