THE RANT: I saw one of these once in EGM when I was like 13. Never ever saw them in stores though. The one I got came from a guy in Germany. From what I understand the system is a reverse engineered Gameboy with a crappier screen. There's about 30 games for this thing, although the only one I've got is a multilevel Pac-Man clone called "Money Maze." The unit is about Game Gear size and runs off of 4 AA batteries. Made in 1990 by a Korean compnay called Bit Corp. There was supposed to be a "Gamate Color" that was released in the the US and Mexico but I've never been able to find info on it.
David Yu writes about his recollection of this machine:
Just read your review on Gamate. I remember when it was launched in Taiwan, they had quite a big promotional campaign. The advert was on mags, papers and even TV. I myself have seen 3 people who own it (all Taiwanese). However, when I look this console up in the Taiwanese site. The article claimed that its developped by the Taiwanese firm Dunhuang Tech!!!????? Then I went to Yahoo Taiwan and found this firm called Gamtec claim that they developed Gamate. Now I am confused.......
By the way, the Gamate games sold in Taiwan are all printed in Chinese.............
Also Gizmondo is priced in UK at £130!
It is quite possible that either of those two compaies you mention probably developed the console and Bit Corp merely had distribution rights. Thanks Dave!
THE GOOD: The system is quite rare in the US (not so much in Europe) so if you get one it could be worth some dough to the right people. It has a good battery life and decent volume. Console is very compact and easy to carry. While made of cheap materials, the buttons and controls seem to be resilient. I think there's even an emulator for it, if anyone cares.
THE BAD: Most of the games suck ass. All are clones of popular Gameboy games, like "Hash block." The screen is crappy.
THE UGLY: Someone in Korea investing his life savings to make 100,000 of these to only sell 50 units worldwide.