Word’s been going around for a while that Sega’s had some big news planned for this week, and it’s leading with the announcement of a very small console – the Game Gear Micro, coming out in four variants in Japan to mark the 30th anniversary of Sega’s only dedicated portable system.
Due out on October 6th (in Japan only for now – we’ve yet to hear about plans for a western release, and given how eccentric this diminutive machine is we’d be surprised to hear any), the four variants each come with their own four games, meaning you’ll have to collect all four to get the entire catalogue.
It’s a decent list, though, with developer Ancient’s take on Sonic the Hedgehog – for my money one of the very best Sonic games – leading the way on the black version of the Game Gear Micro, alongside Puyo Puyotsu, Outrun and Royal Stone (known as Crystal Warriors in the west). The yellow edition is something of a Shining Force special, with three of Sega’s RPGs being bundled with Nazo Puyo: Arle no Roux, a puzzle/RPG hybrid.
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There’s an Atlus special with the red edition giving us two Megami Tensei games alongside GG Shinobi and Columns, while the final variant offers up Sonic and Tails, the incredible puzzler Baku Baku Animal and Sylvan Tail alongside the Game Gear port of Gunstar Heroes.
Which adds some neat symmetry to the Game Gear Micro, as that version of Gunstar Heroes helped put developer M2 on the map, and it’s M2 that’s overlooking this device, just as it did with the Mega Drive Mini.
This is a quirkier device, with a screen that’s a mere one-inch wide (there’ll be a magnifier accessory available, but I sort of wish they’d made the screen a decent size to begin with). Still, the Game Gear Micro does trump its predecessor in potentially offering up to three hours battery life from two AAA batteries, quite some improvement over the one hour from six AA batteries the original Game Gear provided. It’s priced at 4980 yen – which roughly translates as just under 40 quid.
That’s not the only Sega news that’s being revealed as part of the company’s 60th anniversary celebrations. You might have heard word of a big reveal in this week’s Famitsu, and while details are now out there it looks to be a Japan-centric announcement as Sega unveils its ‘fog computing’ platform that will provide a spin on cloud gaming for Japanese arcade centres.