More color, at the cost of eating all of your batteries!

The Sega Game Gear (ゲームギア Gēmu Gia) is an 8-bit handheld game console released by Sega on October 6, 1990 in Japan, 1991 in North America and Europe, and Australia in 1992. The Game Gear primarily competed with Nintendo's Game Boy, the Atari Lynx and NEC's TurboExpress. The system was discontinued in 1997.

The Game Gear's main selling point was its full-colored backlit screen, compared to the Game Boy's grayscale unlit screen.

Why it Flopped

  1. The colored backlit screen forced the Game Gear to require 6 AA Batteries, it also drained them in around 3-5 hours.
  2. It was very expensive for a handheld at $150. This because the colored screen again made them more expensive to manufacture.
  3. It's rather big and bulky, making it difficult to carry around.
  4. Too many accessories.
  5. Master System games and ports of it tend to suffer screen crunch, making it hard to see where you're going.
  6. The screen is somewhat blurry and worsens over time.
  7. Many units were manufactured with faulty parts, causing them to have poor video quality or no sound. This can be fixed by replacing the broken pieces though.
  8. It attempted to make itsef look cooler than the Game Boy by mocking the Game Boy's colorless screen, yet the Game Boy was a huge success while the Game Gear failed. The commercial featured a dead squirrel.
  9. It lacked a "killer app" game such as Game Boy's Pokémon to encourage gamers to buy it.
  10. Limited third-party support, giving it a weaker game library than the Game Boy's. Most of its games were made by Sega.

Redeming Qualities

  1. Most of the games are actually good. Many are available in Nintendo's 3DS E-Shop.
  2. You can play cartridge games from the Sega Master System using an adaptor, since the Game Gear is an updated Master System.
  3. Sega released an accesory to improve the battery life.
  4. You can play it on your TV with a modification.
  5. You can mod the console to replace the backlight screen with a different one that makes the battery life a lot better.


While the Game Gear sold a respectable 11 million units, it paled in comparasion to the Game Boy's 118 million. The release of Pokémon crushed any hopes the Game Gear had of competing, forcing Sega to discontinue it. The Game Gear's main selling point, the colored screen, ironically caused its demise, as gamers strongly disliked the terrible battery life. Because of this, Sega never released a successor to the Game Gear.


Sega Game Gear Commercial Starring Ethan Suplee and a dead squirrel00:27

Sega Game Gear Commercial Starring Ethan Suplee and a dead squirrel

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