Retro-Bit Is Remaking Sega’s Nomad System With a Modern Twist

If you gamed in the 90’s like a lot of us did, you may recall Sega releasing a console/handheld system called the Nomad. With this, players could take their favorite Genesis games on the go or play at home, though the system would notoriously eat through six AA batteries in three hours. (Thus, maybe going with the option of plugging the system into the wall with an AC adapter.) It was a great little device, though not quite perfect.

Sega Nomad

(Source: Retro-Bit)

This week at CES, Retro-Bit, working with Sega on a partnership that included Saturn and Dreamcast accessories, revealed the next step in that deal- a remake of the Nomad system.

The company revealed the Genesis Portable System in a new tweet, and it’s pretty sharp. You can see what the system looks like (as a “hard prototype”) in the images below. Yep, it’s definitely Nomad-like.

The first thing you may notice is that the system is slightly slimmer than the Nomad, which probably makes it a little more comfortable to hold. It also has a newly stylized directional pad, along with buttons that are likely easier to press.

You’ll also notice that the “mode” and “start” buttons are back, along with a “reset” button, so you don’t have to turn the system off and on again to start a game fresh. That’s likely to be a good option.

We’re also hearing that the system will support both NTSC and PAL games, though there’s no word yet regarding Japanese game support. This may serve as a bummer for those of you that have Mega Drive games like Zero Wing and Mega Man: The Wily Wars lying around. But Retro-Bit could add this support in the future.

And finally, HDMI will be a feature. That means the system can be connected to a modern television, and perhaps even utilize its high-definition format. Retro-Bit didn’t have full details, but we’ll learn more soon.

We still have questions. Will the system’s power issue be better than what the Nomad had to offer? What’ll its cost? Will it work with all Sega games, or maybe have issues with Virtua Racing like the Genesis 3 did?

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Retro-Bit will have answers for us in the next few months, but fingers crossed that this is a nice return to form for handheld Genesis gaming. We love our old Nomad, but this would be a huge step up. And we could save a fortune on batteries...

Are you excited for this rebuild of the classic Sega system? Let me know on Twitter at @TheDCD!