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Lynx vs. Lynx vs. GBA - The Atari Times

Lynx vs. Lynx vs. GBA

How would the Lynx fare against the competition?
by Gregory D. George

October 22, 2002
With the release of the GameBoy Advance, the Atari Lynx has finally, after twelve years, been dethroned as the most powerful “exclusively handheld” game system in existence. (Neither the TurboExpress or Nomad were “exclusively handheld” as they were both based off of and use console software.) But, if you were to choose between a Lynx version I or a Lynx version II, which one would you pick? Both the Lynx I and II play the same games. So, the only real comparison is of the hardware themselves.

Cartridge Insertion: The Lynx I has the cartridge door under the joypad. This door also has a latch that can easily be broken if you are not careful with it. The Lynx II, however, has no door and the cards are inserted in the top. Either way, the game won't fall out, but the Lynx I's easily broken door makes the II the winner in this category.

Paint: It seems that the Lynx I has a layer of paint on it, which will flake off over time. The Lynx II has no paint. Winner: Lynx II.

Size: The Lynx II is shorter that the Lynx I, however it is also “fatter” in the middle. Neither one of them will fit in your pocket, but the flatness of the Lynx I is somewhat easier to deal with. Winner: Lynx I.

Hardware: Very similar to each other, however, the Lynx II has true stereo sound in some games whereas the Lynx I does not. Also, the ports for power and the headphones are positioned in a more logical manner on the Lynx II. Winner: Lynx II.

Battery Life: Similar between the two Lynxes, but the addition of the backlight button on the Lynx II pushes it ahead of the Lynx I. Winner: Lynx II.

Overall: It's hard to deny that Atari made great improvements over the original Lynx design with the Lynx II. If you have to pick between the two, get the smaller, more featured Lynx II.

Lynx vs. GBA

Now, unless you've been living in a cave for the past few years you know about Nintendo's Gameboy Advance. But, is it really that much better than the Lynx? Well, aside from the lack of a backlight, yes. But, there's no reason why it shouldn't be even more powerful than the Lynx. It's been 12 years for goodness sake! You'd think that Nintendo would have been able to best the Lynx long before now!

The GBA is based off of a 32-bit processor that is adept at 2D games, but not quite able to do 3D. You won't see a 3D Virtua Fighter, even if Sega is a Nintendo licensee now. Comparatively speaking, the GBA is a portable Super NES.

Lynx Vs. GBA

p>Now, lets take this to the next step… Had Atari continued the Lynx line with a Lynx III, a Lynx IV and a Lynx V, how powerful would it be today taking into consideration Nintendo's history of offering weaker hardware?

The Lynx III would, in all likelihood, have been roughly as powerful as the Sega Genesis. I'm thinking a resolution of 200x160 with 64 colors onscreen at one time. Throw in a 68000 with a clock speed of 8Mhz along with such fancy tricks as scaling, rotation, and anti-aliasing, and you've got yourself a neat little machine.

The Lynx IV would have been a system as powerful as the Jaguar. Maybe not as powerful as the PSX in terms of 3D polygons and such, but it would be more than capable of handling true 3D games. This system would have an even better resolution of 240x200, 32,000 colors onscreen at once, texture mapping, morphing, fog effects, and a blazingly fast 24Mhz processor.

The final Lynx, would bring us to today and would be in competition to the GameBoy Advance. Now, if history were to remain true, the Lynx V would make the GBA look like a Tiger LCD game.

First of all, it would fall between the PSX and Sega Dreamcast in terms of power. It would likely have a 64-bit processor and would have moved away from carts in favor of using mini-CDs capable of storing over 300 megabytes worth of data. It would be capable of 16.7 million colors on screen at one time, and have a resolution of 320x200 on a screen no bigger than 4 inches wide. A powerful 100 MHz processor would drive the Lynx V and you would be playing games along the lines of Dead or Alive 2 on it.

While Nintendo is more than happy to sell you technology from almost 10 years ago, Atari would have made it priority to push the envelope of technology. Who knows? Maybe in another 10 years, the GameBoy would be as powerful as the Lynx V. We can always dream, can't we?

The original Lynx system.
The revised Lynx called, Lynx II
Had the Lynx continued, we might be playing Skyhammer on the Lynx V!

Reader Comments for Lynx vs. Lynx vs. GBA

Lynx V by chow on 2008-04-27 22:36:30
The author of this article is now the happy owner of a Sony PSP.
Nope... by Gregory D. George on 2008-04-28 21:41:11
Actually, I'm the happy owner of a Nintendo DS. Haven't had much interest in a PSP...
PSP and Lynx by Me on 2008-05-14 03:02:49
PSP pretty much continued where Atari left off though. That's what chow was probably trying to imply.

DS is very backwards technologically (as usual for Nintendo) while PSP is very much in line with the sort of advanced technology you describe in your Lynx V concept.

In fact, there's even a good Lynx emulator for PSP.

I have a DS Lite and a PSP (original model) and highly recommend the PSP if you only have a DS. Install custom firmware and there's just so much to play and do, it's amazing.
atari lynx II by jt on 2014-11-14 11:18:34
it is a overpowered beast I own a complete in box lynx II and I enjoy playing switchblade. Even though it costed more then any Nintendo console but it was and is a lot better to this day. I like it more than the 3ds,ds and the psp
lynx II by jt on 2014-11-14 11:19:40
im playing it right now
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