The Game Gear was SEGA’s answer to Nintendo’s Game Boy, a full-color, 8-bit handheld released in 1990. Despite technical prowess and critical praise for its games, a hulking size and terrible battery life doomed the console to the Game Boy’s shadow. Thirty years later it’s getting a Phoenix Down, and coming back as the latest “mini” console revival.
SEGA revealed the “Game Gear Micro” to Japanese audiences today. The new model is absolutely tiny, 80mm wide by 43mm high (3.1 x 1.7 inches) with a screen just one inch diagonal. That’s much smaller than even the Game Boy Micro—if you’re wondering how you could possibly play games on something that small, join the club. But it looks like SEGA is positioning the Game Gear Micro as more of a collectible than an actual game device.
To that end, there will be four different color options, each with only four games loaded. Here’s the list:
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Out Run
- Puyo Puyo 2
- Royal Stone
- Sonic & Tails
- Gunstar Heroes
- Baku Baku Animal
- Shining Force
- Shining Force II
- Shining Force: Final Conflict
- Nazo Puyo: Aruru No Ru
- Revelations: The Demon Slayer
- Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special
There’s no technical reason all sixteen games couldn’t be released on a single machine. All of them together would be only a few megabytes. But, again, “collectible.”
The Game Gear Micro can be played with a pair of AAA batteries, or recharged over USB. Either way it’s better than the original, which was known to slurp down six (count ’em, SIX) AA batteries in just three hours.
The gadget will be released in Japan on October 6th, exactly thirty years after the original Game Gear. It will cost 4,980 yen for each color (about $45 each). Customers who pre-order all four colors will get a free “Big Window,” one of those clip-on magnifying glasses that used to be popular with portable gamers. There’s no word on a wider release, but it seems iffy at best.