The PasoGo (a portmanteau of "Pasocon", a Japanese shortening of "personal computer", and "Go") was a handheld gaming system produced by Koei and released in 1996.
It was developed specifically for playing what is essentially a digital version of the traditional Asian board game, Go.
Since its discontinuation, the system and its software titles have become hard-to-find collector's items.
Why It Flopped
- It was overpriced, as its asking price when it was released back in 1996 was 39,800円 JPY (about $375 USD by that year's exchange rates, or $602.31 USD when adjusted for inflation).
- This is about four times as much as Nintendo's Game Boy Pocket, which came out the same year.
- Only a small number of games were released for it, all of which being based on Go.
- It has a 5.6" LCD screen whose low contrast is likely to cause eye strain for the user.
- The system itself is very large by handheld standards, as large as the main console unit of the Sony PSOne (the later model of the original PlayStation). Just try and fit it into your pocket!
- It had faded into obscurity all too quickly, due to Nintendo's dominance in the handheld gaming market at the time.
- Similar to the Sega Game Gear and Atari Lynx, the PasoGo draws power from six AA-size batteries. The system's packaging claims, however, that its battery life is 20 hours, which is almost certainly the time in standby mode rather than when it's actually being used.
- For those not wanting to use batteries, an AC adapter was also released for the system.