Most of this premiere issue consists of ads, catalogs, coupons and 'reviews'. Reading it today however the main draw comes in the form of an introduction letter by then Sega of America President, Michael Katz, fanmail and the magazine's attempts at creating a community. It's ironic how the article states Michael Katz is still "settling" in his new job and that "no one is better equipped to lead Sega" considering he was replaced by Tom Kalinske only a few months after. In a 2006 interview with Sega-16 it became abundantly clear that to this day, Michael Katz (understandably) carries a chip on his shoulder over his abrupt end at the software giant.
Being the first issue, the fan mail was expectedly short. With that said, a page was dedicated to frequently asked questions, avid readers may notice most of these were related to a confused consumer who didn't know how the Genesis would affect the Master System's future or in what way did these two systems differ. One inquiry in particular caught my eye, asking why should users purchase a 16-bit console instead of waiting for 32-bit hardware, the answer not only dodged the issue, but even went as far as to imply we would need HD televisions before any system could surpass the Genesis.
As previously mentioned, the fan mail was understandably short, considering this was Sega Visions' first issue. Aptly named "mailbox" only three questions were shown, one from Australia. Considering this magazine was only published in the US it's likely Sega was scrapping the bottom of the barrel, even if the person who contacted them would likely never read the magazine's reply.
Sega Visions' first issue may not have much to show, but we need to keep in mind that at the time, Sega had a mere 8-10% of the console market. It is likely that Nintendo Power's budget exceeded that of Sega Visions' tenfold. In part 2 of this new series, I'll be taking a look at how the magazine grew during the Genesis' early years and how it built a community. This second part will cut off just before the system's peak.