The Game Gear is a handheld video game console developed by Sega and first released in Japan on 1990-10-06. It uses hardware so similar to the Master System it can play its games with an adapter. It uses the same 8-bit Z80A CPU, same graphics chip, and same SN76489 sound chip.
Around 1992, a friend of mine won a Game Gear in a raffle. I remember seeing it and thinking it was too large for a portable gaming device. I think I only played Columns, the pack-in game. My friend agreed that the system wasn't very good and he returned it to the store where he won it and bought a Genesis instead. I have never played a Game Gear since, any other games I've played on the system have been through emulation.
- See all Game Gear Games.
These are the Game Gear games that are important to me:
- The color graphics are very attractive on the device, especially compared to the green and black Game Boy.
- With a backlight, the device can easily be played in total darkness.
- Selling an optional TV tuner was a nice addition for those who could afford it.
- Making it backward compatible with the Master System (via an adapter) gave the Game Gear a huge boost in available titles, although, the Game Gear's resolution couldn't handle the Master System games properly.
- Like with many of Sega's consoles, they just couldn't attract that many high-quality third party developers, so the catalog of games is lacking. Nintendo's anti-competition policies no doubt contributed to major developers like Capcom and Konami from even bothering to release a title for the system.
- A lot of the games that were released on the Game Gear were just watered down versions of what was being released on the Genesis.
- Although it had about three times as many games as the Lynx, it only had about a third of the number of games of the Game Boy.
- The devices backlit color display required a lot of power. The Game Gear needed six AAs batteries to run (a lot for the time), and you would realistically only get about 4 hours of solid game play before they were drained. This made it very expensive to use a Game Gear. A power cable could be used, but that decreased portability, and rechargeable battery packs were made, but that was just another cost.