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View Full Version : Gamegear vs. Gameboy...



Tanegashima
07-05-2008, 10:47 PM
Does anyone else feel like sega left the handheld war too soon? I remember the Gamegear was really starting to pick up right when sega abandoned it. I knew more and more people were switching to the Game gear, more people around where I lived started buying more and more games for it...then it just went away.

I know Nintendo has been ingenious about handling it's handheld market, but I really feel like Sega, once again, kinda gave up just as they were gaining ground. Had they stuck to it, at least when it was around when I was a kid, I felt at the time Sega was really starting to inch their way to unseating the Gameboy.

By the time they stopped supporting the game gear, most of my friends who could afford game gears had them, yet more friends wanted them. I wanted one, but alas didn't achieve that goal till later...

Sega seems like they had so many ideas, pursued them all but never really committed themselves to anything other than the Genesis. such a shame...

Mr. Ksoft
07-05-2008, 11:14 PM
I became conscious of the video game market after the GG's "official" departure, although before Majesco stopped selling the core GG, so I can't really make input on their choices then...
However, I think Sega could probably have done something good with the GG. Seeing as it was running on 1990 technology, those 6 or 7 years down the road when they killed it they could probably have released a smaller model instead with better battery life. That alone probably would have moved a ton of GGs. I have my Core model right here, but I never really play it because it is uncomfortable to hold. Well, that and because I only have 4 games, but mostly the former. The battery life is only not a problem because I have an AC adapter, but I'd imagine in an actual setting where you took one places it would be pretty miserable and bad for your wallet to keep replacing those 6 AAs.

If Sega could've fixed those two major problems they could have easily had a fighting chance IMHO. I still think it was technically superior or at least would have been on a level playing field with the Game Boy Color if they had been on the market at the same time.

Iron Lizard
07-05-2008, 11:42 PM
Battery life was horrible on the Game Gear. What good is is if can't play it on the go. The Game Boy was stomped by the Color or of the Gamer Gear but the Batteries lasted forever for the Gameboy. I remember a road trip form Tucson,Az to Riverside ,Ca when I was 13. I had bought 30 AAs. I went through them all before i even got there. I should have bought a Car Adapter instead. I ended selling a year later which normally would have been an unthinkable sin at that age but the battery life made it useless.

tomaitheous
07-06-2008, 12:52 AM
Gameboy color lasted until what, 2000? 2001? Sega should have revamped the GG for better battery life and screen just like nintendo a few times with the GB line. Considering all the handheld technology was before GBA, GG could have easily held it's own until then.

playgen
07-06-2008, 02:17 AM
Agreed with above posters, Sega could have done well with Game Gear if they updated the hardware. Hell they could even have competed with Gameboy Advance if they just made a smaller GG with recharegeable battery that lasted a long time and a modern screen, and sold it for a budget price - both hardware and games. Afterall the GBA had a lot of success with old Nes and Snes titles being re-released on it. Having the 8-bit Sonic games, Shinobi's and all the other hundreds of ready made games avaliable cheaply on an updated GG system could have been a great alternative.

j_factor
07-06-2008, 03:55 AM
I think this might be our first unanimous thread! Sega definitely could have kept the Game Gear going, as it was an overall success for them, and would have been pretty easy to maintain. Also, since Sega of Japan was pretty much neglecting it, the redesigned system would have been done by Sega of America, who really seemed to be itching to do a hardware design and release it. The Game Gear actually has some advantages over the Game Boy Color (which was ridiculously low tech for its time) and could have held its own, although I don't know what that would have meant for the Neo Geo Pocket Color.

Although, it needs to be said that the GG's death occurred at a time of general decline of portable systems. Lynx had already died, Virtual Boy was DOA, and the Nomad was essentially a novelty. Nintendo had released the Game Boy Pocket, but new Game Boy games were few and far between. The original release of Pokemon pretty much revived a dead market, and by then GG was too dead to come back. Let's not even talk about how horribly mismanaged (and incredibly unpopular) the system was in Japan.

