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Thoughts about the Genesis Nomad

May 31, 1998

In October 1995 Sega quietly released a new portable video game system: the Genesis Nomad. I bought it right away because I was looking forward to it, and because I didn't have access to my other Genesis at the time. My first impression was that it looked just like the Game Gear. I was kind of disappointed because I wished the screen didn't look as blurry, but it was less blurry than the Game Gear, so I bought it anyway.

The first game that graced by Nomad was Phantasy Star IV, my favorite RPG of all time. While some people said that the text is hard to read on the Nomad, I didn't have that feeling at all. As a matter of fact, the game seemed to have a higher resolution and more colors just because the screen was so small. I did notice that the background looked blurry as the characters moved across the town, but I have already seen that in the store.

Suddenly, after playing for about two and a half hours, the batteries died. I then realized that I could end up spending a fortune in batteries for the unit, so I went out and bought an AC adapter for it. Eventually, when I wanted to take it out on a trip, I bought a set of rechargeable alkaline batteries for it. I thought the Sega rechargeable battery pack was overpriced. Now I'm not so sure. The batteries worked fine for a while. However, after recharging them over an over, they began lasting less and less before they died. Now they last less than half an hour. I will have to buy new ones next time I go on a trip.

Speaking about taking them with me on trips, I love doing that and "showing off" my Nomad. I have played it on restaurants, airports, buses, and school. When my friends see it, they always say the same things: 1): What a great screen! 2): It plays "normal" games! I didn't know this existed! And 3): I want to buy one! How much does it cost?

This all leads me to the fact that Sega created a great product with the Nomad, which didn't succeed mainly because Sega didn't know how to market it. Actually, the price was rather high at the beginning, but there is not much Sega could've done at the time. The screen really bought the price up.

However, if you are a hardcore gamer like me, and even better, you already have the games for it (also, like me), it's a great portable to have. In my opinion, it's the best portable game system ever released. I never understood why would anyone buy a Game Boy. It only has four shades of gray, and the screen is very blurry. Of course, millions of people proved me wrong. You see, that's the way to market a portable system; the way Nintendo does.


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