File down that cart slot for full compatibility
Like Japanese Mega-Drive games? Are you totally lacking soldering skills? NO PROBLEM!
The Sega Nomad, just like it’s big brother the Sega Genesis, is almost completely region free! Trouble is though, the Japanese Mega-Drive games don’t really fit the cart slot all too well. So what’s the solution?
Just lightly file down these inner corners! Japanese Megadrive carts have a more rounded overall shape with ridged sides, much different then the more simplistic shape than their Western counterparts. Thankfully the internals stayed more or less the same so all we need to do to get the Japanese games to work on the Nomad is to get them to fit.
Now, before you go “Aw man, that sounds super easy!” and start grinding down your Nomad to bits, keep this in mind: Filing down those two walls will make your American games fit somewhat loosely. You’ll only want to remove just enough to allow the Japanese games to slide in and out. Any more than that and your US carts could become vulnerable to bumps and shaking due to the top wobbling too freely, which could cause the games to freeze. With that in mind, you’re best off avoiding any and all power tools for this mod and do it by hand. Sure, it may take a while to shave each side down, but then you’re not running the risk of accidentally shaving down too much all at once.
Nothing much to this mod other than a little patience. and testing your filing progress every so often. So now, I bet you’re thinking: “WOW! That was easy! But what about my PAL Mega-drive games? Would those work with this too?” The short answer, unfortunately, is no. This mod really only works with Japanese Mega-drive games since they use the same NTSC Video standard as our US games. Thankfully, it is possible to wire up the Nomad to run those PAL games at 50htz with a little bit of soldering, which we will cover in the next installment of Sega Nomad modding. So until then, stay tuned!