I've heard that when the new portables were being announced (Neo Geo Pocket, Wonderswan, GBC), Sega declined to create a new portable system because of their pending merger with Bandai, which would have them inherit the Wonderswan (Bandai's exit from the console market may also have been related to the proposed merger). It would have been very interesting if that merger had happened. We would have seen the Wonderswan Color in the US and Europe, backed by Sega games as well as Bandai, Square, Namco and others. And Dreamcast would have heavily benefitted in Japan from having all of Bandai's console games exclusively.

TmEE
07-06-2008, 04:33 AM
Game Gear is such a brick compared to Gameboy, but with nice screen with backlight, not as good sound, and much more comfortable to hold... Batteries are drained with the back light of GG... a VERY bright fluorescent tube inside it (take it out and GG lasts for quite a long time, but since the screen is meant to have backlight, you won't see anything without it :( ).

108 Stars
07-06-2008, 05:35 AM
Well, the GGs problem was that third parties did not support it much anymore. With the SMS death the whole idea of doing basically one game and being able to sell it for two systems was gone, and the GG alone seemed not attractive enough...

But I also think a redesign would have helped. By 1997 Sega could have made it smaller and with less battery-killing; probably it would even have been cheaper than the antique brick. Doing so and investing a bit in marketing might have gotten developers to support it more too.
With the GameBoy getting a relaunch as GB Color in 1998, it would have been a good chance to start over...GBC breathed some new life into the GB-market, and the same effect could have been there for GG.

Longer battery life would have motivated developers to widen the genres found on GG too; the system was just not very well suited for RPGs or adventuresque gaming; so most gamers who wanted that chose the GB. But with longer battery life this would have changed...

probablee
07-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Ditto for the point Game Gear could have lasted if it was re-issued as a smaller, lighter model. I've only ever played ports of Game Gear games, but the squeaky screechy sound effects kill my ears. :( I'd actually buy a Game Gear as a curio, like I did with my Wonderswan (another Japan-only handheld that died around the Minellium).

Benjamin
07-06-2008, 11:45 AM
I think it's for the best that Sega bowed out as the technology just wasn't there. If the company were to retool a smaller version to compete with the GBA once technology caught up, Sega would still be fighting against that gorilla GameBoy brand. It's a lost battle. Maybe if Sega included TV/radio capability standard it could draw numbers to it, but then the added functionality would likely drive up costs as well and risk pricing itself out of the market again.

Phantar
07-06-2008, 12:10 PM
A Gameboy Advance SP walks into a bar, and the bartender says: "Why the backlit screen"?

:p

Black_Tiger
07-06-2008, 01:50 PM
Well, the GGs problem was that third parties did not support it much anymore. With the SMS death the whole idea of doing basically one game and being able to sell it for two systems was gone, and the GG alone seemed not attractive enough...

I think that if Sega could've gotten the rights to (almost) every SMS game released worldwide then that alone would've been enough software support for it.

But yeah a redesign would've been a good idea, better sooner than later. I'd rather play Game Gear games on a decent screen than Neo Geo Pocket or Wonderswan(b&w).

GohanX
07-06-2008, 02:44 PM
I was actually pretty ready for the Game Gear to die when it did, however I was hoping that Sega's portable resources would go to really pushing the Nomad. The home console divisions would work on Saturn stuff, but the portable divisions would continue to make portable Genesis games. Alas, it did not happen.

I was playing my Game Gear some today, that screen makes me weep. I think I'd rather actually play it emulated on the DS than play the real deal.

mick_aka
07-06-2008, 04:19 PM
I was always hoping for a new handheld from Sega around the late Saturn/early Dreamcast era.
As a GameGear owner back in the day I was always annoyed by the almost total lack of original titles for it, they bulky design (how the hell did small kids hold these things?!) and spending money all the time on batteries.

