The Atari Lynx was a handheld game console released by Atari in 1989. It had the privilege of being the world's first handheld electronic game with a color LCD display. The system is also notable for its forward-looking features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout. The Lynx was released in 1989, the same year as Nintendo's (monochromatic) Game Boy. However, the Atari Lynx failed to achieve the critical mass required to attract quality third party developers, and was eventually abandoned.

Atari Lynx

The console had several innovative features including it being the first color handheld, with a backlit display, a switchable right-handed/left-handed (upside down) configuration, and the ability to network with up to 17 other units via its "ComLynx" system (though most games would network eight or fewer players).

This game system was originally developed by Epyx as the Handy. Atari changed the internal speaker and removed the thumb-stick on the control pad before releasing it as the Lynx two years later, initially retailing in the US at $189.95. Atari then showed the Lynx to the press at the Summer 1989 CES as the "Portable Color Entertainment System", which was changed to Lynx when actual consoles were distributed to resellers.

However, Nintendo's new Game Boy was also introduced at the 1989 CES. At $109, it was 58% the price of the Lynx, without the color or custom chips. Nintendo had no problems supplying retailers with the Game Boy for the Christmas season while Atari only managed limited distribution of their Atari Lynx by year's end.

Atari Lynx 2

During 1990, the Lynx had moderate sales but Nintendo's Game Boy continued to gain market share. In 1991, Atari relaunched their handheld console with a new marketing campaign, new packaging, slightly improved hardware, and a new sleek look. The new system (referred to within Atari as the "Lynx II") featured rubber hand grips and a clearer backlit color screen with a power save option (which turned off the LCD panel's backlighting). It also replaced the monaural headphone jack of the original Lynx with one wired for stereo. The new packaging made available the Lynx without accessories, dropping the price to $99. Although sales improved, Nintendo still dominated the handheld market.

Game Gear

In May 1991, Sega launched its portable gaming handheld. Also a color handheld, in comparison to the Lynx it had a higher cost, smaller bulk, and lower battery life. However, the Game Gear was backed up by significantly more popular titles and consequently the market became dominated by Nintendo followed by Sega in a distant second and the Lynx in third.

In 1994, Atari shifted its focus away from the Lynx. As Nintendo's Super Nintendo and Sega's Genesis filled retailers' shelves, Atari refocused its efforts on its Atari Jaguar console. A handful of games were released during this time, including Battlezone 2000. In 1996, Atari shut down its internal game development.

Atari Lynx games list

Title Genre Year first released
Awesome Golf Sports 1991
Baseball Heroes Sports 1992
Basketbrawl Sports 1992
Batman Returns Action 1992
BattleWheels Vehicular combat 1993
Battlezone 2000 Combat simulation 1995
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Adventure 1991
Blockout Puzzle 1991
Blue Lightning Combat flight simulator 1989
Bubble Trouble Action 1994
California Games Sports 1989
Checkered Flag Racing 1991
Chip's Challenge Puzzle 1989
Crystal Mines II Puzzle 1992
Desert Strike Shoot 'em up 1993
Dinolympics Puzzle 1992
Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop Beat 'em up 1992
Double Dragon Beat 'em up 1993
Dracula the Undead Adventure 1992
Electrocop Action 1989
European Soccer Challenge Sports 1993
Fat Bobby Platform 1997
The Fidelity Ultimate Chess Challenge Chess 1991
Gates of Zendocon Shoot 'em up 1989
Gauntlet: The Third Encounter Dungeon crawl 1990
Gordo 106 Platform 1993
Hard Drivin' Racing 1991
Hockey Sports 1992
Hydra Action 1992
Hyperdrome Sports 1999
Ishido: The Way of Stones Puzzle 1991
Jimmy Connors Tennis Sports 1993
Joust Action 1992
Klax Puzzle 1990
Krazy Ace Miniature Golf Sports 1993
Kung Food Beat 'em up 1992
Lemmings Puzzle 1993
Lynx Casino Casino 1992
Malibu Bikini Volleyball Sports 1993
Ms. Pac-Man Maze 1990
NFL Football Sports 1992
Ninja Gaiden Beat 'em up 1991
Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom Action 1993
Pac-Land Platform 1991
Paperboy Action 1990
Pinball Jam Pinball 1992
Pit-Fighter Fighting 1992
Power Factor Action 1993
Qix Action 1991
Raiden Shoot 'em up 1997
Rampage Action 1990
Rampart Strategy 1992
RoadBlasters Vehicular combat 1990
Robo-Squash Sports 1990
Robotron: 2084 Shoot 'em up 1991
Rygar Platform 1990
S.T.U.N. Runner Vehicular combat 1991
Scrapyard Dog Platform 1991
Shadow of the Beast Platform 1992
Shanghai Mahjong solitaire 1990
Steel Talons Action 1992
Super Asteroids & Missile Command Shoot 'em up 1995
Super Off Road Racing 1993
Super Skweek Puzzle 1991
Switchblade II Action 1992
Todd's Adventures in Slime World Action-adventure 1990
Toki Run and gun 1992
Tournament Cyberball Sports 1991
Turbo Sub First-person shooter 1991
Viking Child Action role-playing 1991
Warbirds Combat flight simulator 1991
World Class Fussball/Soccer Sports 1992
Xenophobe Run and gun 1990
Xybots Third-person shooter 1991
Zarlor Mercenary Shoot 'em up 1990

Links

15 August 2019

Atari Lynx value and price guide

What's your 'Atari Lynx' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):

Picture Title Date Sold for
The Complete Collection Video Game 07/2019 $4995.00
Ultimate Collectors System Sd Card Games 07/2019 $899.99
Brand New Crazy Krazy Ace Mini Golf 07/2019 $529.95
Ii Mcwill Lcd Vga Mateos Vectrex Burner 06/2019 $500.00
Original Handheld Console New For Ebay 07/2019 $500.00
Ii Mcwill Lcd Mod Case Ac Adapter 06/2019 $410.00

Want to see some more? Browse all ended auctions for more prices.

Atari Lynx forum

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