Pat & Ian asked a good question on The Completely Unnecessary Podcast this week: Why isn't there more love for the Sega Master System? Their question is a good one but I think their answers are lacking something.
There's always more nostalgic love for what was most popular at the time. Look at the nostalgic movies that get all the love now, most of them were what was popular when we were younger. The same is true in video gaming. The NES dominated that generation, and even the Atari 7800 was outselling the Sega Master System based on price.
The Master System was a GREAT console, I think it had the best graphics of the era and some of the best games. You can't go wrong with Phantasy Star, and I disagree with Pat & Ian that people wouldn't have been interested in playing OutRun or Shinobi on the Master System. If you were back in 1986, and the Genesis was a good 3-4 years away before it really got going, those were great titles on a really cool game system. It's growth was stunted because it didn't take off the way the NES did with Mario, etc. but that didn't mean there weren't great reasons to own a Sega Master System, or of course an Atari 7800.
I do agree with Pat & Ian that "only 2 kids at every school had a Sega Master System" that sounds about right, and that Sega lost interest in supporting the Master System in America when they were close to releasing the Sega Genesis and knew it would blow the doors off of everything else around.
What do you think?