thaddius' Console Roast 2014 Edition - Round 4

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by thaddius, Mar 6, 2014.


Round 4 - Worst Handheld of the Fourth Generation

  1. The Atari Lynx

    63 vote(s)
  2. The Sega Game Gear

    24 vote(s)
  3. The Nintendo Game Boy

    17 vote(s)
  4. The NEC Turbo Express

    35 vote(s)
  5. The Quickshot SuperVision

    221 vote(s)
  1. thaddius

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    May 5, 2008
    Welcome back to thaddius’ Console Roast 2014 Edition. For those of you who are not aware this is a poll where you, the GBATemp user, get to vote on what GBATemp thinks is the worst console ever is. For more information check out the Rules section below.


    With another gigantic vote count we have a new 'winner'. Last week GBATemp thought that the worst console of the Third Generation was:

    The Casio PV-1000! Casio's one-time peek-a-boo game with the Japanese public has inspired the wrath of the Tempers as once again the title of 'worst of a generation' goes to a console few have ever played before.

    What I found most interesting is that there were a few (possibly trolls/fanboys) who believed that the NES was the worst console of the generation. Now that's just staggering.

    For more information on how the voting went, you can check out last week's thread here.


    I feel like something has been missing. There's a whole other 'side' to the video game market we've avoided so far. Handhelds.

    Prior to this generation handhelds were sparse and usually one-off LCD games (a trend that Tiger would continue well into the 90s). While there were some exceptions, it wasn't really until the Game Boy hit that things started to change. Consumers quickly learned the difference between quality and crap and made it very clear that battery life trumped graphics. But who will be deemed the worst handheld of the generation? Well... before we get to that let's recap the rules that everyone loves to read o'er and o'er.


    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    Enough of that crap, time to get started!

    This Week's Challengers:

    The Atari Lynx
    So Atari wasn't doing so well. They are still blamed (justly or not) for instigating the crash of '83 - probably because they had two consoles on the market at the time. The 7800 was not a resounding success either. So how about they try their hand at the handheld market? It seemed to work out well for Nintendo and their Game & Watch series.

    Some people would define a handheld at the time to be a portable console that could fit in your pocket. And if the Nintendo Game Boy was pushing the limits of 90s jean pockets, the Atari Lynx was destroying them. This bulk of a handheld was released in '89 to a cool reception.

    Atari hoped that unique features like left handed support, and deluxe features like a colour screen and better graphics would help the Lynx 'cut the mustard'. Sadly, to painfully stretch this metaphor, the knife that was the Lynx was dulled by a large price point ($189 at launch) and an abysmal battery life. In the end the mustard proved too thick...

    The Sega Game Gear
    Even though it was rushed into the market, Sega made a brilliant move by making their Master System portable! The same 8 bit graphics were now possible in portable form. There was just one major problem... despite having very similar hardware it didn't support Master System cartridges... This would later be fixed via an adapter.

    The Game Gear was an attempt to one up the dominant Game Boy with a backlit colour screen. Just like the Lynx though this proved to be a setback as users were much more interested in the Game Boy's battery life and game library than the Game Gear's.

    Sega would ultimately shift its focus onto the Sega Genesis and ramp up the much discussed 'console wars' of the early 90s.

    The Nintendo Game Boy
    Have any of you tried to go back and play an original DMG model? I cannot get over how bad the refresh rate is on the screen. The Game Gear and Lynx are similarly bad, but they had the back light to help out a little.

    The Game Boy was the epitome of Gunpei Yokoi's 'lateral thinking with withered technology' mantra at work. It's no wonder Nintendo thought they could ride out that mentality with the Wii. The Game Boy was old tech when it was released in '89 and that is probably the only reason it had a superior battery life compared to the Game Gear and Lynx.

    The Game Boy's saving grace would be its strong third party support - a layover from the NES days - with some companies like CAPCOM making remarkably similar GB versions of their NES games.

    The NEC Turbo Express
    For those who don't know, this was the portable version of NEC's Turbo GraFX 16/Turbo GraFX/PC Engine. Unlike the Game Gear this could actually play its console counterpart's games out-of-the-box.

    This thing, advertised as the PC Engine GT (Game Tank) in Japan, allegedly suffered from a sound issue that's often blamed on faulty capacitors, and dead pixels were common. Another issue was that PC Engine games were clearly designed with a TV in mind, so text was often very difficult to read on the handheld. And just like every other backlit LCD handheld on the market at the time it burned through batteries very quickly.

    The Watara/QuickShot Supervision
    This was an attempt to recreate the success of the Game Boy. It's major selling point was its low price point (usually ~$50).

    It was said to have similar screen and graphical capability to the Game Boy, but what the Supervision ultimately lacked was games. Especially quality ones. I'd be interested to hear from anyone else who owns/has played one of these.


