The Master System was Sega's 8-bit home console, competing directly with the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was released in Japan 1985 and in the U.S. in 1986. Although more technically advanced, the Master System suffered because Nintendo had already established a market share, and had cornered licensing on many software developers. The Master System had its greatest impact and commercial success in Europe, where it was aggressively marketed, and where Nintendo had less influence. Sega introduced several hit franchises with the Master System, including Phantasy Star, Fantasy Zone, and Alex Kidd. These series enjoyed continuing success with Sega's later platforms, Genesis and Game Gear.