Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nostalgia Dirigible: Forgotten Handhelds

As I'm sure you're already well aware, KGB Radio Episode 20 featured another of our famous quiz segments. This time the theme was handhelds, inspired by the recent launch of the PlayStation Vita. Well, this article isn't about the Vita. It's about things that are far, far, shittier. Come aboard the KGB Nostalgia Dirigible, for another rousing adventure in the past!

Virtual Boy

While I admit that this is most likely the least "forgotten" of the machines on this list, it deserves recognition. Possibly simply for the love Pat Ronk has of watching Virtual Boy videos. Really. The guy jumps through like 17 hoops simply to watch speed runs of games like Wario Land and Red Alarm in 3D on his 3DS. If that's not a problem, I don't know what is.

Anyway, what were we talking about? Oh, Virtual Boy.

Yeah, it kinda sucked. The graphics were all red and it'd hurt your eyes if you played longer than 20 minutes. It lasted less than 6 months, and remains Nintendo's largest flop ever.

Atari Lynx

The Atari Lynx was released in 1989, and was kinda ground-breaking when it was released. It was the first backlit, color handheld on the market, and it looked leaps and bounds better than the Nintendo GameBoy, which was released in the same year. It also had several other seemingly bat-shit crazy ideas, such as the ability the turn upside-down for left handed players, and network support for up to 17 other Lynx. Lynxes. Lynxi?

Unfortunately, the Lynx couldn't boast the same kind of software lineup the Game Boy could, which ultimately led to its discontinuation in 1994. There are still some notable Lynx games, which you may want to track down via ROMs, although that would be stealing, and stealing is wrong.


The Tamagotchi started the virtual pet craze of the late 90s. Enclosed in a plastic egg, this a barely a game. I know, whatever, it's my list. The Tamagotchi was worlds better than the Giga Pet, which released by Tiger Electronics in 1997. If you don't believe that, come at me. I'll fight you.


Oh, Gizmondo. What a tangled web you weave. Tiger Telematics released the Gizmondo in March 2005, to a surprisingly large amount of press. Only thing is, the damn Gizmondo sold less than 25,000 units. Not exactly a home run. This could be due to the fact that it was a complete trainwreck of epic proportions.

The system itself was a weird middle ground of cell phone/PDA/game console that only the mid aughts could have dreamed up. In order to play games, one would need to remove the battery to insert the card. Think about that. Every time you wanted to play something else, YOU WOULD NEED TO DISMANTLE YOUR CONSOLE TO DO SO. I have no idea how this idea didn't take off.

(Editor editor's note-  Here, Chris has been afflicted with a minor case of "derp" and has confused the Gizmondo for the Nokia N-Gage.  The Gizmondo didn't force you to remove the casing to change games. We apologize, and ensure our readers that he will be punished.  By being forced to actually play a Gizmondo.  With his ass. -Rock)

Also, the Gizmondo was funded by the mafia. Tiger Telematics was headed up by Stefan Eriksson, whom you might know as the guy who did this to a Ferarri Enzo.

Anyway, Eriksson was arrested in 2006 for a variety of charges. From Wikipedia: "Police raided Eriksson's Bel Air home and on April 8, 2006. Eriksson, preparing to leave the US, was arrested on suspicion of embezzlement, grand theft auto, drunken driving, cocaine possession, and weapons charges stemming from a Magnum handgun encountered during the search. He initially faced up to 14 years in prison, which was later reduced in a plea bargain. In May, misdemeanor hit and run and driving without a California license and insurance were added in relation to a Porsche Cayenne allegedly driven by Eriksson rear-ending an SUV near his Bel Air home on January 4."

So yeah, The Gizmondo.

Sega Nomad

The Sega Nomad was the tits. It was a portable Genesis. Let me repeat that, THIS WAS A PORTABLE SEGA GENESIS. Imagine all that 16-bit Blast Processing in your hands. Eating AA batteries like they were cracker jack. This was released for Christmas 1995, and I can't believe I never owned one. I had a Game Gear, and that was terrible. But this? This played all my Genesis carts I already had. Streets of Rage, Mortal Kombat II, and NHL '95 all could have been my companions on bus rides, car trips, and my frequent, painful trips to the bathroom.

In addition to being a badass handheld, the Nomad could also function as a full-fledged Genesis home console. Using an A/V out cord, the Nomad could be connected to a TV, and a port on the bottom of the Nomad allowed for another controller to be plugged in for 2-player games. Awesome.

Christopher Linendoll is fueled by rage. He can be reached via Twitter, or found in the hummus section of your local grocery store.


  1. God dammit the Nomad was awesome! Seriously, how did such an idea fail? Truth be told, I'm not surprised that Sega found a way.....

  2. Goddamn you, NGage. You ruined my article!

  3. Remember I had duke nukem for that little piece of crap, it's still in my parent's basement somewhere I think.


    2. Oh! The only handheld that actively insulted the very people expected to buy it. Until the PSP with their disastrous "Marcus" campaign.....