When you think of portable systems, your mind may instantly jump to systems such as Gameboy, Game Gear, PSP, etc. But, there have been others that are now quite rare. No, I’m not talking about the Sega Nomad or the NEC Turbo Express or the Atari Lynx. The NEC PC Engine LT and the Goldstar CD-I GPI-1200m (also released by Phillips as the CD-I 370) are odd because they come in the form of a laptop which would be played on a surface with the controls on the face of the inside!
Both systems also had controller ports in case you didn’t want to bother tapping buttons without actually holding a control. The PC Engine LT is quite rare because it was around about the same time as the PC Engine GT (known as the Turbo Express in countries outside of Japan). With two of these systems that did nearly the same thing, one had to go and it happened to be the expensive LT. But, since the LT has such a clean and clear screen, I would choose this over the GT any day regardless of the price. Please note however that this is a Japanese system.
The portable CD-I systems that existed (and there were a few) where insanely expensive in their time and were doomed from the start to fall into obscurity. The CD-I wasn’t simply for games however. These systems could handle Video CD’s, CD+, CD Digital Video, and Photo CD’s. This may seem like quite a bit to do on a 5.5″ screen, but it also has composite and S-Video outputs which means you can connect it to a TV just like a normal sized CD-I console (plus it has a PAL / NTSC switch). All of these features make this quite a cool machine, but the price and limited software available flushed it all away shortly after it’s release. Still, I would love to play the 7th Guest on this late at night… that would be awesome.
Both of these systems are available on eBay right now. If you’re interested, go ahead and check out the links below…