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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.

Sega Game Gear (1990)

Based on technology used for the 8bit Sega Master System, the Game Gear was a capable and relatively inexpensive colour game machine.

It outsold its competitors (the TurboExpress and the Atari Lynx) due in part to its licences to run popular Sega games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and in part to the halo effect of Sega's wildly successful Genesis home console.

Sega Genesis Nomad (1995)

Sega released the bulky, battery-hungry Nomad at a bad time in the company's history.

It had already oversaturated the market with eight incompatible platforms: Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, 32X CD, Game Gear, Pico, Saturn, and Master System.

As a result, few consumers paid attention to the Nomad launch, and the system sold poorly. Still, the Nomad was novel in that it could play regular Sega Genesis cartridges.

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NEXT PAGE: Tiger Game.com and the Game Boy Colour

  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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