Game Gear

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Platform - GG.png
Game Gear
Game Gear - 01.png
Released: 1990-10-06
Discontinued: 1997, 2000
Developer: Sega
Type: Hardware

The Sega Game Gear was a fourth-generation handheld console by Sega. It was originally released in Japan in 1990 and released in North America and Europe a year later. Australia received the Game Gear in 1992. The Game Gear was to compete with Nintendo's Game Boy. While it had the advantage over the Game Boy of a bigger and backlit screen and color graphics, it was much larger than the Game Boy, making it harder to carry around, it had inferior sound, and while the Game Boy used four AA batteries that lasted a long time, the Game Gear used a whopping six AA batteries that didn't last as long.

Hardware-wise, the Game Gear was identical to the Sega Master System, and as a result, many games for the Master System were also released on the Game Gear. It also means that by using an adapter, Master System games can be played on the Game Gear.

Just like the Game Boy, the Game Gear was region free, so players from different countries could play each other's games.

The Game Gear was discontinued in 1997. However, Majesco re-released the Game Gear in 2000, but discontinued that same year.


Music and Sound

Because the Game Gear and Master System have very similar specifications, it inherits the Master System's VDP PSG (which is a clone of the TI SN76489), but it has been upgraded to be capable of stereo sound, functionally identical to that of the Game Boy's stereo capabilities. However, this upgrade also makes software using the Game Gear's stereo software incompatible with the original TI SN76489 models and the SMS VDP variant. Rather unfortunately, the "inherited" PSG retains the same flaws of its predecessors, meaning that Game Gear tunes often sound "empty" compared to songs on the Game Boy.