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S > SEGA > Nomad   


Released in Japan and the United States towards the end of the Mega Drive's life, the Nomad was basically a handheld version of the popular home console.

No games were ever specifically created for the Nomad, limiting it to the back catalogue of the Mega Drive. Not that this was really a problem, as by this time there was already a significant number games available. However, due to the power requirements of the Mega Drive hardware and the backlit 3.25" LCD screen, the Nomad suffered the same short battery life which had plagued Sega's earlier Game Gear. Depending on the game being played, the Nomad could drain its six batteries in just 90 minutes!

A novel feature for a handheld was the inclusion of AV out connectors and a controller port. This meant the Nomad could be connected to a TV set and allowed for simultaneous two player gameplay.

With little marketing support from Sega and the arrival of the 32 bit era, prices were quickly slashed to as little as $60 to offload excess stock. The rarity of the Nomad (less than 1 million were sold) has made it something of a collectors item, and in the U.K., where the machine is largely unheard of, boxed examples can fetch anything up to £150.


Contributors: Ste (text & info)

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Got my Japanese Nomad from Japan... (yep, really), is labeled as a Genesis Nomad but the system board is Japanese region from origin (In Sonic 2, Tails becomes Miles, Streets of rage is ''bare knuckle''...)

Wednesday 18th July 2012
jaume de la vega (Catalonia (Spain))

The Nomad was never released in Japan as far as my own research suggests. I can find claims it was released, but I think these are mistakes. I''ve found no other evidence whatsoever for a ''Mega Drive Nomad''. Shame really, because I would rather have one than my ''Genesis Nomad''.

Wednesday 15th February 2012
JodSUMO (Sheffield, UK)

The system with the WORST battery life ever. I tested one at my local game store, we slapped fresh batteries in it. It lasted for about a minute.

Monday 13rd September 2010
Dr. Raptorheimer (U.S.A)


NAME  Nomad
YEAR  October 1995
CONTROLLERS  8-way d-pad, 6 buttons + Mode + Start
CPU  Motorola 68000
SPEED  7.67 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  3.58 MHz Zilog Z80
RAM  64 KB main, 8 KB sound
ROM  20 KB
GRAPHIC MODES  320 x 224
COLORS  512 palette, 64 on screen
SOUND  Texas Instruments SN76489, 4 channel PSG + Yamaha YM2612, 6 channel FM
I/O PORTS  Cartridge, AV out, controller port
MEDIA  Cartridge
POWER SUPPLY  6x AA batteries or 9v power adapter
PRICE  $179.99 (U.S.A. 1995)

Software for this system!

84705 1995 Probe (developer), Time Warner Interactive (publisher)
T-MEK (32X)
84520 1995 Atari, Bits Corporation, Time Warner Interactive
84700 1994 Sega

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Ready prompt
ZX Spectrum
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Moon Lander
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Commodore 64 prompt
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Pixel Deer
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Shooting gallery
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Pixel adventure
Vector ship

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