    So there is it, GentleTemps and LadyGBAs. Users who were around for the last competition might note that I left out the Mega Duck/Cougar Boy and the Gamate/Super Boy/Super Child Prodigy this time around. While the Supervision was probably not any more or less notable than the left out entries I didn't want to bloat the poll or confuse the voters too much...

    And with that, happy voting! See you all in the comments.

    Current Standings:

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    kehkou, EZ-Megaman and Foxi4 like this.

  2. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    I'm going to have to say Watara Supervision, and here are my reasons:

    The Atari Lynx is the most ambitious handheld out of all of the above, it was prophetic in its form factor, more than just two buttons, a landscape screen... where it lacked was execution - technology just wasn't there yet. The system was beefy, but at the same time bulky and with abyssmal battery life. The screen was landscape, backlit and in colour, but it was blurry, at least as far as I remember. Atari tried and they certainly gave it the best, but at the end of the day, execution trumped the latest technological knick-knacks and the Lynx failed.

    The Game Gear is possibly the only real competition the original Game Boy line has ever had. The handheld is high-quality, the screen is backlit and colour, it's compatible with Master System games, making it practically a portable last-gen console, which is unprecedented to this day, the games are numerous and great... but alas, it's huge. It's just not a really good "portable". It did well, but not well enough to beat the Game Boy.

    The TurboExpress may not have been very popular due to its high price back in its hayday... but no matter how you slice the cake, that's a portable TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine right there, and that's cool as all hell. Just like in the case of the Game Gear, the system's backwards compatible with the TG-16/PC-E HuCards, so you can take your games with you on-the go. Lots of horsepower for a portable device, plus it actually looks quite comfortable - a very desirable, albeit expensive system.

    The Game Boy is the unquestionable winner here. It may not have the best graphics or the best sound, the display may not be in colour but it had two things the customer wanted - a relatively low pricetag and loads of games. It became popular long before its technologically superior competition entered the market and that wave of popularity allowed it to stay afloat for long, long years - it's a great system with a massive library and the unquestionable winner of the generation.

    ...and then there's the Watara Supervision... which is essentially a poor man's Game Boy. The screen is even worse than on the Game Boy itself and the only "innovation" they quickly shot (see what I did there?) into the system was the bendy body. No games, no contest. Today, the Quick Shot is just one of many obscure video game systems that you can't recommend to anyone unless they're a serious collector - it belongs in the same basket as the Mega Duck/Cougar Boy, Game Master and Gamate which have been omitted from the poll, possibly because then it would be a toss up between consoles nobody's ever really played. :P
    Skelletonike likes this.
  3. Nah3DS

    Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

    Feb 9, 2010
    the Lynx was a huge overpriced piece of shit

    for those who wants to know a little bit more about the SuperVision
    EZ-Megaman likes this.
  4. Arras

    Arras GBAtemp Guru

    Sep 14, 2010
    Considering the Supervision is basically just a Gameboy knockoff with less games I'm not sure how someone could vote the Gameboy as being worse than that.
    RchUncleSkeleton likes this.
  5. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Having owned all of those the worst is easily the Supervision, it had nothing going for it. The Lynx actually had quite a number of good titles like Chips Challenge, Kings Empire, battle Wheels, Blue Lightning, Cybervirus, Gauntlet 3rd, Raiden, Zalor Mercenary...actually it beats the Game Gear in sheer quality. The handheld wasn't great but at least the Lynx II fixed the issues and Epyx released some great titles for it, it's a shame it has so many votes here purely down to ignorance.
  6. Maxternal

    Maxternal Peanut Gallery Spokesman

    Nov 15, 2011
    Deep in GBAtemp addiction

    (also the only one I had never heard of before ... but after a little research "gameboy knockoff" couldn't describe it better)
    Psionic Roshambo likes this.
  7. VashTS

    VashTS Beat it, son

    Mar 14, 2009
    United States
    Upstate NY
    i think the gameboy shouldn't be on this list. it is nowhere near the worst of the handhelds!
  8. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    A shame Atari never made a handheld Zelda clone and called it "Lynx To The Past." They could've had this generation in the bag.
    Skelletonike, xwatchmanx and Foxi4 like this.
  9. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

    Jul 25, 2012
    United States
    I have to choose the Quick Shot because I loved each of the other systems too much! Sorry, not rant today.
  10. DinohScene

    DinohScene Capture the Dino

    GBAtemp Patron
    DinohScene is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Oct 11, 2011
    В небо
    Just what?

    It looks like you can twist the screen...
  11. Nathan Drake

    Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

    Jan 2, 2011
    Kind of like last week, I think we can already see a clear winner emerging. It makes sense though. The rest of the list are legitimate tries at entering the handheld market. Most probably would have flourished (or at least had the chance to) if it weren't for the Gameboy simply having more of what people were looking for (battery life, price, and games). When you get down to it though, by throwing a Gameboy knockoff our way, the choice is dreadfully obvious for the majority.
  12. XDel

    XDel Author of the Alien Breed Odamex Projekt.

