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Sega Nomad

The Sega Nomad (Also called Sega Genesis Nomad or just Nomad) was a handheld game console sold for the North American consumer market which played Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis) game cartridges. Despite having a strong resemblance to the Sega Game Gear, the system was based on the Japanese Sega Mega Jet and featured a built-in color screen. The Nomad was never officially released in PAL territories such as Europe and Australia, though the unit retained its PAL/NTSC switch on the internal board. It was also not released in Japan as by the time of its American release the Mega Jet was already being sold in retail stores; nevertheless, the Nomad is one of the few Sega systems that can play most Japanese games without an adapter. Its codename during development was Project Venus, as per Sega's policy at the time of codenaming their systems after planets.

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Sega released the Nomad in October 1995 for US$180. Marketed as a portable Genesis, the Nomad was primarily an evolution of the Japanese market Mega Jet. Whereas the Mega Jet was screenless and required an AC adapter, the Nomad featured a 3.25 inch color LCD screen and room for six AA batteries, making it completely portable as opposed to simply being a small (travel-size) Genesis system. In addition to its other improvements over the Mega Jet, an A/V Out plug was added at the top of the unit, letting owners play games on a television screen with a separate A/V cable. One particularly interesting feature of the Nomad was its ability to allow one player to play using a connected TV, while another watched on the Nomad. The directional pad on the unit controlled all one-player games, and a port on the bottom allowed a second controller pad to be plugged in for two-player games. This meant that the Nomad could be a fully functional home system as well as a completely portable hand-held solution with a pre-existing library of games available for it.

While the Nomad won praise for its screen resolution and features, there were compatibility problems with the sister system's add-ons: the Sega 32X, the Sega-CD, and the Power Base Converter. While they did work technologically, forcing compatibility involved modifying the add-on units' shapes or using 3rd party expanders. The Nomad had impressive technical specifications for the time including a full colour backlit display, and supported an estimated 600 titles already on the shelves in addition to being a functional home system.

However, the Nomad was bulky and offered limited battery life in comparison to contemporary handhelds - specifically, the Nintendo Game Boy. The Nomad was not power efficient and a rechargeable battery pack was offered separately for $79. Rechargeable AA batteries were not recommended due to voltage problems (Ni-Cd provides 1.2V instead of the 1.5V that alkalines output, and also requires full discharging before recharging; Ni-MH AA batteries were not available at the time.

Like the Game Gear the unit was too bulky to be easily portable, it consumed batteries at a rapid rate and was designed for playing what were in effect home videogames (the Game Gear having been in effect a handheld Master System in the same way the Nomad was a handheld Megadrive/Genesis).

Despite a $100 price drop, the handheld did not garner enough support to continue. By the time it was released, the Genesis was almost at the end of its lifespan — already being replaced by the Sega Saturn, Sony PlayStation and Nintendo 64, and general indifference towards 16-bit era titles hastened its demise.

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Sega Nomad Console Boxed

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Box: 
yes
£340.00
Manual: 
yes
£340.00

The Sega Nomad is the state-of-the-art 16 bit handheld games console, and is the handheld equivalent of the Sega Megadrive, and a very rare and sought after console. It has been designed to bring you the best in game-play action. Custom built processors will provide you with the ultimate experience in graphics, sound and ultra-fast gaming. This console is boxed, tested and fully working.

Sega Nomad Modified Switchless Console Loose

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Box: 
no
£150.00
Manual: 
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£150.00

Sega Nomad Console Loose

Notes: 
Slot has been widened to allow Jap carts to fit. Sound has a faint hiss at low volumes.
Box: 
no
£80.00
Manual: 
no
£80.00

The Sega Nomad is the state-of-the-art 16 bit handheld games console, and is the handheld equivalent of the Sega Megadrive, and a very rare and sought after console. It has been designed to bring you the best in game-play action. Custom built processors will provide you with the ultimate experience in graphics, sound and ultra-fast gaming. This console is loose but tested and fully working.

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