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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.

Tiger Game.com (1997)

In 1997, Tiger Electronics was a well-established force in handheld LCD game devices, so it made sense for the company to compete with the Nintendo Game Boy juggernaut.

The challenger it sent into the fray was the Game.com, the first handheld game console to feature a touchscreen and internet connectivity.

The device's extremely primitive internet features fell flat, though, and almost all of the Game.com's games were terrible.

It received a bargain-bin redesign under the name 'Pocket Pro' a year later before quietly dropping off the map.

Nintendo Game Boy Colour (1998)

In 1998 - nine years after the first Game Boy - Nintendo released a Game Boy with a colour screen.

The new device still lacked a backlight, however, an omission that kept its price low and its battery life long.

The Game Boy Colour represented a significant extension of the Game Boy platform, since it possessed slightly better technical capabilities than its predecessor while maintaining backward compatibility with the earlier Game Boy.

It sold very well and extended Nintendo's dominance in the handheld market for another few years.

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NEXT PAGE: SNK Geo Pocket Colour and the Bandai WonderSwan 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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