Flashback Fridays: Sega Nomad

Alright all of you retro gamers out there, it’s time for another installment of Flashback Fridays. For those of you who are unfamiliar with what’s going on here, please refer to previous articles for more information. We are going to shift gears a little bit today and take a look at one of the first systems ever to produce a full console experience on the go. The item that I am referring to is a perfect example of why I loved Sega so much as a kid, the Sega Nomad.

Back in the day, most of my experiences as a gamer involved sitting on a couch in front of a T.V. While a lot of those memories were fantastic in their own right, there were times when I wished there was a way to be able to share these moments with others without having to lug a not so portable system around with me. Sure enough, in the late 1990’s, Sega decides to go ahead and create a portable device that allows people to play genesis games anywhere in the world, and they called it the Sega Nomad. Not really having any money at the time, I asked my parents to pick one for up me, but they didn’t do it. Despite their rejection, my brother ended up buying the system anyway, and was more than happy (after awhile) to let me try it out.

At first, we were both kind of put off by how big and bulky this contraption was, but as most of us have by learned by now, you should never judge a book by its cover. As enormous as the machine is, for some reason it was very comfortable in my hands. The button layout was simple and easy to understand, and the sound quality wasn’t all that bad either. The only real major problem either one of us had with the device as a whole was how blurry and bright the graphics were. Thankfully there was an option to adjust the color to your liking, because if there wasn’t one, more than likely you would end up seeing nothing but spots after each playthrough.

The major thing that the system did right was provide gamers with a chance to play their favorite genesis games on the go. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times the Nomad has saved me from boring family get togethers, holiday parties, and so on. Completing a battle or two in Shining Force was always fun, going toe to toe with your rival in a game of Madden Football provided some much needed entertainment during the duller moments of my life, and watching Sonic rush across the screen at blistering speeds always put a smile on my face. Too bad the battery kept dying on me though, but thankfully, my old friend the AC adapter was always there to keep the fun going for as long as possible.

The Sega Nomad was a great device that showcased just how fun portable gaming truly is. Seriously, the system was so awesome that I bought another one from a thrift store not too long ago just to relive the good old days. If you have ever wanted to see how far handheld devices have come in the industry, then by all means check this out as soon as possible, you won’t be disappointed.

That concludes my story on the Sega Nomad, but if you have any fond memories of this system please feel free to share them with us in the comments below.

P.S.- Here is a quick gameplay video I made just for fun. Enjoy!

  • Back in the day I wanted a Nomad real bad. I almost wanted as bad as a Neo-Geo.

  • Player1

    This is a great system.  Genesis on the go.  Goes through batteries like mad, that was my only real problem with it.  I still can’t fathom why they designed the top of it on a slant.  Thanks for the trip down memory lane, makes me want to go dig mine out and play a while.