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Sega Game Gear

From Sega Retro

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Fast facts on Sega Game Gear
Manufacturer: Sega
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Game Gear
JP
¥19,800 ?
Sega Game Gear
US (NY/LA)
$149.95Media:GamePro US 022.pdf[1] ?
Sega Game Gear
US (Nationwide)
$149.95Media:GamePro US 022.pdf[1] ?
Sega Game Gear
UK
£99.99Media:MeanMachines UK 09.pdf[3]Media:Raze UK 11.pdf[4]
Sega Game Gear
FR
?F
Sega Game Gear
DE
DM ?
Sega Game Gear
ES
?Ptas
Sega Game Gear
BR
R$160,000 ?
Sega Game Gear
KR
₩198,000 SPC-150

The Sega Game Gear (セガゲームギア) is a handheld video game console developed by Sega and released in late 1990 as a response to Nintendo's Game Boy handheld . It is a full colour console and was Sega's first attempt to compete in the handheld games market (the second being the Sega Nomad — a handheld Sega Mega Drive). In South Korea it is known as the Handy Gam*Boy (핸디겜보이).

Hardware

See also: Game Gear consoles

The Sega Game Gear is a "portable" device which was designed to address problems with Nintendo's Game Boy. It is held lengthwise at the sides (preventing the cramping of hands which plagued Nintendo's system) and has a backlit, colour LCD screen, allowing for clearer and more vibrant visuals than its main rival.

Similarly to the Sega Mega Drive, which at the time was Sega's main focus in the home console market, the Sega Game Gear is derived from the earlier Sega Master System. Unlike the Mega Drive, however, the Game Gear is largely identical to the Master System, the major difference being a VDP capable of displaying palettes consisting of a wider variety of colors, and the playback of stereo sound. Game Gear games traditionally run at a smaller resolution too, although with a screen built similarly to televisions of the era, the Game Gear is fully capable of playing games in higher resolutions.

Like the Master System, the Game Gear features a D-Pad and two buttons, 1 and 2, but also adds a third, Start. This is one button short of a Game Boy.

Unfortunately, due to technical limitations of the era, the Game Gear demands six AA batteries to be played on the go, of which the fluorescent backlight on the LCD screen will eat through in three to five hours (though a battery pack provides longer playtime). Furthermore, the system gives off more heat than the Game Boy, often leading to "sweaty palms" after prolonged use. The system was also considered not to be very "portable" - it's bulky size means it does not fit in many pockets, and the power-draining backlight of the LCD screen (which cannot be turned off) meant Game Gears were unusable after a short period of time. An AC adaptor can be plugged into the system so that it runs off the mains, but this was not considered practical for consumers of the day.

Game Gears were also manufactured at a time where capacitor problems were rampant across the electronics industry. As a result, screen and audio failures are common, and fixes are not always simple.

Technical Specifications

  • Main Processor: Zilog Z80 (8-bit)
  • Processor Speed: 3.579545 MHz (same as NTSC colorburst)
  • Resolution: 160 x 144 pixels
  • Colors Available: 4,096
  • Colors on screen: 32
  • Maximum Sprites: 64
  • Sprite Size: 8x8
  • Screen Size: 3.2 Inches
  • Audio: Texas Instruments SN76489
  • RAM: 24 KB

History

Main article: History of the Sega Game Gear.

Games

See List of Game Gear games for a complete list.

Launch titles

Gallery

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega Game Gear/Magazine articles.

Promotional material

Print advertisements

GamePlayers US 0304.pdf GamePlayers US 0304.pdf

US print advert in













Game Players (US) Vol. 3 No. 4 "April 1991" (1991-xx-xx); also published in













Game Players (US) Vol. 3 No. 5 "May 1991" (1991-xx-xx)Media:GamePlayers US 0305.pdf[6]

GamePlayers US 0306.pdf GamePlayers US 0306.pdf

US print advert in













Game Players (US) Vol. 3 No. 6 "June 1991" (1991-xx-xx); also published in













Sega Visions (US) #5: "Summer 1991" (1991-xx-xx)Media:SegaVisions US 05.pdf[7]

GamePlayers US 0307.pdf GamePlayers US 0307.pdf

US print advert in













Game Players (US) Vol. 3 No. 7 "July 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

SegaVisions US 06.pdf

Print advert in













Sega Visions (US) #6: "Fall 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

