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Handheld gaming is the future — again

Illustration by Samar Haddad / The Verge

In 1989, ancient history in the gaming era, Nintendo released a three-and-a-half-minute commercial for its new device. A kid shouts angrily because he has to stop playing games so the family can leave on vacation; the car sags, and its tire deflates when his dad shoves a giant CRT TV into the back seat. “The secret to Nintendo’s success lies in bringing arcade games forward, into the home,” says the jaunty narrator. “Taking it out of the home is another story.”

And then, the grand reveal: the Game Boy! The gaming system you can take with you. After that comes a song I’d rank somewhere in the range of “unaired musical SNL sketch” in which our emcee narrates the Game Boy going to the lake, on a date, a movie theater, a baseball diamond, a…

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