Of all the miniaturized throwback consoles I expected to follow the success of Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition, never in a million years would I have predicated the Game Gear Micro. I’ve been in the games press for almost a decade at this point, and have worked in the video game industry for even longer than that, so I know a thing or two about how things work around here, and I never, ever, would have thought that anyone would be brave enough to release a miniaturized, portable version of Sega’s Game Gear. A full-size rerelease with built-in games and no cartridge slot? Maybe. Way, way on the outside but maybe. But never an actual, tiny Game Gear. Are you kidding?
Sega has announced the Game Gear Micro in celebration of its 60th anniversary, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: A Sega Game Gear small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Well, sorta. This thing is obviously too small to use actual Game Gear cartridges, so the games are built-in like the other nostalgia microconsoles the industry has cranked out in recent years. But unlike those consoles, which contain a plethora of games meant to represent the full breadth of their history, each Sega Game Gear Micro contains but a scant four titles, and what four games you get depends on what color the Game Gear Micro is. Here’s how it breaks down:
- The black Game Gear Micro contains Sonic the Hedgehog, Puyo Puyo 2, OutRun, and Royal Stone.
- The blue Game Gear Micro houses Sonic & Tails, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale, and Baku Baku Animal.
- The yellow Game Gear Micro — and you might notice a theme here — includes Shining Force Gaiden, Shining Force Gaiden 2, and Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, along with Nazu Puyo.
- The red Game Gear Micro dives deep for Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special, The G.G. Shinobi, and as legally mandated, Columns.
Now if you’re thinking “Wow, I don’t recognize most of and/or any of these games,” that’s because they’re all Japanese releases, baby! As was the announcement of the Game Gear Micro itself, along with the three retailers that will sell it once it hits shelves on October
10 6: Amazon Japan, Rakuten, and Sega’s own Sega Store. As of right this second, no plans for a western release have been announced, which isn’t totally surprising. The original Game Gear wasn’t a home run anywhere it was sold, but it at least sold better in Japan than in these United States.
My Japanese isn’t good enough to tell you how big the screen is or what its resolution might be, but I can tell you that the Game Gear Micro runs off honest-to-God AAA batteries, despite the fact that it has a micro-USB port on the top. (There’s also a headphone jack, volume slider and on/off switch, if you’re curious.) I guess having bizarre battery requirements that run counter to everything you’re accustomed to is part of the authentic Game Gear experience? The original did need six AA batteries to run for three hours, after all.
Based on what I can tell from the product listings on Sega’s official store, it seems that Game Gear Micros will be sold individually for 4,980 yen (about $46), or as a bundle with all four at 21,912 yen, which is just a hair over $200. This kinda seems like a lot to ask for what this thing is, but hey, if you pre-order the full bundle it comes with a tiny replica of the Game Gear’s iconic Super Wide Gear magnifying attachment, which used the magic of refracted light to make the original console’s tiny screen somewhat easier to look at.