Friday, January 21, 2011

SEGA Genesis Nomad

You'd think that following the unspectacular performance of the Game Gear,  Sega would have learned that huge, expensive, battery hungry handhelds based on pre-existing consoles don't that well. Apparently Sega didn't. They went on and released an even huger -though admittedly beautiful- console, that was big enough to play proper Genesis cartridges and powerfull enough to drain its batteries in a couple or so hours: the SEGA Nomad. It was of course a flop, but also a lovely little thing for us retro gamers and collectors.

You can bid on said handheld via this Genesis Nomad eBay auction. Seller ships worldwide and is including a Nomad carrying case and three games (Flashback, RoboCop vs. Terminator and Sonic & Knuckles). Expect to pay quite a bit more than 100$.


  1. Of course it was a flop (how couldn't, given the crappy screen, the ludicrous battery consumption and the lack of an european release?), but somehow it's more appreciated than Game Gear, albeit the new portable Megadrive by Blaze is both better and cheaper. Still, a great collector's item, and a fascinating machine nonetheless.

  2. Once again we fully agree dear Mik! Now to have a look at Balze's offering

  3. The crazy thing is that three other colour handhelds had gone up against the Gameboy - the TurboExpress, Atari Lynx and Game Gear - and all of them failed to take it on in significant numbers. And one of those machines was Sega's own! Whether they intended the Nomad to be a direct competitor to Nintendo's portable is doubtful, but I suspect most people would have seen it that way.

    Who wants a handheld where the batteries are dead in a couple of hours anyway? The Game Gear was an 8bit machine and it chewed through batteries. Making a 16bit handheld makes even less sense.

    Sega made some weird decisions back then. The Nomad was another of them.

  4. Indeed dear Bob. Sega's decisions throughout the nineties made little sense. 32X, Sega (Mega) CD, Saturn... They all more or less flopped before they were even released.

    Mind you, the Atari Lynx remains the best handheld ever, despite forcing you to play it next to an electrical outlet. :)

  5. Sadly true, Gnome. Sega of Japan seemed to have little idea of what was doing well in other territories. Despite the Genesis still selling well in the States, because it had flopped in Japan (3rd place behind SFC and PC Engine), they ordered development stop worldwide in order to concentrate on the Saturn - even though the Genesis and European Megadrive still had a couple of years left in them and Sega America had just unveiled the 32X, which was a head start over the competition.

    a lot of gamers blame the PS2 for killing of Sega in the hardware market. I think the truth is somewhat closer to Sega sabotaging themselves without even realising.

    And yeah, the Lynx was a great machine. Very advanced for it's time. I'd love to see a Lynx Greatest Hits for the PSP, say. Shame the modern Atari seem to only be interested in revisiting their 2600 heritage.

  6. And let's not forget the fact that the Megadrive was Sega's second (in a row, that is) popular console in Europe. They really should have done better. Anyway. On to the Lynx...

    DAMN! It can't even be emulated properly on the Wiz either. Oh, well, guess I'll stick to playing its games home. A Lynx compilation would be an excellent idea.