|Official Gadgeteer Hands On |
Review: Sega Nomad
by David Lection
Last date revised: 03/25/99
Do you like handheld computer gaming? Do you have a large inventory of
Sega Genesis games? if the answers to these questions is
yes, then you
may just want to head on down to your local Toys R Us and pick up a Sega
Nomad before they sell out at just 99.95!
While Nintendo decided they wanted you to play gameboy games on your TV,
Sega decided the opposite. Sega introduced the Nomad, a neat portable
gaming device that plays all Sega Genesis game cartridges.
The machine is about the size of the Sega game gear, perhaps slightly
smaller, but deeper. The unit features a 2" x 2-1/2" backlit LCD screen.
The screen, while small, is backlight and very sharp with rich colors.
It is a new experience to see Sonic on such a small screen! The machine
also includes an integrated game controller including a T pad on the
left of the display and a bank of six buttons, X, Y, Z and the familiar
A, B, and C buttons on the right.
The machine also features a mono speaker, volume and brightness
controls, and an additional port to connect an external Sega controller.
This controller is always the second controller for two player games.
Frankly, with the screen the size of the Nomand it is not practical to
play a two person game using the built in display. Fortunately Sega also
built in a jack to connect the Nomad to your TV. This is a nice feature
for the mobile folks in the crowd who need gaming on the road. You can
pack a couple Sega games and play them at home, on the road, and even on
the TV at Grandma’s house. Great versatility.
A rather flimsy battery pack which requires 6 AA batteries snaps on the
back of the unit. When playing it is sometimes easy to knock the battery
pack right off the machine!
Sega also offers a rechargeable battery kit. The cost is prohibitive at
$64.95, but if you think you’ll play your Nomad a lot, it may be worth
it. You’ll typically get 1-2 hours max out of a set of alkaline
batteries. This unit literally eats batteries!
Playing the Nomad is fun! Being able to play it anytime, anywhere adds
to the fun. Even with the caveats noted the allure and utility of the
machine cannot be understated.
So if you have several genesis games in your inventory, and the need for
mobile gaming the Nomad is for you!
Screen Readability: B
Audio Support: C
Battery Life: D
Overall Rating: C+