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Sega Nomad: A Brief History

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Sega Nomad: Now, There Are No Limits


   After the Mega Jet, the unique so-called “handheld console” designed for airlines, was released by Sega, they quickly began working on the Sega Nomad.  Seeing success in the market of handheld consoles for other competitors in the market, Sega designed the Sega Nomad to compete with products like the Nintendo Gameboy.

   The Sega Nomad, unlike many other Sega products, was only released in North America and was never officially released world-wide.  Due to the timing of its release, the console had no titles packed-in itself, but utilized the library of over 500 Genesis titles.

   Due to a number of factors, the success of the Sega Nomad was limited.  Sega themselves, as a company, was overly focused on the marketing and development of the Sega Saturn, which left the Sega Nomad under-supported.  Additionally, many Genesis peripherals like the Power Base Converter and the Sega CD were incompatible with the Sega Nomad.

   Originally, Sega wanted to employee the relatively new technology of touch screens for the Sega Nomad.  However, because of the large price tag for this technology at this time, they stuck with more standard handheld console features.  The Nomad was officially released in North America in 1995.  According to insiders, Sega had little plans in place to market the Nomad, as five different consoles were being supported by the company at the time: Saturn, Genesis, Game Gear, Pico and Master System.  With Sega’s hopes that the Saturn would be more successful than Sony’s Playstation, Sega paid much of its attention to this product rather than marketing any of their other systems.  Many collectors attribute the fall of Sega as a first party producer to be the sheer number of systems they produced in a limited time frame along with the lack of real marketing for most of them.

   While the Sega Nomad does not have its own game library, it does enjoy over 500 games which are available for the Genesis/Mega Drive.  Additionally, the nomad is able to boot bootleg, unlicensed and home-brew games which have been created for the Genesis/Mega-Drive.

   The Sega Nomad was not particularly successful, and it landed the GamePro list of the 10 Worst-Selling Handhelds of All Time”.  The biggest contributors to its failure were poor timing in the market, inadequate advertising and bad battery life. 



Sega Nomad - Model: MK-6100


   Original Release - The only model of the nomad released by Sega.  This product could be plugged in or used wirelessly with 6 AA batteries.  You could also plug more than one nomad together for a two player game or hook it to the TV and play there.


  • Unit Lifetime:  1995 - 1997
  • Units Sold (Worldwide):  1 Million
  • Authorized Games Released (Worldwide):  No pack-in, 500+ Genesis titles
  • Backwards Compatibility:  N/A
  • Media Type:  Sega Genesis Cartridges
  • Resolution:  320 x 224
  • Colors Available:  512
  • Colors on Screen:  64
  • Screen Size:  3.125 in
  • Sound Output (All Models):  6-Channel Stereo

(If you see anything incorrect or that you want added, feel free to comment below and the posting will be edited to reflect the corrections.)

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