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Thread: Gamegear vs. Gameboy...

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    Second Base = Best Base Raging in the Streets Tanegashima's Avatar
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    Default Gamegear vs. Gameboy...

    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...

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    Road Rasher Mr. Ksoft's Avatar
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    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.

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    Angry Liberal Arts Major Hero of Algol Iron Lizard's Avatar
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    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.

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    ding-doaw Raging in the Streets tomaitheous's Avatar
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    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.

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    Master of Shinobi playgen's Avatar
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    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.

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    I DON'T LIKE POKEMON Hero of Algol j_factor's Avatar
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    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.


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    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 ).
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    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...

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    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).

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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 108 Stars View Post
    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).

  13. #13
    The Best Genesis Master of Shinobi GohanX's Avatar
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    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.
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  14. #14
    Real Gamers Wear Monocles Master of Shinobi mick_aka's Avatar
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    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!


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    Rebel scum Shining Hero MrMatthews's Avatar
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    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.

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