The Game Boy completely undid every portable when it was out. In fact, I don’t know of any portable that has beaten Nintendo outside of maybe the iPhone.
However, TecToy had a suggestion which they thought might’ve gave the Game Boy a run for its money:
Create a monochrome SEGA portable.
It would fix the battery problem the Game Gear had.
TecToy found a monochromatic product in Taiwan. They improved it and created a prototype, they approached Tiger Electronics to distribute in the U.S. Randy Rissman, the owner of Tiger, said if TecToy could nail down a good price point, they definitely would do it! Afterward, TecToy representatives took the project to Japan, they presented it to SEGA. After making their pitch, SEGA CEO Hayao Nakayama declared, “SEGA doesn’t make monochromatic products,” and couldn’t be convinced otherwise. This was when SEGA was still at its peak, so a turn down from SEGA couldn’t be the worst thing.
Would it have enough third party support?
Isn’t the whole idea of getting a Game Gear, because of its screen with color?
In the video above, TecToy CEO Stefano Arnhold discusses how he believes he could have convinced SEGA if he had presented it in a different way.