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In the early 1990s the Nintendo NES was on top of the gaming world and everyone was wondering if anyone would challenge Nintendo NES in the home video game console market. Sega stepped up and released the Sega Genesis, and began the era of 16 bit gaming. The Sega Genesis was released in 1989 with out a lot of fanfare. The Sega Genesis Console didn�t really take off until Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991 and gave Sega a Mario figure to promote the brand with.