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Atari Lynx
The first color handheld console, and a victim of overreaching.

The Lynx was originally developed by R.J. Mical and Dave Needle for Epyx, under the name "Handy Game". When Epyx faced financial troubles, they partnered with Atari, who released it in 1989 with the pack-in "California Games". Its specifications were similar to a TurboGrafx-16, with full-color scaling sprite graphics and simultaneous multiplayer support, features far beyond Nintendo's Game Boy. Not only was the screen in color like the Sega Game Gear, but backlit as well. However, the Lynx was bulky, cost twice as much as a Game Boy, and ate six AA batteries in four hours, which helped the Game Boy win public opinion hands down. Atari later re-released the Lynx with a lower price and a much smaller size, but to no avail.

The Lynx did have some interesting features, though. It allowed players to hook up to 17 other Lynx systems via the ComLynx adapter (though most games only offered up to eight), and even allowed left-handed players to flip the screen upside down (or sideways, which was useful for games such as Klax), and play the system in that manner. The Lynx also had the ability to scale and rotate sprites — a full year before Nintendo themselves would do it with Mode 7 technology on the Super Nintendo.


  • CPU: MOS 6502, 4 MHz.
  • GPU: Custom "Suzy" 16-bit graphics processor with blitter and math coprocessor.

  • 64K RAM.
  • Cartridges up to 512K.

  • 160x102 resolution.
  • 16 colors per scanline from a 4096-color palette.
  • The screen can be flipped upside down to accommodate left-handed players, or held vertically for portrait-oriented games.

  • Four channels, 8 bit.


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    • Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom
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  • Yastuna 2 - The Space Incident
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Atari 7800Video Game SystemsAtari Jaguar
TurboGrafx-16UsefulNotes/The 16 -bit Era of Console Video GamesGame Boy
Atari JaguarAdministrivia/Useful Notes Pages in MainAtari ST

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