So some time ago (June 2nd, 2020) Sega announced the Game Gear Micro as part of their 60th Anniversary. Reading about it, I had mainly one question to myself… “why?”
As an owner of the original system in the 90s (don’t have it anymore since the screen sadly stopped working after a few years), when I saw the headline I was still hopeful that this might be something interesting for me. But the more I read about it, the more disappointed I became and that’s all independent of the fact that this is so far only announced for a release in Japan. Even a western release will not improve my overall opinion on it and that’s a real shame to me…
So let’s go through some points on this Game Gear Micro and what I think about them.
This one is the most obvious problem I would say. Given the promotional images alone, it looked even smaller than the Game Boy Micro, which was confirmed by the data given on the website (just 80mm by 43mm compared to the 101mm by 50mm of the Game Boy Micro). This makes handling the controls (d-pad, 2 primary buttons and the start button) pretty difficult I would imagine. Besides that the display is also minuscule, just about 1.1 inches small. The preorder version that includes all four variations of the Game Gear Micro also ships with a magnifying glass (ironically called Big Window Micro) as a bonus. This makes the system look absolutely comical (well, even more…), but seems to be vital if you want to play games on the device any significant length of time without straining your eyes. I can’t imagine the text in the games (which is pretty important in some of the shipped titles) being all that readable without the magnifying glass either.
There are four color variations of the Game Gear Micro, each of them cost around 45$ / 40€ converted from the 4980 Yen asking price. Additionally there is a four-pack that also includes the previously mentioned Big Window Micro which costs around 250$ / 220€. Given the miniature size those prices aren’t great already, but then there’s the fact that each of the color versions only comes with 4 games (each color has a different bundle so that makes 16 games if you get all 4 colors)! Apparently people still bought them (the Play Asia preorders were sold out when I last had a look), so I wish those people all the best, but I’ll pass on the offer.
This is where we get to an interesting aspect, though not necessarily a good one. While the amount of games is just about as small as the system (only 4 games per color variant), at least the selection of games is nice. Even though the limited selection means that a lot of the better titles released for the Game Gear are nowhere to be found, several of the games they selected for the Micro never had a western release previously. If this system ever got a western release and the titles were translated, that would at least give them an official translation at last (though most if not all of them have fan translations at this point). For me the most interesting unit out of the four is the yellow one, with all three Shining Force games that ever made it to the system back in the day (one of which never got an official English release).
Another reason this is disappointing to me is that chances of getting a “regular” Game Gear Classic/Mini, similar to the Genesis Mini with a nice selection of games, a comfortable size and possibly the option to connect it to a TV… have become very unlikely if this is what Sega thinks is best for their 60th Anniversary.
If they would have done something like that, I would have jumped on it if the price was similar to the Genesis Mini. Having the opportunity to replay some of the titles I enjoyed so much back in the days and even playing stuff that I missed out on, like Crystal Warriors, the Shining Force titles or the second Shinobi game would have been great. But alas, it seems I will have to resort to other alternatives for that. Oh well…