Thirty years ago this fall, Milton Bradley released the world’s first handheld video game system with interchangeable cartridges, the Microvision. Prior to 1979, handheld electronic games were stuck with one predetermined game (or set of games) per unit. After the Nintendo Game Boy debuted a decade later, the market for cartridge-based handheld devices exploded, inspiring hardware vendors both prominent and obscure to release gadgets for playing multiple games on.
In honor of the technology’s pearl anniversary, let’s take a look at some notable successes and notorious failures in the history of handheld gaming. This overview is by no means complete, so feel free to share your favorite (and least favorite) mobile gaming memories with us.
One caveat: These game consoles are memorable, but not always in a good way. In fact, a few of them are on our list of the worst video game systems of all time.