people have hands. Some of them use these hands to pick up and
manipulate objects. The word “handheld” is used to describe feats such
But take a moment to imagine a world where nothing ever
became “handheld”. Couch Potatoes: Imagine that your television remote
was as large as a coffee table! Retail Cashiers: There are no portable
price scanners; enjoy typing the barcodes of all oversize items by
hand! Bestiality Aficionados: Good luck grasping your favorite horse’s
genitals! But thankfully the nightmare of “no handhelds” never came to
We live a life of handhelds, and video game systems are no
exception. What follows is a guide to all your favorite portable game
consoles past and present. If you have any complaints, don’t forget you
aren’t paying for any of this.
in 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy was the first handheld game console that
wasn’t a complete piece of crap. It didn’t cost too much, it looked
cool (1989 cool that is), and it had the name Nintendo attached to it.
the best feature of the Game Boy had to be that when children were
grounded from playing video games, they could hide the system so their
parents wouldn’t be able to take it away. It could also be played under
the covers at night, and although the bleeps and blips which emanated
from its tiny speaker would do little to drown out the screams of
emotionally abusive parents, headphones could be purchased separately.
was also the precursor to the Game Boy COLOR, which (according to
Wikipedia) was featured in the film The Truth about Jane. The story
behind this film is certainly a mystery for the ages.
1. Mario Land (Series): Just
like Mario for the home consoles. Well, except without the catchy
soundtrack, colorful graphics, familiar characters, or ability to see
what's happening on-screen.
2. Eighteen Trillion Movie-Based Games: The
Game Boy was the first handheld console to capitalize on the tendency
of consumers to immediately purchase any item which bears the name of a
popular film regardless of its quality.
3. Games Whose Titles Sound Like Pornographic Films:
- Booby Boys
- Head On
- Hammerin' Harry
- In Your Face
- Jeopardy Teen Edition
- Lucky Luke
- Nail 'n' Scale
- Spanky's Quest
- Super Chinese Land
Game Boy Camera/Printer: Friend, you haven't lived until you've taken grainy 12X10 pixel
black and white photographs of small household objects and then print
them out onto tiny rolls of cash register tape.
Final Rating: 122/536
Sega Game gear (released in 1991) was the next big contender in the
handheld gaming arena. As with all Sega game systems it was originally
to be named after a planet (mercury). But this was soon changed to Game
Gear, as it was thought that the name Mercury was far too neat-sounding
and would likely cause people to actually become interested in the
The console launched with a few titles, most notably
G-Loc (a top-down shooter where in which you may or may not play as
up-and-coming Filipino rapper Gloc-9), and Columns, which was a lot
like Tetris except that it was not fun.
Fun Fact: The Game Gear's Zilog Z80 CPU was named after its
creator, famed goblin chip designer Zilog Zok
managed to somehow be more blurry in motion than Game Boy. Playing
sonic boiled down to watching blue smudge traveling quickly across
larger green smudge.
Required 12 D batteries; had battery life of approximately 18 seconds
(27 seconds if screen was turned off)
allowed elitist gamers to play untranslated Japanese dating games
featuring nonconsensual sex with blue-haired cat children &
Game Gear Tuner: Bored
gamers desperately searching for something to do with their Game Gears
may have wanted to purchase the TV Tuner attachment.
accessory allowed people who almost surely already had a number of
large-screen televisions in their homes to watch TV on a fuzzy 3-inch
screen with poor reception and muffled sound instead.
Final Rating: 14/83.444444
GEO POCKET COLOR
course by “much fanfare” I mean that 12 or 13 customers went to stores
around the country and bought it intentionally, while a few others
mistakenly received it as a gift from an elderly relative even though
they had asked for a Game Boy Color instead.
The Neo Geo Pocket Color
was remarkable though, if only because somebody at that company had
fooled themselves into
thinking that a mediocre handheld console could compete with the Game
Boy in the US. To that person I say: Nice one.
was nothing remarkable about this system’s specifications, so I've
decided to call this section “Wikipedia Delusions” in honor of the
inexplicably rabid Neo Geo Pocket Color apologists who edit the
Wikpedia page. Here is what they had to say:
greater success than any Game Boy competitor since Sega's Game Gear.”
an astounding feat! The Neo Geo Pocket Color certainly must be a marvel
of modern gaming ingenuity to beat out hugely successful Game Boy
competitors like the Wonderswan Color and the Tapwave Zodiac! Oh and
let’s not forget the gaming monster that was the N-Gage. I stand in awe
this system’s ability to be the least unsuccessful of many failed
American games in cardboard boxes
in a cost cutting move; rather than the hard plastic cases that
Japanese and European releases were shipped in, may have also hurt the
that Neo Geo Pocket Color games weren’t going to include a hard plastic
case that they simply refused to buy Neo Geo games or the system?
Riiiiggght. Wait, what’s that you say? The only people who would care
about such a trivial matter are clinically depressed
obsessive-compulsive video game collectors? Sir; that is an
statement! I hereby challenge you to a game of SNK vs Capcom - Card
Fighters' Clash! Huh, you’ve never heard of it?! Man,
what a loser.
lots of fighting games I guess. What can I say, believe it or not,
people actually used to play them. (Apologies in advance if I’ve
offended either of the people who still play
would say the console itself was its own worst accessory. Either that,
or the people who claim this was the best handheld console
because it had Samurai Showdown. Get over it gramps.
Final Rating: 0.5/100
That’s what you named your console?! Seriously?! What the hell did you
idiots think was going to happen?! Most people who play games are
already embarrassed about their hobby; naming your consoles as if they
were a straight-to-video animated children's film isn't helping matters.
But seeing this is the type of name you're going for, I'd like to take
time out to make some suggestions of what you might name your next
Cutie Pie Fairy Princess Plus
Kissin' Grandma On The Porch Swing
I Love Unicorns!
Hey, did any of you guys see m--*PUNCHED*
Precious Pink Baby Love
Love Note From Mommy In My Lunch
wasn't done telling you about how great it was that the Wonderswan had
color graphics! Oh well, your loss.
Compatible with Original Wonderswan Games
god, I was worried I might have to sell my copy of Kidou
Senshi Gundam Giren No Yabou Tokubetsu Hen Aoki Hoshi No Hasha Ichi
Super Ichi Bon Bon 14/8ths.
Originally, the system only cost 6800 yen. I think that’s about 3
Let's See...What Else…
single D-Pad. Perhaps the
next wonderswan will have 4 D-Pads. One can only dream.
only reason this console sold even a single unit was because, in Japan,
the rights to publish remakes of the NES Final Fantasy
games. Is this a reason a buy an ugly, redundant console
with a ridiculous name?
Obviously not, but many Japanese people seem
content to play slightly different versions of the exact same thing for
their entire lives, and a lot of American nerds love to pretend they're
Japanese, so there's your explanation.
You need to find somebody else with a Wonderswan
to use this thing. Good luck with that. I'd suggest trying a child
Final Rating: Six Ampersand
The N-Gage was
launched in 1993. It came with 3 games: Pokemon Pummel, Rats Ahoy!, and
Chinese Person Simulator. Upon launch, the N-Gage sold out
first 10 minutes. This was not due to high demand for the system, but
rather because Nokia ate a bunch of strange mushrooms they found in the
woods and were too out of it to manufacture any systems until the last
second. When asked about this, a spokesperson from Nokia was quoted as
saying “…we were at that time...set upon by an army of small balled
twine men. Wait! They’re all
around...all around...I hear horrible dark chittering and screeching
and they are
scrabbling down the walls and shingles and oh god they've come they've
Sensationalized System Specs
its sperm destroying capabilities, the N-Gage was a Series 60 Crushphone, running Mechkanista OS 666.1,
with features similar to those
of the Nokia 3650 (however,
it does not have an integrated plastic spoon shiv). It was
able to cause huge throbbing tumors to develop on
user’s optic nerve and cerebral cortex, and run Java MIDP
Its main CPU contained a miniature warhead (ARM4T
architecture running at a quadrillion
MHz per sizzlebyte)
which would explode if the
user tapped a series of 3 commonly-used buttons in any order or
attempted to make any type of phone call.
Final Rating: Fourteen
Panthers out of Twenty-Eight Panthers
Tapwave Zodiac (born Marc Berkowitz November 11, 1951 in Indianapolis,
Indiana) is an American television personality, popular game show host,
producer, and a two-time talk show host, perhaps best known for hosting
the children's game show Double Dare
on Nickelodeon. He's currently
well-known as the host of Unwrapped
on The Food Network.
Hey, look everyone, it's a Palm Pilot with different buttons.
In case you, you know, need to graph something.
They say you've never actually heard Beethoven's 5th until you've listened to the breathtaking Polyphonic Cellphone Ringer Arrangement.
Zodiac, it didn't include a horoscope feature. Just figured you might like to know.
a person can buy at Walmart with titles like “500
Games!” or “1000 Puzzle Games!”?
Well those are the only games you can get on the
The only difference is that for twenty dollars you don't get 1000, you
get one. So if you really,
really, like games with –tris, zap, and extreme in their titles, go buy
a Zodiac now. Also you should probably pick up a shawl and some canned
beet paste, because
it is likely that you are also someone’s elderly aunt.
mode battery charger, using proprietary connector. Mmmm, yeah. Oh my!
Is that a self-oscillating switch-mode?! Ohhhh baby, that’s hot!
to learn more about portable game consoles you can visit your local
library. Look for a book on one of the shelves. The information you need is on page 46.
Vaya con Dios.