Atari Lynx II

Lynx II - 01
The Atari Lynx was the world's first color handheld portable videogame
Released in 1989, the Lynx offered multi-player functionality, 3D graphic
capabilities, reversible controls, and a backlit color LCD screen.
The Lynx features a strong library of games and technical abilities
beyond that of its contemporaries.
Unfortunately, the Lynx was ultimately unsuccessful due to Atari's
inability to persuade developers to write enough high profile games for
the system. 
The Lynx was originally conceived by engineers at Epyx in 1987,
where it was called the Handy.
Dave Needle and R.J. Mical, two of the Handy's creators, were also members
of the original Amiga design team.
Epyx first showed the system to industry insiders at the Winter CES in
January of 1989, and the audience was impressed.
However, Epyx ran into financial problems and it became apparent that
they would not be able to produce the Handy on their own.
They needed to find a partner, and sent out invitations to several
potential candidates.
One of the invitees was Nintendo, who passed on the project.
Another invitee was Atari, who was eager to reassert their market
dominance of the early 80's.
Atari and Epyx reached an agreement where Atari would handle the production
and marketing of the system, and Epyx would handle the software development.
Atari subsequently showed the system off to the press at the Summer
1989 CES with the working title Portable Color Entertainment System.
Also announced in 1989 was the Nintendo GameBoy.
Comparisons were quickly drawn between the two: the Lynx had more powerful
hardware and a backlit color screen, but the GameBoy was lighter, smaller,
and used less battery power.
The Lynx was also set to retail at $199 versus Nintendo's cheaper $109
Towards the end of the year, Atari finally released the Lynx in limited
quantities, but not enough to prevent shortages around the country.
The GameBoy was readily available and quickly became the holiday winner.
The Lynx would have to wait until next year to challenge the GameBoy.

1990 saw only moderate success for the Lynx. For $199, gamers received a
deluxe package that consisted of the system, a carrying case, a ComLynx
cable, an AC adaptor, and California Games.
Unfortunately Atari didn't have any killer-app titles to go with their
system, and Nintendo continued to gain market share with popular licenses
from their NES console.
Atari also had a poor reputation with retailers at this point, and some
simply declined to carry the Lynx.
However Atari stepped up its marketing campaign, and 1991 saw much improved
sales over the previous year.
Later in the year, Atari offered another package - for $99 gamers could buy
a Lynx without accessories. This helped to boost Lynx sales again, but
they were still losing badly to Nintendo.

In May of 1991, Sega released the Game Gear to the detriment of Lynx sales.
The Lynx was no longer the only color portable on the market, and Sega
had more marquee titles scheduled for their system.
Eventually the Lynx was squeezed out of the picture and the handheld market
was dominated by the Nintendo GameBoy with the Sega Game Gear a
distant second.

Although it ultimately failed to reach its commercial goals, the Lynx has
some fantastic games in its library.
There are accurate arcade translations such as Joust, Rampart, and Klax.
Quality original titles such as Chip's Challenge, Warbirds, and Gates
of Zendocon showed what the Lynx was capable of.
Unfortunately Atari could not attract enough third party developers to
continue supporting the Lynx, and by 1993 they ceased marketing it and
focused on their new console, the Jaguar.

Today, there is still a thriving Lynx community.
Fans and collectors still play and discuss the system, and developers
such as Songbird are releasing new games as well as completing unfinished
games from Atari's past.
Most Lynx games and the system can be found for a reasonable price, so if
you want to see what you missed out on it won't set you back too much.
For a taste of what the Lynx can do, download the Handy emulator and some
game ROMs and play them on your PC.


Manufacturer Atari Name Lynx II
Type Handheld Console Origine ???
Introduction Date 1989 End of production 1993
Built in Language ??? Keyboard -
CPU 'Mikey' 16-bit CMOS chip running at 16MHz. [sound, video, cpu] / 'Suzy' 16-bit CMOS tunning at 16MHz. [blitter, math coprocessor] Speed 16 Mhz
Coprocessor ??? Amount of Ram 64 Kb
Vram ??? Rom ???
Text Modes ??? Graphic Modes 160 x 102 (16,320 addressable pixels)
Colors 4096 color palette, 16 simultaneous colors from palette per scan line Sound 4 channel sound. 8-bit DAC each channel (32 bits).Stereo with panning (mono for original Lynx)
Size / Weight ??? Built in Media Cartridges
I/O Ports Headphones -mini-DIN 3.5mm stereo; wired for mono on the original. ComLynx -multiple unit communications. 9V DC, 1A Power. Game card slot. 6XAA Battery holder. OS -
Power Supply 6AA Batteries Introduction Price ???
Sold ??? Serial Number Y21A1026532
Other Extras Boxed, 2 Boxed Games Bought Where Ebay
Bought When June 29, 2003 Condition Very Good
Price Paid ??? Specs of my Model ???
Setup Today ???

The Box (Bottom) Inside the Box

Back View Serial Number


Lynx II-01:

Bought via ebay on ??/??/2003 for ?? + ?? (??)
Came from England nicely boxe, the manual and 2 boxed games
(Hydra and Pit Fighter)