A Look Back at the Rare Oddity that was the Sega Mega Jet

Back in 1993 Sega released a handheld version of its Sega Mega Drive System (aka the Sega Genesis in North America), called the Sega Mega Jet. The Sega Mega Jet was rented out aboard Japan Airlines to be used as in-flight entertainment. But without a built in screen the Sega Mega Jet needed to be connected to an an auxiliary monitor.

In the case of Japan Airlines the Sega Mega Jet was connected to a TV mounted on the armrest in their planes. Players could then insert any Sega Mega Drive cartridges into the back of the Sega Mega Jet unit. The unit had a front interface that nearly mirrored the configuration of the Sega Mega Drive controller, complete with a directional pad on the left and a six button layout on the right. The bottom of the Sega Mega Jet unit also had a port to connect a second controller for multiplayer games. A consumer version of the Sega Mega Jet was released in 1994 but still lacked a built in screen.

Eventually the Sega Mega Jet was made into its own outright portable handheld Sega device and became the basis for the Sega Nomad which was released in 1995. Just as the 16-bit Sega Mega Drive was the successor to the 8-bit Sega Master System the Nomad was the successor to the Sega Game Gear. So in turn the Nomad’s graphical capabilities were on par with the 16-bit Mega Drive, while the Game Gear was essentially a portable Sega Master System.

For collectors of rare video came console units or vintage Sega merchandise the Sega Mega Jet portable video game console is not only a hard find but a sought after piece of videogame history. Outside of the United States it is very unlikely that you’ll come across one. On eBay three Sega Mega Jet units have been sold since June. The highest paid auction was an unused, unopened unit from Japan that sold for $399.99. The other two were used and sold by the same seller out of Spain for $234.08. Right now the average asking price on eBay is $327.09 for a used Sega Mega Jet.

Here are some listings currently running on eBay for Sega Mega Jet units and accessories.

-Joe

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