SegaVisions US 07.pdf SegaVisions US 07.pdf SegaVisions US 07.pdf SegaVisions US 07.pdf

Print advert in













Sega Visions (US) #7: "Winter 1991/1992" (1991-xx-xx)

SegaVisions US 08.pdf SegaVisions US 08.pdf

Print advert in













Sega Visions (US) #8: "May/June 1992" (1992-xx-xx)

Raze UK 11.pdf Raze UK 11.pdf

Print advert in













Raze (UK) #11: "September 1991" (1991-07-25)
also published in:

Joystick FR 018.pdf Joystick FR 018.pdf

Print advert in













Joystick (FR) #18: "Juillet/Août 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
also published in:

Joystick FR 020.pdf Joystick FR 020.pdf

Print advert in













Joystick (FR) #20: "Octobre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)
also published in:

HobbyConsolas ES 002.pdf HobbyConsolas ES 002.pdf HobbyConsolas ES 002.pdf

Print advert in













Hobby Consolas (ES) #2: "Noviembre 1991" (1991-xx-xx)

MegaForce ES 01.pdf MegaForce ES 01.pdf

Print advert in













Mega Force (ES) #1: "Mayo 1992" (1992-xx-xx)

Micromania ES 064.pdf

Print advert in













MicroManía (ES) #64: "Septiembre 1993" (1993-xx-xx)

GamePower IT 07.pdf

IT print advert in













Game Power (IT) #7: "Giugno 1992" (1992-xx-xx)

MegaForce PT 01.pdf

Print advert in Mega Force (PT) #1: "Junho 1993" (1993-xx-xx)

MegaForce PT 03.pdf MegaForce PT 03.pdf

Print advert in Mega Force (PT) #3: "Agosto 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Megazone AU 26.pdf

Print advert in













Megazone (AU) #26: "February/March 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Megazone AU 26.pdf

Print advert in













Megazone (AU) #26: "February/March 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

Megazone AU 28.pdf Megazone AU 28.pdf

Print advert in













Megazone (AU) #28: "June 1993" (1993-xx-xx)
also published in:

AcaoGames BR 005.pdf AcaoGames BR 005.pdf

Print advert in













Ação Games (BR) #5: "xxxx xxxx" (xxxx-xx-xx)
also published in:

Television advertisements

External links

  • Console Database - Sega Game Gear info and FAQs
  • SMS Power - Technical information and more on the Game Gear and its bigger brother, the Master System

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 File:GamePro US 022.pdf, page 16
  2. File:GamePro US 022.pdf, page 8
  3. File:MeanMachines UK 09.pdf, page 11
  4. File:Raze UK 11.pdf, page 17
  5. File:AcaoGames BR 003.pdf, page 14
  6. File:GamePlayers US 0305.pdf, page 28
  7. File:SegaVisions US 05.pdf, page 28
  8. File:Raze UK 12.pdf, page 72
  9. File:ConsolesPlus FR 002.pdf, page 6-7
  10. File:Joystick FR 021.pdf, page 130-131
  11. File:Bestial PT 03.pdf, page 14-15
  12. File:Megazone AU 27.pdf, page 95
  13. File:Megazone AU 27.pdf, page 24
  14. File:Megazone AU 30.pdf, page 2
  15. File:Megazone AU 31.pdf, page 2
  16. File:AcaoGames BR 006.pdf, page 20
  17. File:AcaoGames BR 008.pdf, page 4
Sega Home Video Game Systems
83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11
SG-1000 SG-1000 II Mega Drive Mega Drive II
SC-3000 Mega-CD Mega-CD II Genesis 3
Sega Mark III Saturn
Master System Master System II
Game Gear
32X Dreamcast
Pico Beena
Sega Game Gear Hardware
Game Gear Variations Sega Game Gear (Japan | North America | Europe | Other Regions) | Wide Gear
Add-ons Action Replay | Game Genie | Master Gear Converter (Gear Master | Nuby Converter) | Stereo FM Tuner | TV Tuner
Cases Carry-All | Deluxe Carry-All Case | Gear Bag | Holster Case | Standard Carrying Case | Third Party (Play & Carry Case)
Accessories Car Adaptor | Car Antenna | Battery Pack | Cleaning Gear | Gear-to-Gear Cable | PowerBack (Third Party) | Screen Magnifier (Wide Gear | Super Wide Gear | Third-Party)

Handy Gear | Master Link Cable