Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I wanna hold your handheld

Handheld video games. Time was, you had to drop big bucks on a game system like the Game Boy, PSP or Atari Lynx or you were stuck with a cheaper Tiger LCD handhled, which have been around since the late 70s. But, with the mass marketing of color LCD screens, a cheap mid-80s and 90s the home gaming experience has come to the handheld.

Target is selling a Sega handheld loaded with 20 old Sega Master System and Game Gear games for a steal at around $15. It runs on 3 AAA and sports a nice 2.5" color screen.

The games include:
Sonic Drift 2
Sonic Triple Trouble
Alex Kidd in High Tech World
Alex Kidd in Miracle World
Altered Beast
Assault City
Astro Warrior
Aztec Adventure
Bomber Raid
Ecco II: The Tides of Time
Fantasy Zone
Fantasy Zone: The Maze
Global Defense
Kung Fu Kid
The Ninja
Penguin Land
Snail Maze
Super Columns

My obsession is the "Super Columns" game (a Tetris clone), but the Sonic Triple Trouble, Altered Beast and Astro Warriors are also favorites. All the games are pretty much the Sega answer to the NES or arcade games from that time period. Tetris, Mario, Zelda, 1942 and many others get a cloned game. They're all lots of fun, especially for $15.

The system also, comes with A/V hook-ups, so you can turn it into a plug and play for you tv set. And it sports a headphone jack, a port for a 5V AC adapter (not included), volume controls and a long battery life (and I was using the cheap AAA's from the dollar bin at Target). I've been playing it a lot and have only changed batteries once in the last 3 weeks.

After playing this and having the option of playing the games on the big screen, I'm convinced Nintendo needs to do something similar. Maybe designed to look like a compact version of the original Game Boy, loaded with some classic NES/SNES home games. And they could follow with a NES plug n play shaped like the original NES, with 2 controllers and games built in (like the Atari Flashback). Price them right and you'd have game heaven.

No comments: