I've got some bad news for you: your Sega Genesis might not be capable of optimal audio output. I'm sorry, man. Do you want to talk about it? Gaming blogger and PR rep Luis Levy takes a look at multiple generations of Sega Genesis hardware, revealing that sound quality differs greatly between launch systems and later revisions.

Aside from the more obvious and well-known hardware deficiencies (third-generation hardware didn't even have stereo output), Sega made a subtle change in sound hardware prior to the launch of the Model 2 Sega Genesis. The majority of Genesis consoles -- even a large number of Model 1 systems -- output sound that lacks the deep richness of launch hardware.

The video above is an extreme example, showcasing a cut from Revenge of Shinobi that loses a lot of its impact with inferior sound hardware. The downside is that Model 1 hardware doesn't offer the best video quality, though Levy notes that the 32X add-on provides an easy fix, thanks to its improved video encoder.

People (haters, mostly) often describe Genesis sound as being nothing more than a series of tinny bleeps and bubbly farts, but given the right composer and sound driver, the hardware could generate some excellent stuff that was unlike anything else at the time. Personally, I'd take competent FM synth over generic SNES strings and guitar samples any day, but let's not fight about it.