Sega Game Gear
Developer(s) Sega
Release Date(s) Japan
October 6, 1990
North America
April 26, 1991
April 26, 1991[1]
Price(s) $149.99 USD
Colors Black
Units Shipped 11 million

The Sega Game Gear (ゲームギア Gēmu Gia) is Sega's first handheld video game console. The Game Gear was initially released in 1990 for Japan, and in other regions throughout the next two years. The system began development to be marketed alongside the Sega Master System against the Atari Lynx and later Game Boy systems. It featured a lower resolution screen than the Sega Master System, but allowed for a larger color palette.

As for the repertoire of the Game Gear, approximately 390 official titles were released for the Game Gear. In addition, Sega's Game Gear followed Nintendo's Game Boy by not using regional lockout on Game Gear cartridges, meaning that any system could play any games regardless of the country they were released in.

The main issue that came with the Game Gear was its approximate four hours of battery life, as well as requiring six alkaline batteries compared to its competing Game Boy with 10-14 hours of life using only four AA batteries. To help with this issue, Sega released two separate accessories that enhanced the Game Gear's low battery life: the PowerBack and Battery Pack.

Technical specifications Edit

  • Main processor: Zilog Z80 (8-bit)
  • Processor speed: 3.58 MHz (same as NTSC colour subcarrier)
  • Resolution: 160 x 144 pixels (same as Nintendo's Game Boy)
  • Colors available: 4,096
  • Colors on screen: 32
  • Maximum sprites: 64
  • Sprite size: 8x8 or 8x16
  • Screen size: 3.2 inches (81 mm)
  • Audio: 3 square wave generators, 1 noise generator, the system has a mono speaker, but stereo sound can be had via headphone output
  • RAM: 8 KB
  • Video RAM: 16 KB
  • Power:
    • internal: 6 AA batteries ~4–5 hours
    • external: 9V DC, 300mA, 3W
  • Physical:
    • Width: 209 mm
    • Height: 111 mm
    • Depth: 37 mm
    • weight: ~400g

Accessories Edit

Batter pack Edit

The Battery Pack was an advanced version of the PowerBack. Oddly enough, both it and the PowerBack can be appended to the Game Gear at the same time, giving the Game Gear a much longer battery life than its normal 4 (5 for later models) hour battery life.

Car Adaptor Edit

The Car Adaptor plugged into car cigarette lighters to power the system while traveling.

Game Gear TV Tuner Edit

The Game Gear TV Tuner was an accessory that was able to receive television systems from an antenna onto the screen of the Game Gear. These units can only output sound from the Tuner. While successful with the initial release of the Game Gear, later models of the system didn't feature compatible ports for the Game Gear TV Tuner.

Gear-to-Gear Cable Edit

The Gear-to-Gear Cable, as the name suggests, was a device used to link a Game Gear to a separate Game Gear system, allowing competitive multiplayer.

MasterGear Converter Edit

The MasterGear Converter is an accessory that allowed the Game Gear to have backwards compatibility with the Sega Master System. However, there was no device that could play Game Gear games using a Sega Master System due to the Game Gear's expanded 4096-color palette made such a conversion technically difficult, and practically/commercially impossible even for hobbyist hardware-hackers.

PowerBack Edit

The PowerBack enables the Game Gear to have a longer battery life, and is rechargeable with Sega's Genesis 2 power adapter.

Super Wide Gear Edit

The Super Wide Gear was a device that was optimized with special lenses that magnified the Game Gear's initial small screen for its size.

References Edit

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