The Gadgets


Gadgets of the 90s 





Game Boy

Nintendo GameboyWhile technically released in the ’80s, Game Boy (and its successors) would go on to become the most coveted gadget of the ’90s. With games like Tetris and Super Mario Land, the Game Boy marvelous and groundbreaking. Remember the attachment that included lights so you could play it at night?

In its first two weeks in Japan, from its release on April 21, 1989, the entire stock consisting of 300,000 units was sold; a few months later, the Game Boy’s release in the United States on July 31, 1989 saw 40,000 units sold on its first day. The Game Boy and Game Boy Color combined have sold 118.69 million units worldwide, with 32.47 million units in Japan, 44.06 million in the Americas, and 42.16 million in other regions.


Sony PlayStation

playstationconsole-wikipediaWith popular games such as Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, and Tekken, the PlayStation was extremely successful.

The PlayStation was launched in Japan on December 3, 1994, North America on September 9, 1995, Europe on September 29, 1995. The console was an immediate success in Japan, selling over 2 million units within its first six months on the market. The launch price in the American market was US$299 and Sony enjoyed a very successful launch with titles of almost every genre, including Battle Arena Toshinden, Warhawk, Air Combat, Philosoma, Ridge Racer and Rayman. Almost all of Sony’s launch titles went on to spawn numerous sequels. Unlike the vast majority of gaming consoles of the time, the PlayStation did not include a pack-in game at launch.



Color iMac

imac_g3_blueberry_side-wikipediaYou probably didn’t own one, but your school may have. In fact, your school likely still owns one. Still, with their translucent back and bright colors, these computers made you question what a computer was supposed to look like.

They also marked the beginning of Apple’s incredible turnaround. And the introduction of the worst mouse ever. The iMac was dramatically different from any previous mainstream computer. It was made of translucent “Bondi Blue”-colored plastic, and was egg-shaped around a 14-inch (35.5 cm) CRT display. The case included a handle, and the peripheral connectors were hidden behind a door on the right-hand side of the machine. Dual headphone jacks in the front complemented the built-in stereo speakers.  Its unique shape and color options helped ingrain itself into late 1990s pop culture. The iMac was the first computer to exclusively offer USB ports as standard, including as the connector for its new keyboard and mouse, thus abandoning previous Macintosh peripheral connections, such as the ADB, SCSI and GeoPort serial ports.




after-watching-home-alone-2-everyone-wanted-a-talkboy-this-little-gadget-let-you-record-and-playback-whatever-you-wanted-plus-speed-up-or-slow-down-recordings-to-make-yourself-sounAfter watching “Home Alone 2,” everyone wanted a Talkboy.

This little gadget let you record and playback whatever you wanted, plus speed up or slow down recordings to make yourself sound ridiculous. The device itself consists of a battery-powered handheld cassette player/recorder with an integrated monophonic speaker, a grip handle, and an extendable microphone. The main controls are like other portable cassette devices, with play, stop, fast-forward, rewind, and record buttons. The device’s main selling-point was a switch which toggles between normal and slow speed settings for playback and recording. This feature enables users to manipulate the recording and playback speed, and in turn the pitch of the recorded sound, acting as a simple voice changer. This functionality emulates Kevin McCallister’s use of the Talkboy in scenes from Home Alone 2. The standard model has a slowed-down speed of 76% and a sped-up speed of 130%.




Sony Discman

disIt didn’t matter that your Sony Discman would skip despite its anti-shock protection, you loved it all the same. Because of its portable nature and similarity to the Walkman, the nickname ‘Discman’ was given.

This name has been used to refer to any Sony portable CD player. However, Sony changed the name to CD Walkman, starting in the early 1990s.

The release of the “Discman” sparked public interest in CDs as an audio format and in the audio industry in general. A portable CD market was created and the price of competing CD players from other manufacturers dropped. The CD industry experienced sudden growth with the number of CD titles available dramatically increasing.