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Encyclopedia > Handheld electronic game

Handheld electronic games are very small, portable devices for playing interactive games, often miniaturized versions of video games. The controls, display and speakers are all part of a single unit. Rather than a general-purpose screen made up of a grid of small pixels, they usually have custom displays designed to play one game. This simplicity means they can be made as small as a digital watch, and sometimes are. The visual output of these games can range from a few small light bulbs or LED lights to calculator-like alphanumerical screens; later these were mostly displaced by liquid crystal and Vacuum fluorescent display screens with detailed images and in the case of VFD games, color. Handhelds were at their most popular from the late 1970s into the early 1990s. They are both the precursors to and inexpensive alternatives to the handheld game console. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1704x2272, 1528 KB) Summary Electronic Quarterback by Coleco (1978). ... This article is about a recreational activity. ... Computer and video games A screenshot of Tetris for the Nintendo Game Boy A console game (better known as a video game) is a form of interactive multimedia used for entertainment, which consists of a moveable image displayed on a screen that is usually controlled and manipulated using a handheld... A pixel (pix, 1932 abbreviation of pictures, coined by Variety headline writers + element) is one of the many tiny dots that make up the representation of a picture in a computers memory. ... Pocket watch A watch is a small portable clock that displays the current time and sometimes the current day, date, month and year. ... Various light-emitting diodes (5 mm reds, 3 mm greens and yellows) A light-emitting diode (LED) is a semiconductor device that emits incoherent monochromatic light when electrically biased in the forward direction. ... Reflective twisted nematic liquid crystal display. ... A vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) is a type of display used primarily on consumer-electronics equipment such as video cassette recorders. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... The 1990s decade refers to the years from 1990 to 1999, inclusive. ... A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable, electronic machine for playing video games. ...

Contents


History

Early handheld games utilized very simple mechanisms to interact with players, often limited to lighted buttons and sound effects. Notable early handheld games included the Mattel Auto Race (1976) and Mattel Electronic Football (1977) which featured very simple red-LED displays; gameplay involved the player pressing buttons to move his car or quarterback icon (represented by a bright dot) to avoid obstacles (represented by less bright dots). In 1978 the Milton Bradley Company entered the handheld market with Simon, a simple color-and-sound-matching game. Simon had no dedicated display, but featured four colored, lighted buttons; the original version was large enough to be used as a tabletop game or a handheld; later versions became increasingly smaller. The same year, Milton Bradley also released Merlin, a more sophisticated handheld which could play six different games using an array of 11 buttons with integrated LEDs. Despite their relative simplicity, each of these early games were highly successful. Three LEDs of different colors. ... The Milton Bradley Company was established by Milton Bradley in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1860. ... The electronic game Simon by Milton Bradley Simon is an electronic game. ... Merlin (sometimes known as Merlin, the Electronic Wizard) was a handheld electronic game first made by Parker Brothers in the late 1970s. ...


The initial success of Mattel and Parker Brothers' entries spawned a wave of similar handheld devices which were released through the early 1980s. Notable among these were a series of popular 2-player "head-to-head" games from Coleco. Other games were miniaturized versions of popular arcade video games. Coleco was a company founded in 1932 by Maurice R. Greenberg as Connecticut Leather Company to sell leather supplies to shoemakers. ...


During the 1980s, LCD displays became inexpensive and largely replaced LED displays in handheld games. The use of custom images in LCD and VFD games allows them to have greater detail and avoid the blocky, pixellated look of console screens, but not without drawbacks. All graphics are fixed in place, so every possible location and state of game objects has to be preset(and are usually visible when resetting a game), with no overlap. Illusion of movement is created by sequentially flashing objects between their possible states. Backgrounds for these games are static drawings, layered behind the "moving" graphics which are transparent when not in use. Partly due to these limitations, the gameplay of early LCD games was often even more crude than for their LED antecedents. LCD redirects here. ...


The most well-known handheld games of the LCD display era are the Nintendo Game & Watch series, but titles from other companies were also popular, especially conversions of arcade games. New games are still being made, but most are based on relatively simple card and board games. Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂, ニンテンドー Nintendō; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 ) is an international company originally founded in Japan on November 6, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ... Fire, 1981. ... Centipede by Atari is a typical example of a 1980s era arcade game. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... A board game is any game played on a board (that is, a premarked surface) with counters or pieces that are moved across the board. ...


Handhelds today

Despite the increasing sophistication of handheld consoles such as the Game Boy, dedicated handhelds continue to find a niche. Today the most common type of handheld electronic games are card games like blackjack or poker and the many portable Tetris games that first appeared in the early 90s. The latter usually featuring many different games using the array of Tetris blocks as a very crude, low resolution dot matrix screen. Such devices often have many variations of the original Tetris game and sometimes even other kinds of games like racing or even space shooters, all implemented using the Tetris blocks as "pixels". The most advanced of these designs can easily have more than 20 distinct games implemented and feature multi-channel sound, voice synthesis or digital sounds samples, and internal CMOS memory which can save the current game progress and high scores when the system is turned off. These advanced features blur the distinction between dedicated handhelds and handheld game consoles. Tetris is a puzzle game invented by Alexey Pazhitnov (last name sometimes transliterated Pajitnov) in 1985, while he was working for the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia during the days of the Soviet Union. ... A dot matrix is an array of dots used to generate characters, symbols and images. ... Tetris is a puzzle game invented by Alexey Pazhitnov (last name sometimes transliterated Pajitnov) in 1985, while he was working for the Academy of Sciences in Moscow, Russia during the days of the Soviet Union. ... A race is a competition of speed. ... Static CMOS Inverter CMOS (pronounced see-moss), which stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, is a major class of integrated circuits. ...


