Atari LYNX The Atari LYNX was introduced in October 1989 as the world's first handheld color LCD video game system. It was capable of displaying 16 colors out of a pallete of 4,096 at one time. Two players could play games against each other, flipping the screen for better control depending on whether they were left or right handed, as well as multiple LYNX consoles could be networked together for multiplayer games, the maximum number dependent on how many players the game being played supported. There were actually two version of the LYNX produced, the LYNX and the LYNX-II. The main differences include a smaller case, lower power consumption, and the ability to turn off the backlight on the LCD on the LYNX-II.

It contains 64k of 120ns DRAM and game-cards can contain from 128k to 256k ROM, though theroretically they could have up to 1 megabyte. The LYNX is powered by two co-processors, named Mikey and Suzy. Both are custom 16bit chips running at 16mhz, with hardware features including the following (as taken directly from the LYNX FAQ):

  • Integrated 65c02
  • 8-bit DAC for each of 4 sound channels
  • Hardware drawing support
  • Unlimited number of high-speed sprites with collision detection
  • Hardware high-speed sprite scaling, distortion, and tilting effects
  • Hardware decoding of compressed sprite data
  • Hardware clipping and multi-directional scrolling
  • Variable frame rate (up to 75 frames/second)

    Atari was bought out by disk drive manufacturer JTS Corp. on July 30, 1996, and production of it's computers stopped. On February 23, 1998 JTS sold it's Atari division to Hasbro Inc. for $5 million, forming Atari Interactive Inc. Atari Games, the coin-op division which remained seperate from Atari Corp. and was later known as Time-Warner Interactive, became a subsidiary of Midway Games Inc.

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