Sega Brings Back the Game Gear by Announcing the Game Gear Micro
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome: It’s time for a history lesson! Who here remembers the Game Gear? The handheld device was Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Game Boy, essentially. Sega released the device in late 1990 before pushing it overseas in 1991. Thanks to its full-color graphics and backlit screen (both of which the original Game Boy didn’t have), Sega touted the Game Gear as a superior product over Nintendo’s, further escalating their ongoing console war at the time. Despite this, the Game Gear didn’t go on to sell very well. In comparison to Game Boy, the sales just didn’t match up, forcing Sega to discontinue the product in 1997. Looks like they’re feeling a bit nostalgic, however, because the Game Gear is back in a brand new way. Just the other day, the company unveiled the Game Gear Micro, a miniature sized Game Gear.
Your first impression upon seeing the Game Gear Micro will be “Man, this thing is TINY!”. The retro throwback measures in with a 3.15 inch length and 1.7 inch height. The screen itself is a mere 1.15 inches, making it quite smaller compared to the original Game Gear. Sega unveiled four different color variants for the Micro, and as it turns out, these aren’t just for show. Each color of Micro comes with a different set of four games. Which one you pick, therefore, will likely come down to game preference rather than color preference. The games are emulated thanks to the efforts of M2, and the colors are as follows: Gray, Blue, Red, and Yellow. Gray will net you the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Puyo Puyo 2, OutRun, and Royal Stone. Blue features Sonic & Tails, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale, and Baku Baku Animal. Red will get you Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible, Last Bible Special, The GG Shinobi, and Columns. And last but not least: Yellow! Yellow contains Shining Force Gaiden, Shining Force Gaiden 2, Shining Force Gaiden Final Conflict, and Nazo Puyo Arle no Roux.
As you can see, each color kind of focuses on a different subset of game types and series. For those worried about the small size of the screen, have no fear. Sega has announced alongside these a Big Window Micro attachment, which is a callback to the Big Window attachment the original Game Gear received. If you want to get one, there appears to be a catch: You have to pre-order all four color variants of the Micro at the same store. Keep in mind, however, that these are the rules for Japan. So far, Sega has contained this announcement entirely to Japan in general, with no mention of a Western release. Looking at Sega’s history, though, makes it seem likely that they’ll announce specifics for overseas fans relatively soon. The Game Gear Micro will require two AAA batteries to operate, though you can use a micro USB cable if need be. It also contains an in-built speaker and headphone jack, making it perfect for a noisy subway or bus ride.
The Game Gear Micro releases to Japanese stores on October 6th later this year. Each variant of the Micro will run buyers a total of 4,980 yen, which converts to around $45 USD. So what’s the occasion for all of this, you may be wondering. Sega’s 60th anniversary just hit recently (June 3rd, to be specific), meaning the company has gone all out celebrating 60 years in the biz. The Game Gear Micro is in honor of that, though who knows what else they have planned. It’s good to note that the planned October 6th release matches up with the release date for the original Game Gear in Japan: October 6th, 1990. Seeing as Sega almost-definitely did this on purpose, it lends credence to the idea that they may match the date for us too. This would have it releasing sometime in April next year for the states. That’s just a theory, though.