Evolution of Portable Gaming: Part II

Last time I talked about my first real portable gaming experience, the Atari Lynx.  During my Lynx years, the Nintendo Gameboy was a popular handheld platform (at a fraction the cost and 10 times the battery life, it’s no wonder).  I remember playing Tetris on my friend’s Gameboy at the time and being completely underwhelmed.  Black and white?  No backlight?  Lame.

In late 1993 after I graduated from high school, I was spending a lot of time just bumming around the house, so I put the Lynx away, and gamed purely on my computer and full-size consoles for the next ten years (no, really, ten years).

I remember reading about the Game Boy Advance when it came out, but since I was working a full-time job that didn’t require me to travel, I never really had a need for any handheld gaming device.  Playing games on my mobile phone was good enough entertainment when I was in the “home library”.

In late 2003 my wife and I were getting ready to go on a cruise.  At the time she was pregnant with our first child, and we figured that she wouldn’t be up for running around in a lot of exotic Caribbean locations.  So for the first time in years, I turned to portable gaming.  I bought us each a Game Boy Advance SP with a couple of games to keep us entertained while we were on the cruise.  One of the games that took over my life for a while starting on that fateful trip was Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.

Over the course of the next few months, I wouldn’t go anywhere without my trusty GBA SP.  Doctor’s offices, red lights, wherever I could I would squeeze in a few rounds of glorious battle.  I had jumped back into the portable gaming world with both feet.  I loved Final Fantasy Tactics Advance so much that I actually bought the little GBA SP adapter for the Gamecube so that I could play it on the big screen!

Keep tuning in, I still have yet to talk about the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.  But wait, there’s more!  I’ll also throw in my social commentary on portable gaming and kids today.

Until then, why don’t you let me know if you had any “dry spells” in portable gaming via the comments.  If you did have a dry spell, what was the trigger for you to get back into portable gaming?  Or did you turn your back on it forever, and have remained handheld-free for a while?

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Author: TimSpeedle View all posts by
  • After my Game Gear I did not have another handheld for years. The next one I bought was a GBA because of the add on feature for Animal Crossing. From there I had them all except the PSP.

  • After my Game Gear I did not have another handheld for years. The next one I bought was a GBA because of the add on feature for Animal Crossing. From there I had them all except the PSP.

  • I have never had any portable gaming devices in my life. I hear a lot about them but have gotten so used to playing games on a ‘big screen’ I couldn’t imagine going to anything so small. >.<

  • I have never had any portable gaming devices in my life. I hear a lot about them but have gotten so used to playing games on a ‘big screen’ I couldn’t imagine going to anything so small. >.<