The Game Gear is a fourth generation handheld game console developed by Sega. It was released in 1990 in response to Nintendo's Game Boy, and was the third colored handheld console, after the Atari Lynx and NEC's TurboExpress. The Game Gear was designed to be a handheld version of the Sega Master System, and the similar designs made it extremely easy to port games back and forth between the two systems. The Game Gear did offer some major improvements over the Master System, including an expanded color palette and stereo sound, though very few games made use of the latter. However, the resolution on the Game Gear was much lower. Although Sega released a wide variety of games for the system, in the hopes of attracting a bigger, more diverse audience than its competitors, the Game Gear never overtook the Game Boy in terms of sales. When released in the US, the Game Gear was heavily marketed as superior to the Game Boy because of its color graphics, but this could not compensate for its higher purchase price and low battery lifespan, which was about half that of the Game Boy. Sega discontinued the system in 1997.