Sega revealed the Game Gear Micro on June 3 to celebrate its 60th anniversary, and while the company made the excellent Sega Genesis Mini retro console in 2019, this next mini retro console misses the mark completely with a console so small you just might lose it instantly.
Instead of a Sega Saturn Mini, the company has developed an incredibly small Game Gear Micro. Its small size is novel at a first glance, but when we factor in that coupled with how few games come on each device, we can't help but wonder: What's the point?
Just how incredibly small is the Game Gear Micro? It has a 1.15-inch screen, which is significantly smaller than Sega's original system or any other retro console on the market. It will cost 4,980 yen in Japan which converts to roughly $45.74 in North America. The device will be released in Japan on October 6, 2020 and a North American release has not been confirmed at this time.
Unlike the Sega Genesis Mini, you don't get a vast collection of Game Gear classics either. This distribution method is much more unorthodox — and expensive.
The Gear Gear Micro comes in four different colors, and each of those versions has four different games on it.
The Black Game Gear Micro, which looks the most like the original, features Sonic the Hedgehog, Outrun, Royal Stone, and Puyo Puyo 2. The Blue version includes Sonic Chaos, Sylvan Tale, Gunstar Heroes, and Baku Baku Animal. The yellow variant sports Shini Force Gaiden: Ensei - Jashin no Kuni he, Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya, Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, and Nazopuyo Aruru no Ru, so it is definitely geared towards Japanese players the most. Finally, the red Game Gear Micro model has Columns, The GG Shinobi, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special, and Revelations: The Demon Slayer.
While these are all top-notch Sega games that are worth playing, they are split in odd ways across all four consoles, therefore incentivizing die-hard Game Gear fans to spend up to $200 for all four models just to play 16 games they might already own. And all that on an extremely 1.15-inch small screen that's even smaller than the original Game Boy. Seriously, even the Game Boy Micro has a bigger display.
All that to say nothing of the 80mm x 43mm x 20mm overall size that only people with small hands can enjoy.
A screen this small also won't be able to highlight the quality of the emulation that well, and reading the text in the RPGs will be difficult. When the whole system is smaller than the screen on the original console, you aren't showing the games off to their fullest anymore. To solve this issue, Sega is releasing a clunky-looking "Big Window" magnifying glass accessory that looks like a CRT. Still, this is just a peripheral that solves a problem that the Game Gear Micro didn't need to have. The attachment comes as part of a bundle costing 27,255 yen (~$250) that includes all four versions of the console.
Even then, players would probably prefer to at least have all of these 16 games available on one system with the colors being an optional choice, rather than having to buy all four in order to get the specific games you want.
The Game Gear is an underrated system with a lot of entertaining games on it, but this doesn't seem like the best way to pay respect to it for Sega's 60th anniversary. If Sega is bringing this stateside, it needs to rethink how they bundle and package this mini console, because right now it doesn't look like much more than an overpriced tiny novelty that will get frustrating to use very quickly.
Game Gear Micro will be released in Japan on October 6, 2020.