Sega Game Gear came out in the U.S. in 1991. Work originally began on the console in 1989 under the codename "Project Mercury", following Sega's policy at the time of codenaming their systems after planets. Like the Sega Master System, it was an 8-bit system. It was only the third commercially available color handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and the TurboExpress. .It could run on 6-AA batteries or an AC adapter could be used to plug the GG into the wall or outlet. It came packaged with Columns a " Tetris type" game, in which you have to match the colored blocks as opposed to making lines.
The GG had many accessories. One of them was a TV tuner, which no longer works as of February 2000. Rechargable battery packs to help make the GG portable and not make you keep buying AA batteries every 2 hours, master gear converter to play Master System cartridges on the GG, a car adapter for playing in the car without batteries, and much more.
Originally only available in black, the GG was available in other colors. A Japan only release of an ultra-limited (10,000 units) white console in a special metal game case and TV Tuner was available soon after launch. Later a special blue sports themed version and a Coca-cola Red version were available in the US.
The Game Gear was built as a "landscape" hand-held. This meant that the D-pad and buttons were to the sides of the screen as opposed to being at the bottom like the Game Boy. This made the GG a lot more comfortable to hold because you hands were not so close and crammed together. The Game Gear ultimately played second fiddle to the Game Boy and despite being more popular in Europe it still became the first Sega product to be beaten in sales by a competing Nintendo product in the region.
Japan - October 6, 1990
North America - April 26, 1991