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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.

SNK Neo Geo Pocket Colour (1999)

In 1998, SNK released its first handheld game system, the Neo Geo Pocket, in Japan only.

This first console sported a monochrome screen and did not sell particularly well.

A year later, SNK introduced the Neo Geo Pocket Colour (NGPC) worldwide, and it became the most promising competitor to the Game Boy line in almost a decade.

The NGPC fared well at first, thanks to good software, long battery life, and low cost; but ultimately it could not compete with Nintendo's superior game.

Bandai WonderSwan Colour (2000)

The WonderSwan (1999), a monochrome system designed by the company headed by ex-Nintendo employee Gunpei Yokoi - the creator of the Game Boy - went head-to-head-to-head with Nintendo's handheld and the Neo Geo Pocket in Japan.

Though the challenger got off to a shaky start, it gained steam with the release of the WonderSwan Colour in 2000.

Soon afterward, translations of several early Final Fantasy titles were released for the WonderSwan and sold very well.

In 2002, it received a final update, the SwanCrystal, which sported a sharper colour screen.

See all games reviews

NEXT PAGE: Game Boy Advance and Game Park GP32

  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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