how the barcode nearly became the driving force behind handheld gaming

May 28, 2017
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In the nineties, every kid who’s parents loved them had a Gameboy. Nintendo really cashed in on the handheld gaming market at a time where people only really knew of stationary consoles. It was time for the nintendo 64 and playstation to move aside; gaming on the move had taken over.

When the kids and teenagers of the nineties reminisce on their childhood, you would be hard pressed to find someone who had heard of the ‘Epoch game pocket computer’. A simple concept, the console used barcode technology to scan different fighters and perform different moves.

the Epoch gaming system was being counted on to change the face of gaming. The first release actually came a full five years before the Gameboy, in 1984.

Unfortunately for Epoch (and barcode enthusiasts) the system was a failure in Japan. Only five games were ever made for the system, one of which was astro bomber. Perhaps it was for this reason that the console never really took off as expected. Only a few were released in North America, now making the Epoch game pocket computer a rare item in modern society. Find one, and they’ll set you back a couple of hundred pounds at least.

Nintendo ultimately won the race for handheld gaming superiority, and thus engraved themselves in gaming folklore. If only the gaming community shared Epoch’s vision of barcodes battling future.

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