Finally acknowledging that the original Game Gear was a hefty beast as far as handhelds go, Sega has just released details on its latest throwback console: a miniature version of the Game Gear that’s reminiscent of Nintendo’s Game Boy Micro. It’s tiny, but even Sega wonders if it’s too tiny, given the company will also be selling a screen magnifier accessory for its 1.15-inch screen.
There’s no shortage of miniaturised throwback consoles out there to help scratch your retro gaming itches, but the Sega clones have typically been disappointing at best, and frustrating at worst. That changed last summer when Sega itself released a mini Sega Genesis that delivered an experience on par with Nintendo’s excellent NES and SNES Classic Edition consoles. So there’s good reason to be excited for the new Game Gear Micro, which dramatically reduces the footprint of one of the original colour screen portables to a handheld that’s just a few inches in size.
With a price tag of around $65 each (official pricing is listed at 4,980 yen given the Game Gear Micro will only be available in Japan at launch) when it arrives on October 6, it’s priced cheap enough to fly off shelves, unless you want more than four games. At launch the Game Gear Micro will be available in four colours: classic black, blue, yellow, and red, but each one will include four different games from the original Game Gear catalogue like Sonic, Gunstar Heroes, and Out Run.
If you’re itching to play all 16 games, in glorious 240×180 pixels, you’ll need to buy all four colours. But Sega is making that easier with a $290 (21,912 yen) multi-pack that includes a clunky snap-on screen magnifier reminiscent of the hundreds of awful accessories designed to improve the original Nintendo Game Boy experience. As much as this feels like a console designed to appeal to Game Gear fans, Sega’s approach feels a little cash-grabby as all 16 games could have easily been included on a single console.
There’s also no word on if or when the Game Gear Micro will be made available outside of Japan, or if global gamers will have to pay a premium to import the hardware overseas. Paying more than $65 for a collection of just four games that, and let’s be honest here, weren’t the most compelling titles even 30 years ago, is a harder sell. But at least Sega delivered something to fans for the Game Gear’s 30th anniversary — we’re still waiting for the Game Boy Classic Edition which never arrived for its 30th birthday.