Atari 7800 (January, 1986) 

Launch Grade: C

The Atari 7800 was originally supposed to come out in 1984, but the Great Video Game Crash of 1983 caused the company to shelve it for two years. Naturally, this didn't help the system.

Titles Available on Launch Day:
Centipede, Asteroids, Dig Dug, Food Fight, Galaga, Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position II, Robotron: 2084, Xevious, Desert Falcon

Sega Master System (June, 1986) 

Launch Grade: C-

Although the Master System later found success with Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Phantasy Star, and more, its launch was unassuming. This was no doubt due, in part, to Nintendo's exclusivity deal with many third-party publishers.



Titles Available on Launch Day:
Hang On and Safari Hunt (pack-in games), Snail Maze (a hidden title built into the system)

Nintendo Game Boy (August, 1989) 

Launch Grade: B+

It's easy now to scoff at the black-and-white screen, but the presence of one of the greatest games of all time – Tetris – as a pack-in title no doubt was one of the keys to this system's phenomenal success.

Titles Available on Launch Day:
Alleyway, Baseball, Super Mario Land, Tennis, Tetris (pack-in game)

Sega Genesis (August, 1989) 

Launch Grade: B

The Genesis' superior graphics to the NES allowed it to gain ground with its sports games and arcade ports, even if the only sport available at launch was baseball.

Titles Available on Launch Day:
Altered Beast (pack-in game), Last Battle, Space Harrier II, Super Thunder Blade, Thunder Force II, Tommy Lasorda Baseball

NEC TurboGrafx-16 (August, 1989) 

Launch Grade: C+

Titles Available on Launch Day:
Alien Crush, China Warrior, Dungeon Explorer, Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (pack-in game), The Legendary Axe, Power Golf, R-Type, Victory Run, Vigilante




Atari Lynx (October, 1989) 

Launch Grade: C

The size, battery consumption (six AAs), and price ($189.95) were some of the dings against the Lynx, even with its color, backlit screen.

Titles Available on Launch Day:
Blue Lightning, California Games, ElectroCop, Gates of Zendocon