The Sega Nomad - my best video game purchase ever


Well-known Member
A rare day off work ill in bed today persuaded me to get out my Sega Nomad handheld for the first time in a couple of months (truth be told, I'd mislaid it and didn't have a clue where it was).

For me, the Nomad is my best video game purchase ever - had mine for 4 months now and paid £80 for it on eBay UK.

I was really worried about the battery life when bidding for this Nomad, as I'd heard people say that the low battery light was more an indication that the Nomad was working. I've found that I can get at least 3 hours out of rechargeables, though.

I was also worried about the Nomad's huge size - even as a 32 year-old (we're talking as wide as an iPad Mini and 75% as tall as one).

Within a day, I'd become used to the size, though, and it's surprisingly light, considering.

The first thing I noticed was the powerful sound through the speakers and then how great the D-pad felt when playing a game - it 'cups' the pad of your thumb, has a nice grip and is very flexible for quick changes of direction. I've read people describe it as the best D-pad ever. The Nomad's 6 action buttons (useful for beat 'em ups) look clunky but, again, they have a nice, smooth feel when pressed down.

There are a few things I don't particularly like about the Nomad - the screen could've been a bit more vibrant/had a higher resolution, the 6xAA battery pack is really hard to find on eBay, only some of my UK PAL games work, as the Nomad was made in America and locked to NTSC, the external battery pack and an import adapter in the cartridge slot considerably adds to the Nomad's bulk.

If you love the Megadrive and you'd like to play it away from a TV, you just have to buy a Nomad - the plasticky handheld Megadrives sold in places like Argos just don't give you the same experience.
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Standard Member
I've wanted one of these ever since I heard about their existence, some.. 6 years ago? Maybe more, I can't remember haha.

In case you're interested, it is possible to replace the lights or the entire screen of the Nomad itself, and swap it out for one with less power consumption, and much sharper & vibrant.

If you know how to solder too, here are some pages that should fix your issues with playing PAL/UK cartridges.
Nomad 50/60Hz Modification
Modify MegaDrive or Genesis Model 2 for Imports!


Well-known Member
Thanks - I'd love to do modifications on it but I don't know anything about electronics or soldering myself.

Apparently, some people prefer the original retro look when buying one.

Apart from eBay, I'm not sure where else you can find one - maybe Gumtree or the classifieds on here also.

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