The Genesis was the first of its generation to achieve notable market share in North America, where it competed against a wide range of platforms, including both dedicated gaming consoles and home computer systems. Two years later, Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and the competition between the two would dominate the 16-bit era of video gaming. The console began production in Japan in 1988 and ended with the last new licensed game being released in 2002 in Brazil. The Genesis was SEGA's most successful console; though SEGA has never released a total sales figure quote.[sn 1]
SEGA initially attempted to partner with Atari Corporation for distribution of the Genesis in the United States, but the two could not agree to terms and SEGA decided to launch the console themselves. SEGA was not able to meet the initial release date and US sales began on August 14, 1989 in New York City and Los Angeles. The Genesis was released in the rest of North America later that year on September 15, 1989 with the suggested retail price of $189.99, $10 less than originally planned, and also $10 less than the competing TurboGrafx-16
↑Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games: The Story Behind the Craze that Touched our Lives and Changed the World. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. p. 401. ISBN0-7615-3643-4.
↑Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Ultimate History of Video Games. Roseville, California: Prima Publishing. pp. 404–405. ISBN0-7615-3643-4.
↑SEGA has never released a total sales figure for the Genesis. However, there is a detailed history of SEGA's first party North American sales through 1998 totaling over 20.998 million, a number confirmed by the New York Times' statement "some 20 million 16-bit Genesis consoles in the United States alone" in 1998; total North American sales had reached over 22.144 million by 2001.
North American sales history
1989-1990: 1.5 million 
1991: 1.6 million
1992: 4.5 million
1993: 5.5 million
1994: over 4 million
1995: 2.1 million
1996: 1.32 million
Total: over 22.144 million