Happy Birthday Sega!
Legendary games company Sega reached their 60th anniversary this week, which meant new information on releases, new merchandise and some heartfelt messages of gratitude from leading team members. But Sega also has another anniversary on the horizon! The Sega Game Gear – the pioneering colour handheld console – will be celebrating the third decade since its creation on October 6th.
Produced back in 1990 to compete with rivals such as the Nintendo Game Boy and Atari Lynx, the Game Gear was one of the earliest handheld consoles with full colour, boasting a backlight, landscape display, and a whopping 5 hours of battery life. In their infinite wisdom, Sega also produced a rechargeable battery pack and car adapter to make it truly portable.
Mini or Micro
Similar to the shrinking treatment given to the Sega Mega Drive – which became the Mega Drive Mini back in 2019 – the Game Gear has been scaled down to create the Game Gear Micro. Since the device was already handheld this means it reaches the teeny tiny size of just 8cm across! It effectively fits on your key chain if that’s how you feel like playing.
As for what games are pre-installed into that 8cm, you’ll find that the most iconic titles have actually been spread across four versions of the Game Gear Micro (Black, Blue, Yellow and Red) so make sure you get the right colour for the game you want to play. Individually, these miniature systems cost 4,980円 (UK prices haven’t been announced yet), but there are a few deals worth checking out. Pre-order a set of four and you’ll receive the Big Window Micro as well, a baby sized replica of the original screen-magnifying accessory.
Just how Micro is Micro?
With the console clocking in at 8cm by 4.3cm that leaves about 4cm for the screen, roughly the size of a large walnut or a small lime. How much space this will leave for your puyos, columns, ninjas or blue hedgehogs has raised some questions among gamers on social media.
Time will tell whether this is a functioning console or just a collector item, but be prepared for some serious eye strain if you are aiming for full playthroughs. Whichever it is, diehard Sega fans will consider this a must-have item.
Where do I get one?
The Game Gear Micro is currently only available in Japan but can be bought from Amazon, Rakuten, and the Sega Store. While Amazon has some exclusive shirts celebrating the release and Sega’s anniversary priced at around 3,500円 (£26), if you prioritise games over fashion, head directly to the Rakuten or Sega website, each of which has a package deal.
Rakuten delivers all four editions of the console, in addition to 16 pins which have designs based on the games that have made it all the way from the 1990 to the 2020. For that extra hit of nostalgia the items come with a storage case and sleeve modelled after the original Game Gear casing. The price does ramp up a little, settling at 27,255円 (£202).
It’s Sega that brings the edition most likely to catch the attention of collectors however, presenting a deluxe package of the four variations with a frame to house and commemorate the consoles. There’s also a space for an exclusive smoke style edition of the Micro, which is just for display purposes but brings back that transparent casing left in the past by modern handhelds. This collection direct from Sega is the top price for the revitalised Game Gear at 25,920円 (£190), but since there’s no UK release date yet, and even the Japan release won’t be until October there’s still time to think about how to get your retro fix.
For more information, take a look at the Sega homepage: https://60th.sega.com/ggmicro/
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