Lynx

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A model 1 Lynx.

The Lynx is a fourth generation handheld video game console created by Atari and Epyx and released on 1989-09-01. It included several innovative features. It was the first color handheld video game console with interchangeable cartridges, and it had impressive color and a backlight. The button configuration allowed games to be played in portrait or landscape mode to take advantage of the rectangular screen (a feature later used by the WonderSwan). It's Comlynx cable would allow up to 8 Lynxes to be interconnected, though few games took advantage of this. The platform also had superior audio and graphics capabilities compared to the Game Boy, the only other rival at the time of its release. It's CPU is a WDC 8-bit 65SC02 processor (a modified MOS 6502).

The impressive technical specifications initially allowed the Lynx to sell at about their expectations, however, the superior hardware meant a much shorter battery life, and the unit was considerably larger than the Game Boy. Atari also failed to attract any big-named third party developers, and ended up being the primary developer on the platform, with only a little help from the Lynx's co-developer, Epyx. Hardware not conducive to portable game play and a lack of games prevented the Lynx from gaining early traction. The portable market was further saturated when the TurboExpress was released a year later, and the Game Gear a year after that, both of which went on to out-sell the Lynx. By 1995, Atari had discontinued the line, selling only a little over a million units, and fewer than 80 games were officially made for it.

Personal

Nobody I knew owned a Lynx in the 1990s, and I have never even played a Lynx in real life. I've gone through the platform's library using emulators, and, although I'm impressed by the technical capabilities of the console for the time, I've never found any of the games to be very interesting.

Status

I do not own, nor have I ever owned, a Lynx, but I have played around with it in emulators.

Games

See all Lynx Games.

Most of the games released on the Lynx are ports of existing arcade titles that had to be severely weakened to fit on the hardware. Some of them have interesting new features, but they're still primarily the same games, only smaller. Because of this, I have yet to see a game on the Lynx that I've become really interested in.

Review

I don't know enough about the Lynx to write a review.

Media

Pictures

Documentation

Videos

Lynx commercials.
Game Boy Works - Lynx 1989.
Game Boy Works - Lynx 1990 1.
Game Boy Works - Lynx 1990 2.

Links

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