    Jul 25, 2012
    United States
    Aghh, the Epyx Lynx was it? Or did Epyx call it something different originally? I forget. Another thing I forget is it's relation to the Amiga computer. I believe some of the guys who designed the Amiga designed this or something. I remember it had "Mode 7" like capabilities much like the Amiga 1000 on up (pre-SNES), and probably a few other things in relation to Amiga hardware. Though again, it's been so long, I forget my history. Great little system though. The 1st model was a bit heavy and was shaped more for adult hands than anything, but man did it have some killer features at the time, though as fate would have it, that old B&W Gameboy ended up being the one with the larger variety of games. One of Atari's last failures. Where did they go wrong? Expense? Was the Lynx the PS3 of the era? That and the NEC Portable.
    As for the SMS, I mean GameGear with more colors. Hey why not, again, if you were a SMS lover, it was a great little system.

    I won't go into battery life, back lights, and this and that because during this era, you got what yo paid for.

    EDIT: I guess I did rant tonight.
  13. Taleweaver

    Taleweaver Storywriter

    Dec 23, 2009
    To a degree, it's kind of sad that the supervision is on this list. With that sort of specs and lack of quality games, it's even less of a contest than last poll. And it's not as fun if you're more curious which one is voted second worst cons...handheld than the actual worst. :unsure:

    The price point, probably. It's easy to see quite some disillusioned childs who begged and whined to their parents to get a gameboy, yet got this thing for their birthday because parents couldn't tell the difference but in price. :evil:
  14. RchUncleSkeleton

    RchUncleSkeleton Skeletron 9000

    Feb 2, 2009
    United States
    California, USA
    I picked Watara Supervision because not only is the screen horrible but there was no good software for it.

    It was called the Handy Game, Atari bought the rights to it because Epyx couldn't afford to bring it to market and they renamed it the lynx.
    XDel likes this.
  15. NakedFaerie

    NakedFaerie GBAtemp Fan

    Jul 12, 2007
    In the shadows behind you
    Did anyone else get a popup saying their IP is blocked when they voted? I did.
    RchUncleSkeleton likes this.
  16. tbgtbg

    tbgtbg Shaking the ring ropes up in the sky

    Nov 27, 2006
    United States
    You know, these polls are pretty useless when you keep including obscure "ringers" like the casio and the supervision that most people never heard of and if they even did they thought it was garbage.

    Speaking of garbage, no option? :P
  17. Psionic Roshambo

    Psionic Roshambo GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Aug 12, 2011
    United States
    One further note as to why the GameBoy did so well back then. Batteries, they where expensive and rechargeable ones sucked (sucked as in they lasted less than half the time normal batteries did.) So when you see something like "GameBoy works for 14 hours on a single set of batteries" in the reviews you can imagine spending a weekend at Grandma's wouldn't be so bad. Then you would read the reviews of the other systems and they would complain about the things eating batteries. Imagine trying to convince your parents to buy you 50 dollars worth of batteries every week. (Power cords help but then it's not really portable.)

    Most of the other consoles would suck up a set of batteries in less than 3 hours. (Normal energizers, rechargeable's would probably last one and a half hours back in the day.)

    Being in color and having awesome graphics was nice, but only if you could carry around a back pack full of batteries with you. (and afford them)

    Then you had that whole Tetris thing going on at the time.

    *Back in the day I was famous in my neighborhood for a "mod" where if some one had an AC adapter with close enough specs I would cut off the plug that didn't fit in the machine and run the wires to the battery prongs... lol My friends dad was not happy about my "mod" since the AC adapter came from his answering machine or something... lol (I didn't ask where it came from, I always just assumed it was from something that broke and everyone had like 30 adapters like me....)
  18. thaddius

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    May 5, 2008
    The polls are inherently useless. Removing things won't make them any more useful.

    The was released in '97. It's part of a later generation.
  19. Foxi4

    Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip Reporter
    Sep 13, 2009
    Gaming Grotto
    He still neglected to include some systems, like the Gamate, Mega Duck/Cougar Boy and Game Master which are all handhelds from Generation 4, but not as common and rather obscure. :rofl2:
  20. thaddius

    thaddius Charmander is not pleased.

    May 5, 2008
    The first time I did this where it was choosing the best console people had concerns about the outliers. Why bother with the obscure ones? No one will ever vote for them.

    I think it will become much more interesting when we get further along and we reach generations where people know all/most of the players. People might be interested to see how the Tapwave Zodiac compares to the Gizmodo, or how the OUYA compares to the GameStick. Personally I'd like to see what happens between the 3DO and the CDi in gen 4.
    Foxi4 likes this.