What just happened? To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Sega is releasing another miniature version of one of its classic consoles. Surprisingly, the device is a reimagining of the company’s 8-bit handheld Game Gear system, and it’s absolutely tiny.
The Game Gear Micro arrives in Japan on October 8, where it will cost 4,980 yen (around $45 - $50). As you can see in the photos, the screen is comically small, measuring just 1.15 inches. If, however, you preorder all four versions of the handsets at once, a replica of the original Game Gear’s Big Window Micro lens accessory will be included, making the display easier to see for those without magnifying glasses for eyes.
The entire console is just 80mm x 43mm x 20mm, making it easy to lose down the sofa. As for what games it plays, that depends on your choice of color. Each Game Gear Micro comes with four preinstalled titles: Black will get you get you Sonic, Out Run, Royal Stone, and Puyo Puyo Tsu; blue has Sonic & Tails, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale, and Baku Baku Animal; red includes Game Gear Shinobi, Columns, and the two Megami Tensei Gaiden games, while yellow comes with Shining Force, Shining Force II, Shining Force: Final Conflict, and Nazo Puyo Aruru no Ru.
Other specs of the Game Gear Micro include a single mono speaker and a headphone jack. You can charge it via USB, though it also runs off two AAA batteries, and users can save their progression in games, thankfully.
Several gaming companies have released miniature ‘classic editions’ of their beloved retro consoles. Nintendo’s NES and SNES Classics were both a huge success, while Sony’s PlayStation Classic failed to impress and saw its price drop from $100 to $24.99 in the space of a few months. Sega has been here before, too; it’s Genesis Mini gained excellent reviews, with some calling it the best classic edition console to date.
It’s a shame Sega didn’t decide to bring out a miniature version of the brilliant Dreamcast for its anniversary. With that tiny screen, it seems the Game Gear Micro will appeal more to collectors than fans of retro games. If you do want one and live outside of Japan, prepare for disappointment: there's no mention of the console getting a Western release.