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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Sega Game Gear that actually, you know.. works

Long time readers will know I've had a troublesome past with Sega Game Gears. It all started with a swap meet in a little French town called Neuvic, circa 2011. I was there on holiday at the time and picked up an amazing bunch of games for pennies, including a Sega Game Gear with seven games for the heart-stopping sum of 15 Euros (which is give or take about 20 bucks).
From there I was thrown into the world of shitty Game Gears, as I discovered all Game Gears were manufactured with terrible capacitors that where liable to fail 20 years down to the track. I tried my luck with replacing all the capacitors, but since I didn't possess the ability to solder particularly well the attempt failed. Here is a compilation of all the posts relating to that if you want to read up on that, it also includes a terribly made video. Really, looking back the writing then was gruesome too. I'm surprised anyone read this blog at all.

Fast forward to more present times: in the September of last year I could not refuse another ridiculous Game Gear related deal on Gumtree. Not a console, but in fact a whole heap of games that worked out at about $7 each (which is great in the Australian market). Since I now had a sizeable pile of Game Gear games I bought another Game Gear online for cheaps with the intention of repairing it properly. This went... okay. Here is a slightly better video I made about repairing that unit, but long story short, the capacitor transplant went smashingly only for the god damned contrast wheel to break and fall off. I can't say I saw that coming, so suffice to say I was unprepared to fix that problem. I did attempt to de-solder the contrast wheel off the first Game Gear and resolder it to the second unit, but I never managed it.

Fast forward to, well, today, I bit the bullet and bought an already refurbished console on eBay. I have too many Game Gear games to ignore now, and it's quite irritating not being able to play them.
Most are quite expensive, but I managed to find a smaller seller with a good rating who was selling one including postage for about $80. This may seem a bit dear, but the only one I could find from within Australia was $206.
The one I bought was from America, which only took a couple of weeks to ship anyway so I'm glad I went with that option. All caps have been replaced (as opposed to just the ones currently dead) and it came with Ninja Gaiden.

The only issue I've run into so far is the fact that the power socket is different than the ones released in Europe and here. I didn't realise that on purchase, but the power pack I was using with my first and second unit have different sockets to this one. Surprisingly though, the power pack for my slimline PS2 actually fits and runs it, so that will do until I find a permanent replacement. It works out too, unplugging that gives me enough lead to sit on my beanbag in front of where the consoles are, so there isn't too much messing around with cables involved.

Anyhoo, expect Game Gear reviews soonish.


  1. A Game Gear that works? A miracle I say!

    I eventually gave my three broken Game Gears away to people far more skilled at electronics than I am.

    I still have the games though, so I suppose I'll be biting the bullet like you did one of these days.

    Nice one!

    1. It's felt worth it so far, although I never antisipated the screen being so shit lol. Oh well, only really bad for text, the gameplay seems fine.

  2. Congratulations on your purchase! :) Hope you'll have a lot of fun with your Game Gear.