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Game Gear

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Launched in 1990 in japan and in 1991 throughout the US and Europe, the Game Gear is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed as Sega’s competitor to the Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Gear featured a full-color screen offering 32 on-screen colors from a 4096 color palette, as well as a built-in backlight. The Game Boy at the time only offered an attachable lighting option and a black and white screen. The Game Gear also offered the Gear2Gear cable so that players could connect their devices, a Master Gear Adapter so that players could play their Master System games on the console as well, and a TV tuner so that users could watch TV on their consoles (this feature was discontinued after a legal dispute with the TV manufacturer).

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Launched in 1990 in japan and in 1991 throughout the US and Europe, the Game Gear is an 8-bit handheld video game device developed as Sega’s competitor to the Nintendo Game Boy. The Game Gear featured a full-color screen offering 32 on-screen colors from a 4096 color palette, as well as a built-in backlight. The Game Boy at the time only offered an attachable lighting option and a black and white screen. The Game Gear also offered the Gear2Gear cable so that players could connect their devices, a Master Gear Adapter so that players could play their Master System games on the console as well, and a TV tuner so that users could watch TV on their consoles (this feature was discontinued after a legal dispute with the TV manufacturer).

Despite the better screen quality and connection options, the Game Boy still outsold the Game Gear. The main reasons were the Game Gear’s much higher price point and much shorter battery life, both due to its technological innovations. The Game Gear was also not as pocket friendly as the smaller Game Boy. Sega officially ended support for the Game Gear in 1996 in Japan and in 1997 worldwide.

In 2001 Majesco purchased the rights to the console, releasing an updated version and some new games. The updated version was not compatible with the old Master Gear Adapter or the TV tuner, although a new Master System adapter was developed for it. 

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