Atari Lynx

The Atari Lynx is a handheld gaming console released in September 1989, by the Atari Corporation. It was the first handheld to feature a color LCD screen. The Lynx (Handy Game) was originally developed by Epyx in 1987, but the company had financial troubles and agreed to have Atari handle production and marketing of the system.

In 1991, Atari re-released the Lynx with improved hardware, longer battery life, and a sleeker look. Known as the Lynx II, it had rubber hand grips, a stereo headphone jack and a power save option for the color screen. To improve sales, the new unit was sold without any accessories.

The cartridges also changed. Originally they were flat and stackable, but difficult to remove from the unit. The second style was ridged cartridges that were easier to remove but did not stack or store very well. The third style produced was a curved lip and all future cartridges were this style.

In 1994 Atari focused on the Jaguar console and in 1996 ceased its internal game development.

The unit had a MOS Technology 6502 4 MHz CPU, 64 KB DRAM, and uses 128, 256, or 512 KB cartridges with up to a possible 2MB with bank-switching logic. It had a stereo headphone port and a multi-unit communication serial port. The screen is 3.5 inches diagonal and the system is powered by six AA batteries. The battery life is 4-5 hours on the original Lynx and 5-6 hours on the Lynx II.

Some accessories for the Lynx and Lynx II include sun visors, an A/C adapter, battery pack, a two unit car adapter, cables, and carrying cases. There are 72 Atari-licensed game titles.

Image Caption: The Atari Lynx I handheld game console. Credit: Evan-Amos/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)