Lynx II

Atari Lynx

The Lynx was a colour handheld game console that was released in 1989 – in fact it was the first colour one of its kind.

For the techncially minded, the Lynx used a 65C02 CPU, which was part of the 6502 8-bit family. But it also used a 16-bit graphics chip to achieve all the scaling and sprite effects – a stand out amongst other competing products.

The Lynx could run by batteries or mains, and had the ability for headphones to be connected also. There were two slidewheels, one for screen contrast and and the other for volume.

A large number of games were released for the Lynx – 120 in fact, and they came in the form of slim ROM cards that made them fairly easy to store. They featured a lip on the top so you could remove them from the back of the unit easier once finished playing that game.

Atari Lynx I Handheld

With a backlit display, the console featured a switchable right-handed/left-handed configuration, and the ability to network with up to 17 other units via its “ComLynx” system which in essence was a proprietry cable that Atari produced to phuscially link multiple units together. The best mutiplayer game was undeniably Slimeworld. Here’s a peek of the gameplay:

In the same year, Nintendo released the (monochromatic) Game Boy, and gradually they gained the market share of the console world (why I dont know – IMO the Lynx was better).

In 1990, Atari released version two of the Lynx. It was a bulkier unit, and what I noticed is that the volume could not go as loud as version 1. However, it had a clearer screen and a power save feature if you were running off batteries.

Atari Lynx II Handheld

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