atari_lynx_portable_console_00

The Atari Lynx is a 16-bit handheld game console that was released by Atari Corporation in 1989. The Lynx holds the distinction of being the world's first handheld electronic game with a color LCD. The system is also notable for its forward-looking features, advanced graphics, and ambidextrous layout. The Lynx was released in 1989, the same year as Nintendo's (monochromatic) Game Boy. [WikiPedia]

atari_lynx_portable_console_01

120 games are available, I own currently only one: Gates of zendocon:

Gates of Zendocon is a 1989 action video game by Epyx for the Atari Lynx which was highly rated. This game is an action platform scrolling shooter where the player controls a space ship across 51 levels ("universes"). During gameplay there are a number of little alien allies to aid the player and protect the ship. The style of the game has an organic feel and the foes are numerous. There is a bonus level hidden inside the game where the player can earn high scores by destroying the faces of the game's creators. [WikiPedia]

atari_lynx_portable_console_gates_of_zendocon_00atari_lynx_portable_console_gates_of_zendocon_01

Technical specifications

  • MOS 65SC02 processor running at up to 4 MHz (~3.6 MHz average)
    • 8-bit CPU, 16-bit address space
    • Sound engine
      • 4 channel sound (Lynx II with panning)
      • 8-bit DAC for each channel (4 channels × 8-bits/channel = 32 bits commonly quoted)
    • Video DMA driver for liquid-crystal display
      • 4,096 color (12-bit) palette
      • 16 simultaneous colors (4 bits) from palette per scan line (more than 16 colors can be displayed by changing palettes after each scan line)
    • 8 System timers (2 reserved for LCD timing, one for UART)
    • Interrupt controller
    • UART (for ComLynx) (fixed format 8E1, up to 62500 Bauds)
    • 512 bytes of bootstrap and game-card loading ROM
  • Suzy (16-bit custom CMOS chip running at 16 MHz)
    • Graphics engine
      • Hardware drawing support
      • Unlimited number of high-speed sprites with collision detection
      • Hardware high-speed sprite scaling, distortion, and tilting effects
      • Hardware decoding of compressed sprite data
      • Hardware clipping and multi-directional scrolling
      • Variable frame rate (up to 75 frames/second)
      • 160 × 102 standard resolution (16,320 addressable pixels)
    • Math co-processor
      • Hardware 16-bit × 16-bit → 32-bit multiply with optional accumulation; 32-bit ÷ 16-bit → 16-bit divide
      • Parallel processing of CPU and a single multiply or a divide instruction
  • RAM: 64 KB 120ns DRAM
  • Storage: Cartridge - 128, 256 and 512 KB exist, up to 2 MB is possible with bank-switching logic. Some (homebrew) carts with EEPROM to save hi-scores.
  • Ports:
    • Headphone port (3.5 mm stereo; wired for mono on the original Lynx)
    • ComLynx (multiple unit communications, serial)
  • LCD Screen: 3.5" diagonal
  • Battery holder (six AA) ~4–5 hours (Lynx I) ~5-6 hours (Lynx II)
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