Sega has announced the Game Gear Micro, a miniaturized version of the company’s handheld console from the ‘90s. The system comes in four different colors, all with different games, and is being sold to Japanese audiences for roughly the equivalent of $50 each.
The mini console is tiny, just 80 mm wide and 43 mm high. Even in the trailer, it looks frankly uncomfortable, both to hold and to squint at the one-inch screen. Adding to the confusion, there are four different versions, with each one containing just four different Game Gear titles.
The black model contains Sonic the Hedgehog, Puyo Puyo 2, Out Run and Royal Stone. The blue model contains Sonic Chaos, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale and Baku Baku Animal. The yellow model contains Shining Force Gaiden, Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya, Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict and Nazo Puyo: Arle no Ru. Finally, the red model has Revelations: The Demon Slayer, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special, The G.G. Shinobi and Columns.
This bizarre concept follows the relative success of 2019’s Sega Genesis Mini, a similarly shrunken version of the late ‘80s console with 42 games from the era ready to play. Nostalgia was obviously a huge part of why it saw successful sales, but it also had a rich library of games from the era that were able to play easily and authentically.
The Game Gear, on the other hand, never really reached the same audience. Meant to be a direct competitor to Nintendo’s Game Boy, the more expensive price and smaller selection of games led it to sell just over 10 million units in its lifetime, peanuts compared to the Game Boy’s nearly 70 million sales. As such, it’s unclear how large the market is for a nostalgic collection of Game Gear games, and that’s likely why the Game Gear Micro is only being sold in Japan for the time being.
To top it all off, having four different versions for nearly $50 each with only four games each is just… ludicrous. Either Sega knows Japan has insatiable appetite for Game Gear games, or they’re dangerously cocky after the success of the Genesis Mini.
If you buy all four versions, for the equivalent of roughly $200 (the price of a Nintendo Switch Lite, by the way), Sega will throw in a “Big Window Micro,” essentially a magnifying glass set over the screen to enlarge the frame. It’s reminiscent of screen magnifiers sold for the original Game Boy, but if it’s necessary for Sega to make this, maybe that says something about its design not being great.
This entire presentation is baffling, but there are inevitably people who will buy it in Japan and likely import it from other countries. At the very least, it’s a cute-looking design that could look appealing to collectors. How many people will actually play games on the tiny things, however, remains to be seen.
All four versions of the Game Gear Micro launch October 6 in Japan.