Microsoft’s new “Origami” handheld reminded me of something I already own…
The Sega Nomad!
Back in, oh, 1995 or so, Sega made this crazy love child of a Game Gear and a Genesis. It’s a portable handheld gaming system, but you’ll never find any Nomad carts around no matter how hard you look. Why? Because this baby plays Genesis games!
That’s right, there’s a slot in the top built just for a Genesis cartridge, and all you have to do is slide one of those in there (say NBA Jam, the best basketball game ever), and you’re ready to rock and roll. You can see, there’s the full six buttons on there, your regular Start and Select buttons, and even a D-pad that the DS wishes it could someday have. The Nomad is a nice little piece of hardware, and Sega was pretty nice to customers with it, because it released with a whole library of games available already– the Genesis games. It’s as if Nintendo released a DS that could play Gamecube games!
What’s that on the bottom? Yup, it’s a second controller port! The Nomad was a multiplayer handheld before they ever came up with wireless networking. You could play it yourself, or hook in a second controller and you and your friend could hover around the little three inch screen. Let’s see the Origami do something like that!
But that’s not even the best part of the Nomad…
On top of the unit, there’s a little port to plug in a video cord! You can plug this thing right into your TV, and play it on the big screen! Basically, with the Genesis compatibility, the second controller port, and the video out, this thing was just a portable Genesis. It did come with a giant battery pack that holds six AA batteries, but even hauling that hunk of junk around only got you about an hour and half of playtime.
No wonder, then, that as cool as the Nomad was, it was just a little bit before its time. Sales faltered in the United States, and the thing was never even released in Europe or Japan. I got this one when I worked at Gamestop for the low, low price of $25, and all the other components are all Genesis parts I picked up a while ago.
But just because the Nomad’s old doesn’t mean it isn’t fun! I’ve got the famous Sega 6Pack to play with (including Sonic, Golden Axe, and Streets of Rage), along with the games above, and one of the best Genesis games ever made…
Before World of Warcraft was a twinkle in Blizzard’s eye, and even before they came up with the idea for a console version of Starcraft: Ghost, they made this game: The Lost Vikings. It’s an amazing game– the idea is that three vikings have been kidnapped by aliens, and you’re charged with getting them out of the spaceship and home. Each one has a different power– the red one is athletic and can run and jump, the yellow one is the fighter, and the one with the big beard is a shieldholder, and can block attacks and obstacles.
Look at ‘em! It’s really a classic game. I think I saw it released for GBA at one point, but if you’re cool enough (ahem) to have a Nomad at home, it’s the only way to go.
Sega Nomad: The best handheld console ever!
Posted on Thursday, March 9th, 2006 at 11:25 pm. Filed under general.