Atari Lynx - Atari`s Handheld Game Console (LYNX)





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Atari Lynx (LYNX)

The Atari Lynx is the first portable system with a 4096 color screen, backlit screen and 180° screen rotation (for left-handers). The console was released in the same 1989 as the Game Boy (with a monochrome screen). For the joint game of several owners of the console, their association in the ComLynx network is provided (up to 17 players, although most games only support 8).

The Atari Lynx was developed by RG Michael and Dave Morse (Niddle), two of the developers of the first Amiga (Amiga 1000) who had just left the Commodore for Atari at the suggestion of Jack Tramal. They implemented the entire basic design of the system. So, the same buffered screen with a blitter was used, which made the Amiga computer popular. Other innovative features are hardware scaling and "destruction" of sprites, which allowed isometric games to be implemented on the console. Unrivaled (for the time) polygon filling capabilities (implemented by the blitter) with limited CPU usage is another trait inherited from the "big" Amiga.

The games were originally intended to be loaded from tape, but this was abandoned in favor of ROM modules. However, the data from the module needed to be loaded into RAM, which made the games slower than they could be. The system was developed by Epyx and acquired by Atari in 1987. Atari engineers removed the built-in speaker and thumb joystick from the chassis before releasing the system 2 years after development. The console was originally offered in America for $189.95. Atari management was particularly upset by the fact that the Amiga was used as a platform for developing games for the new system.