See also

Major Handheld game consoles
Early units
see Microvision and Handheld electronic games
Nintendo handhelds
Game & Watch | Game Boy line | Game Boy Color | Game Boy Advance | Nintendo DS |
Bandai handhelds
WonderSwan | WonderSwan Color | Swan Crystal
SNK handhelds
Neo Geo Pocket | Neo-Geo Pocket Color
Sega handhelds
Game Gear | Nomad | Mega Jet
Sony handhelds
PocketStation | PlayStation Portable
Other handhelds
Atari Lynx | Game.com | Gizmondo | GP32 | GP2X | N-Gage | TurboExpress
Comparison

A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable, electronic machine for playing video games. ... Microvision The Microvision was a hand-held game console released by Milton Bradley Company in 1979. ... Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂, ニンテンドー Nintendō; NASDAQ: NTDOY, TYO: 7974 ) is an international company originally founded in Japan on November 6, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. ... Fire, 1981. ... The Game Boy line (Japanese: ゲームボーイ Gēmu Bōi) is a line of battery-powered handheld game consoles sold by Nintendo. ... The Game Boy Color came in a myriad of different colors, as did earlier incarnations of the Game Boy. ... The Game Boy Advance (GBA) is a handheld video game console developed, manufactured and marketed by Nintendo. ... The Nintendo DS, (sometimes abbreviated NDS or DS), is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and manufactured by Nintendo. ... This article is about the Japanese toy manufacturer. ... A WonderSwan playing Gunpey. ... WonderSwan Color The WonderSwan Color is a handheld game console designed by Bandai. ... A purple Swan Crystal with Front Mission running The Swan Crystal is the successor of Bandais WonderSwan handheld gaming system brand. ... SNK (now SNK Playmore) is a Japanese video game hardware and software company. ... Neo Geo Pocket (Monochrome) The Neo Geo Pocket was SNKs original hand held system. ... Neo Geo Pocket Color The Neo Geo Pocket Color (or NGPC) was released in 1998 in Japan. ... Sega (セガ) is an international video game software and hardware developing company, and a former home computer and console manufacturer. ... The Sega Game Gear was Segas first portable gaming system. ... The Sega Nomad was a handheld game console sold in North America and South America, mainly in Brazil, essentially a mini-Genesis console, based on the Japanese Mega Jet and featuring a built-in color screen. ... The Sega Mega Jet The Sega Mega Jet was a handheld version of the Mega Drive video game console. ... Sony Corporation (Japanese katakana: ソニー) (TYO: 6758 , NYSE: SNE) is a global Japanese consumer electronics, financial services and entertainment corporation based in Tokyo, Japan. ... PocketStation The PocketStation is a miniature game console created by Sony as a peripheral for the PlayStation. ... The PlayStation Portable (officially PSP), a handheld game console, is a product of Sony Computer Entertainment. ... The Atari Lynx is Ataris only handheld game console, and the first such machine with a color display. ... Tigers game. ... The Gizmondo is a handheld gaming console with GPRS and GPS technology, manufactured by Tiger Telematics. ... The GP32 (GamePark 32) is a hand held console built by the Korean company GamePark. ... The GP2X is a 2×AA battery-powered handheld game console, media player, and video game device, created and sold by GamePark Holdings of Korea. ... Nokia N-Gage phone (original version) The Nokia N-Gage is a mobile telephone and handheld game system based on the Nokia Series 60 platform. ... The TurboExpress was a portable version of the TurboGrafx, released in 1990 for $249. ... This is a comparison of the features of various handheld game consoles that exist. ... A handheld game console is a lightweight, portable, electronic machine for playing video games. ... A mobile game is a computer software game played on a mobile phone. ... Calculator gaming is the phenomenon of programming and playing games on programmable calculators, especially graphing calculators. ...

External references


  Results from FactBites:
 
Handheld electronic game - Definition, explanation (431 words)
Handheld electronic games (also LCD games, LED games) are very small, portable devices for playing video games.
The visual output of these games can range from a few small LED lights to calculator-like alphanumerical screens, to liquid crystal and Vacuum fluorescent display screens with detailed images and in the case of VFD games, color.
Nowdays, the most common type of handheld electronic games are the many portable Tetris games that first appeared in the early 90s, usually featuring many different games using the array of Tetris blocks as a very crude, low resolution dot matrix screen.
Gamestudies - Issue 0601, 2006 (796 words)
Game Studies is a crossdisciplinary journal dedicated to games research, web-published several times a year at www.gamestudies.org.
Although the vast majority of studies undertaking the examination of electronic games and the emergence of a gaming culture deny that games are addictive, a stereotype of the game player as addicted continues to circulate in various strands of ego-psychology and pedagogical study and, with greater force and political affect.
Hong Kong is one of the consumption centres of Japanese electronic games in Asia.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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