I have far too many memories of buying hidiously expensive batteries at train stations and other such places to keep my damn gamegear going.

5 hour battery life my ass!

MrMatthews
09-12-2008, 12:43 AM
At one point I owned both a Gameboy and a Game Gear. Although I loved the fact that the Game Gear had that backlit color screen, the fact that it sucked through batteries faster than I could suck through a watermelon slurpee was incredibly irritating.

Add that to the fact that the Gameboy simply had better games.

j_factor
09-12-2008, 01:17 AM
I was never all that impressed with the Game Boy library myself. Maybe that's because I don't really have any sentimental attachment to it -- GB was my third portable system, after Lynx and Game Gear. Good Game Boy games were a rarity to me; most of it seemed to be shovelware and bad ports. I usually played my Game Boy games on a Super Game Boy because the screen was just too shitty.

17daysolderthannes
09-12-2008, 02:14 AM
Battery life was horrible on the Game Gear. What good is is if can't play it on the go. The Game Boy was stomped by the Color or of the Gamer Gear but the Batteries lasted forever for the Gameboy. I remember a road trip form Tucson,Az to Riverside ,Ca when I was 13. I had bought 30 AAs. I went through them all before i even got there. I should have bought a Car Adapter instead. I ended selling a year later which normally would have been an unthinkable sin at that age but the battery life made it useless.

people complain about battery life all the time, but all you had to do was buy the battery pack. I can't think of any situation where I would run out the battery pack and not be in a position to use an AC or DC adapter. Sure, its a little added mess (which is why I kept everything in a convenient carry case), but its worth it. Shit, Gameboy was boring after 10 minutes, I never would've run out of batteries on it anyway because staring out of the window would've been more fun.

Iron Lizard
09-12-2008, 02:21 AM
Umm yeah I posted that in July.

17daysolderthannes
09-12-2008, 02:53 AM
Umm yeah I posted that in July.

I don't care :end::horse::chewie::fail::t:

Iron Lizard
09-12-2008, 03:14 AM
You never do and nor do I.

esb09
09-12-2008, 12:00 PM
Sega should have released a smaller Game Gear with a much better battery life around 1994 or so and they could have stayed in longer.

The original Game Boy would have been dead by 1995 were it not for Pokemon.

Another thing, Sega games on Game Gear seemed to be just stripped down versions of the Genesis games, whereas Nintendo games on Game Boy were actually original games and not just a re-hash of say, Super Mario World except in pea-soup green with gimped sound.

16-bit
09-12-2008, 06:22 PM
I think that they should have done some hardware revisions, I mean, the game gear did take six batteries, but remember people, the original gameboy took four, and that's still quite a bit.

I think that by the time the Gameboy Pocket came out they could have easily made the technology in the game gear smaller.

Iron Lizard
09-12-2008, 06:26 PM
The four lasted way longer then the six though.

dragonboy
09-12-2008, 08:18 PM
Sonic didn't look the same on the Game Gear while Mario and Kirby and Donkey Kong all looked the same art style as their big brothers Nes and Snes games. I'm not talking about the graphic quality, but I'm talking about the graphics style. Although Treasure's games looked the same on both console and handheld Sega systems.

MrMatthews
09-12-2008, 10:43 PM
At one time, my Game Boy was my most prized possession. I had tons of *good* games for it. But for the life of me, I don't know how the hell I was able to see through that screen, especially with the motion blur

dragonboy
09-12-2008, 11:27 PM
GameBoy was my first system, and despite the low specs, the graphics still don't look that bad to me, except that it was so easily for the screen to have a glare.

People say the GameBoy had graphics that were similar to the Atari, but to me GameBoy looks better than Nes.

Iron Lizard
09-12-2008, 11:30 PM
I think often they did look better then the Nes.

