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18 most important handheld gaming systems

A look back over 30 years: the flops and the successes


Three decades have passed since the debut of Milton Bradley's Microvision - the first handheld gaming console. We look back and chart the highs and lows of handheld video consoles.

Atari Lynx (1989)

Like the Game Boy, the Atari Lynx turned 20 this year.

The world's first handheld game console equipped with a colour LCD display, it originated as the Handy Boy - an engineering project at game developer Epyx - before Atari acquired and released it in 1989.

Though the Lynx never fared well in the marketplace, Atari in 1991 released a smaller, lighter version, the Lynx II.

Lynx II Photo courtesy of Greg George

NEC TurboExpress (1990)

The NEC TurboExpress was the first handheld console to play game cartridges designed for use in a home video-game console, in this case, the TurboGrafx-16.

The TurboExpress sold for a hefty price and it guzzled batteries like Mechagodzilla, limiting its appeal. Ultimately, it remained a capable-but-flawed rich person's toy.

See all games reviews

NEXT PAGE: Sega GameGear and Genesis Nomad

  1. We look at 30 years and the flops and successes
  2. Epoch Game Pocket Computer and Nintendo Game Boy
  3. Atari Lynx and NEC TurboExpress
  4. Sega GameGear and Genesis Nomad
  5. Tiger Game.com and the Game Boy Colour
  6. SNK Geo Pocket Colour and the Bandai WonderSwan Colour
  7. Game Boy Advance and Game Park GP32
  8. Nokia N-Gage and Nintendo DS
  9. PSP portable and the future


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