Portable Wonders

A little boy named Game

You’ve probably all read my article on the history of this little beauty (and if not, where have you been!), but here’s a quick recap for you:

1989. By this time, the NES had revived a once struggling market and with the Game & Watch series holding its own, Nintendo began its next phase in releasing the Game Boy.

For those that don’t remember the original machine, you don’t know what you missed. Black and white display, bulky exterior (certainly not pocket sized), purplish coloured buttons. Oh, the memories. Seriously, if you look beyond the blandish look of the Game Boy, you’ll find a fantastic little machine. But the original response wasn’t too flash. Many believed it to be a big step back from the NES design, and in many ways they were right. But Tetris would change all that. Of course Tetris wasn’t everyone’s game, so along came the multiplayer racing title F1-Race, the original adventure Super Mario Land, and who could forget the other well known puzzle game, Dr. Mario.

The Game Boy struck a cord with its audience, despite flaws in the design. It was that reason which led Atari, in an attempt to get their foot back into the gaming market, to release the Lynx (1989). A far more superior system over the Game Boy, with a full colour display, better sound and the option for two people to play on one system at a time, the Lynx had everything going for it.

Within two years after the release of both systems, two other consoles joined the race. NEC were the first to hop on the bandwagon with the Turboexpress PC Engine GT (1990) followed by Sega (considered the biggest rival to Nintendo’s dominance at the time) with the Game Gear (1991).

Both brought their own little extras besides the usual gimmicks. The GT could play TurboGrafx cards as well as full colour, while the Game Gear played Master System games using a converter as well the optional TV tuner.

Continued: Lasting the Distance

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