17daysolderthannes
09-13-2008, 12:07 AM
Sonic didn't look the same on the Game Gear

the original Sonic looked near identical to the Genesis version, though the remaining Sonic games did look very different (and weren't as fun either). That's why the only Sonic game I really play on Game Gear is the original one. And on that note, IMO Sonic 1 for game gear is one of the best Sonic games ever made. The music was actually composed by the the same guy that did Streets of Rage.

j_factor
09-13-2008, 03:30 AM
I though Sonic Triple Trouble was spot-on, and by far the best of the GG Sonics.

TmEE
09-13-2008, 04:38 AM
Sonic1 and 2 on SMS/GG are better than MD Sonic1 and 2.....

Phantar
09-13-2008, 08:54 AM
Back in the day, I had a gameboy, while two friends of mine had a Sega Game Gear and an Atari Lynx, respectively.
We had lots of opportunity to compare the units. The Game Gear definitely got bonus points for the TV-module that could be attached - so it won in the field of extras. TEchinically, we were impressed by some of the games on the Lynx. My friend liked it especially because he was left-handed and it could be switched around for left-hand mode.

But in the end, the gameboy was more fun. It just handled better, and while it was only black&white, back then it worked in its favor because you could sometimes hardly make out what was going on in those old color screens.

tomaitheous
09-13-2008, 10:40 AM
Sonic1 and 2 on SMS/GG are better than MD Sonic1 and 2.....

:o

playgen
09-13-2008, 10:52 AM
Sonic 1 on sms is easily a match for the megadrive game, SMS Sonic 2 however isn't anywhere near as good sadly. This is not opinion, it is pure fact!

Jeckidy
10-03-2008, 05:50 AM
The original Gameboy games were great in their time, but now alot of them seem dated and too short. GBC improved on that a bit, although it had a tendency to look rather ugly, as well. There were great games on both consoles, but I don't find many of the older GB/GBC games compelling enough to keep playing after finishing them, if I even get that far, with a few exceptions.
I had a GG once, but my mom broke it. I would never buy one again, simply because of the battery issue and how bulky it was. I'd rather emulate it on PSP or DS. But the games on it are OK.
Between the 3 gameboys, I prefer GBA, but I'm not diehard about it (I use it to play puzzle games, some RPGs, Pokemon, and similar games, mostly).
As far as color handhelds go, I prefer the Neo Geo Pocket Color. It's library is short, but sweet. There are very few bad games on it, just some better than others. To a lesser extent I also like the Bandai Wonderswan, but the NGPC takes the cake.

Dirt Ball Gamer
10-03-2008, 06:08 AM
The GG had an Aleste shooter for it, that alone makes it better than the GB. There is a portable turbographix 16 if im not mistaken, but that is probably better to compare to the nomad.

PSP and DS can do emulation? That alone would actually make an old school stalwart like myself consider purchasing it.

I guess there is a new model of the nintendo ds coming out called the DSI. Its the same but 12% thinner and without gameboy advance compatability and it comes with a camera function.

Jeckidy
10-03-2008, 06:22 AM
The GG had an Aleste shooter for it, that alone makes it better than the GB. There is a portable turbographix 16 if im not mistaken, but that is probably better to compare to the nomad.

PSP and DS can do emulation? That alone would actually make an old school stalwart like myself consider purchasing it.

Yup. I'm thinking of getting both. My nephew has a PSP and despite the flack it gets in some circles, I find it to be pretty nice. Both PSP and DS will run the emulators available for them online. And PSP, being a Playstation offshoot, has the advantage of being able to run PS1 games on the spot (provided they're converted to the right format), since it has a built in PS1 emulator initially integrated to make porting older PSX titles easier for developers.


I guess there is a new model of the nintendo ds coming out called the DSI. Its the same but 12% thinner and without gameboy advance compatability and it comes with a camera function.

I didn't hear about this yet. Kind of disappointing to watch the GBA compatibility thrown out, but I do enjoy the advantage of being more compact. That's why I like handhelds, but this DSI might just end up being another Gameboy Micro.