Atari Lynx II (Rygar Box)

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This is a redesign of the original machine. It is slightly smaller, has a brighter screen, a much more symmetrical shape, and now has an open cartridge slot at the back. It also has a backlight button to turn the screen off to save power while not having to turn the whole console off, if it is between gaming sessions.

The Atari Lynx was a handheld game console released by Atari in 1989. The Lynx holds the distinction of being the world’s first handheld electronic game with a colour LCD display.

The system is also notable for its forward-looking Features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout.

Originally titled the Handy, the machine was developed by Epyx, who were also responsible for the early software. The machine was originally offered to Nintendo, but during the meeting, Nintendo showed them their new hand held, the Game Boy.

The Lynx was eventually discontinued in 1992 by Atari, so they could concentrate on the ill fated Panther and Jaguar projects, a decision especially regretted by Atari's UK head Darryl Still.

The Atari Lynx had several innovative features including it being the first colour handheld, with a Backlit display, a switch able right-handed/left-handed (upside down) configuration, and the ability to network with up to 17 other units via its "ComLynx” system (though most games would network eight or fewer players).

ComLynx was originally developed to run over infrared links (Codenamed RedEye), This was changed to a cable-based networking system before the final release

The Lynx was the second handheld console from Atari to be produced; the first was Atari Inc.’s "Touch Me”; Atari Inc. had previously worked on several other handheld projects including the Breakout and Space Invaders, the Atari Cosmos portable/tabletop console, and the Atari Atlantis. However, those projects were shut down during development, some just short of their intended commercial release.

The first generations of cartridges were flat, and were designed to be stackable. However, this design was proved to be very difficult to remove from the console and were replaced by the second generation of cartridges called Tabbed or ridged, these used the same basic design but with to small tabs on the underside of the cartridge to aid the removal, The original flat style cartridges could be stacked on top of the newer cartridges, but the newer cartridges could not be easily stacked on each other, nor were they stored easily. Thus a third style, the "curved lip" style was produced.

The Atari Lynx needed six batteries, and the Game Boy needed four, with the Lynx’s backlight screen, its would drain six AA batteries in less than four hours.

Processor: two 16-bit custom CMOS chips running at 16MHz
Memory: 64K RAM
Sound: 4 Channel sound 8-bit DAC for each channel
Colour: 4096-colour palette, 16 simultaneous colours from palette per scan line
Resolution: 160 x 102 (16,320 addressable pixels)
Screen Size: 3.5” Diagonal (approximately 3.25” x 1.88”)

Manufacturer: Atari
Date: 1990

Other Systems Related To Atari Lynx II (Rygar Box):

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Atari 400 with Aftermarket Keyboard Atari November 1979
Atari 800 Atari November 1979
Atari 400 Atari November 1979
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Atari 1200XL Atari 1982
Atari 800XL Atari 1983
Atari 600XL Atari June 1983
Atari 520 STFM Atari 1985
Atari 65XE Atari 1985
Atari 520ST (boxed) + External hard drive + software Atari 1985
Atari 520 STM Atari 1st January 1985
Atari 1040 STE Atari 1986
Atari 520 STM Atari 12th September 1986
Atari Mega ST 2 Atari 1987
Atari ST Mega 1040 Tower Power Atari 1988
Atari 1040STFM Atari 1989
Atari 1040STFM (David Arnold) Atari 1989
Atari 520 STE Atari 1989
Atari 1040STF Atari 1989
Atari Portfolio Atari 1989
Atari Stacy 2 Atari 9th December 1989
Atari Mega 4 Atari 1990
Atari TT030 Atari 1990
Atari Falcon Atari 1990
Atari Mega/STE Atari 1991

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH37283. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.

Atari Lynx II (Rygar Box)

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