Handhelds through the Generations

Forums - Sales Discussion - Handhelds through the Generations

I was thinking of putting together a handheld counterpart to my console comparisons, but first I have a few questions.

Besides Nintendo, and the recent PSP, I have no clue as to other handhelds that have appeared on the market. Also, I can't look up sales data for any of these anyway. I'm not really sure if it'll matter to much, since it's possible none of them sold enough units to really justify having them in the comparison.

Also, why is the GameBoy and GameBoy Color seem to be combined? According to wikipedia, the GameBoy Color had increase specs in many areas, and since the two were released nearly 10 years apart, I couldn't see how the Color version couldn't be somewhat updated. Why then, are sales for each always combined? I haven't done a lot of research yet, so I can't say it's not easy to find, but does anyone know the separated sales, not combined?

I'm mostly interested in looking at sales trends and market changes. This is mostly because the Japanese market has been stagnant in the console market, even shrinking a little the last generation, and I would like to compare it to the handheld market, to see if the handheld market in Japan is growing. This could lead to the point that handheld sales do compete with console sales. Or it might just show that the Japanese work too much.

Either way, it'll be a valueable addition to my comparisons, and so any help in different handhelds from the past 20 years and it's sales, or links to sources, would be much appreciated.

Thanks everyone! 

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Gameboy sold approx 69 million while colour had 49 million hence the 118 million combined figure. No hand held console besides gameboy/DS has been successful to a degree that they ever proved to be major competition. The psp is the most successful non-nintendo handheld. Hope this helps somewhat. hit wikipedia for list of handheld gaming machines



hm the reason why i think they counted em combined was mostly because all it featured extra was color and it could of play all of the gameboys games(but this is what i think)

tag:"reviews only matter for the real hardcore gamer"

but then the gba could play all gameboy games as well.

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1990 Game Gear - 11 million sales ww
1995 Nomad - 1 million sales ww


1989 Lynx - less than 500,000 ww



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Faxanadu said:
but then the gba could play all gameboy games as well.

yes thats what i was also wondering but thats why i said i think

tag:"reviews only matter for the real hardcore gamer"

They count GB and GBC together for the same reason they count Nintendogs together .... this way the sales seem to be higher :P

Anyways , unfortunatly there are not many numbers for handhelds on this site , and untill they will be underrated by the media as they are now , I dont think we will ever see full datas about them ...

There were also games that were playable on both the GB and GBC that had special coloring for the GBC.

I have an N-Gage... and still play it.

there were 3 cartrige types.

Grey case = Black/White original GB games
Black case = Works on GB, but has special coloring for GBC
Clear case = Works only on GBC and onward.

I think because of this "forward" compatibility, the GB had with the GBC it makes sense to count them together.

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If you ask why they bundled the Gameboy and the Game boy Color together in sales that is because they were two variations of the same system, if they had not bundled them together than ioi would have to seperate Core PSP packs and bundled packs, or seperate the Xbox and PS3 with their plethora of SKUS. Same system, better stuff, just like say the elite 360 or 80 gig PS3.

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