August 6, 2009 6:00 PM | Eric Caoili
While last week marked the 20th anniversary of the Game Boy's U.S. release, today brings the tenth birthday of another revered handheld, SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Color.
Though not as popular as Nintendo's Pokemon and Tetris machine, the NGPC has kept a loyal following with its well-executed portable ports like Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure, Metal Slug 1st Mission and 2nd Mission, and the Card Fighters Clash: SNK Vs. Capcom games. If you're unfamiliar with the system's catalog, Retronauts has a great list of the system's ten must-have games.
The 1UP blog also praises the NGPC for understanding the success of Nintendo's handhelds instead of falling into the same trap that other competing handhelds found themselves in. Sega's Game Gear/Nomad, Atari's Lynx, and NEC's TurboExpress all "compromised the convenience that was so pivotal to Game Boy's success", sacrificing portability and battery life for "beefy processors, huge backlit color screens, and chunky oversized cases".
The NGPC, however, was compact, cheap, and capable of surviving on two AA batteries for weeks. Its design was the opposite of SNK's Neo Geo home console, "the biggest, the beefiest, [and] the most expensive console of its time". You can find some decently priced NGPC bundles on eBay, too!