20 years ago today, Nintendo's Game Boy dropped, and it was a wrap. Surriously. There were handheld game systems before that, but nothing was able to catch fire the way this lovable little brick did. 100 million+ units later, it's a legend. And in honor of the happy day, we took a trip back to pull together as many portable systems as we could find. Check the history, game on, nerds...
Mattel Football (1977)
Innovation: It was a video game you could hold in your hand. Seriously. That was like some Tron shit back then. Jimmy Carter was president!
Best Game: Uh, football. What, you wanted a zero-bit version of Left 4 Dead?
Milton Bradley Microvision (1979)
Innovation: The first handheld that took cartridges. Plus it showed up in Friday the 13th Part 2!
Best Game: Block Buster.
Nintendo Game & Watch (1980-1991)
Innovation: Being all small and whatnot. Seriously, that Microvision was like holding a cement banana.
Best Game: Donkey Kong. Moving pixels or no moving pixels, you can't touch the grandaddy of them all.
Epoch Game Pocket aka "Pokekon" (1984)
Innovation: Bringing you all the graphics of an Atari 2600 without needing a crappy black-and-white TV to connect it to.
Best Game: Astro Bomber
Nintendo Game Boy (1989)
Innovation: Selling 100 MILLION COPIES. Good lord.
Best Game: Tetris, son! Tell us you didn't spend many a school bus ride waiting for that long skinny joint to drop. Pause.
Atari Lynx (1989)
Innovation: Could network with other machines. Which was great if you actually knew someone else who had bought the thing.
Best Game: Blue Lightning
NEC Turbo Express (1990)
Innovation: The optional TV tuner. FINALLY!
Best Game: It played all the TurboGrafx-16 games, so without a doubt Chew Man Fu. Pause.
Sega Game Gear (1991 [USA])
Innovation: Sega games!
Best Game: Sonic the Motherfuckin' Hedgehog
Sega Nomad (1995)
Innovation: You could play it as a handheld or on the TV! Which basically just makes it a Sega, but never mind all that.
Best Game: Played all the Sega Genesis games. Which of course means Mortal Kombat II. HayobabalayEEEEE! (c) Raiden
Tiger game.com (1997)
Innovation: First system to use a touchscreen and stylus. Pokey, mon.
Best Game: Duke Nukem 3D. Except not. That thing was garbation.
Neo-Geo Pocket (1998)
Innovation: No idea--it was only for sale in Japan and Hong Kong.
Best Game: King of Fighters R-1. We're just guessing here.
Nintendo Game Boy Color (1998)
Innovation: Like a Game Boy, with color! And it only took nine years.
Best Game: We never played this, so we're gonna say color Tetris. Bring on the Advance already.
Nintendo Game Boy Advance (2001)
Innovation: Super Nintendo-level gaming.
Best Game: SNES was the jernt. Donkey Kong Country FTW!
GamePark GP32 (2001)
Innovation: Cooked up just for the homebrew set. Open-source. Piracy ahoy!
Best Game: Name it. Thanks to emulation, this thing played pretty much anything you could throw at it.
Nokia N-Gage (2003)
Innovation: Combining a competent gaming platform with an ergonomically bizarre cell phone.
Best Game: Pay Your Infuriatingly Large Cell Phone Bill!
Tapwave Zodiac (2004)
Innovation: Ran on a modified PalmOS platform. Uh...awesome.
Best Game: Tradewinds 2
Nintendo DS (2004)
Innovation: Wi-Fi gaming and all-around awesomeness.
Best Game: You kidding? Mario Kart DS. That game is still crack.
Sony PSP (2005 [USA])
Innovation: Having a big-ass screen. Seriously, when this came out it was like wearing VR goggles.
Best Game: Madden. Madden. Madden.
Innovation: Blowing through $400 million worth of funding in a year.
Best Game: The most pauseworthy game lineup ever: Sticky Balls; Richard Burns Rally; and the unreleased classic Fathammer Classics Pack. AaaaaaaaaaYO!