Heralded as the "Gameboy killer," Sega Game Gear was unveiled in 1990 with much fanfare. With its full color display and larger and vastly more comfortable controls, it was thought to be so undeniably superior to the Gameboy that it would catapult Sega over Nintendo as leader in the handheld wars. It was largely a miserable failure. That being said, Game Gear is a great handheld and you can buy it, as well as its accessories and games, for very little money.
- Finding places that sell the Game Gear. Sega ceased production of the Game Gear in 1997 (with a small production run by Majesco in 2000), so the odds of finding a brand new unit are slim to none. HOwever, you can still find one in very good to mint condition. For sheer numbers, Ebay and Amazon are your best bets. If you do not want to go the uncertain route of an auction or private sellers then you should use a reputable used video game shop such as EB Games or Game Stop. They may even offer a limited-time warranty for a small price. You could also conduct an online search for "Sega Game Gear" and check out what sites like Shopping.com and NexTag.com have to offer.
- Selecting your Game Gear. There are only three different types of Game Gears. The most widely produced, and therefore most available, is the standard black Game Gear. Also available are a blue Sports Edition and the limited units made by Majesco in 2000 (these have a purple start button and three grey ovals in the top left-hand corner of the unit as opposed to the white, green and blue ovals of the original Sega unit). They all play the same games and perform identically except for the Majesco, which cannot accept the TV tuner accessory (a very popular accessory for the original).
- Accessories. The Game Gear has a couple of cool and practical accessories. Foremost is the rechargeable battery pack. Visit: http://www.lik-sang.com/info.php?category=185&products_id=3150 for an example. The Game Gear is a notorious battery hog and this accessory will save you lots of cash. Second is the TV tuner -- just a UHF/VHF tuner, but it's a fun add-on. There are also screen magnifiers and cases, all of which can be found at the same places as the consoles for a low price.
- Pricing. The good thing about buying used game consoles/handhelds is that they usually come bundled with some games and accessories. The trick is to get the most bang for your buck, so start by looking for a seller who includes the most generous game collection. In this case, Ebay ends up being the best place to go. Most of the auctions start at $9.99 and end up going anywhere from $20 to $40 when a few games, a case and some type of accessory are included. The lower end of the price range might just indicate the Gae Gear is selling alone, but have no fear -- you can get games galore for under $5 each.
For an item that's been out of production for almost 10 years, Game Gears are prevalent and reasonably priced. Good luck!