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thecfr avatar 4:58 PM on 07.01.2009  (server time)
The Zodiac, That Uncle That Nobody Knows

All this talk of PSP Go and its truant disc drive has caused me to wax nostalgic. Prior to the DS and the PSP, there was a system much like the transitional systems like the Dreamcast and the Saturn (Sega's recipe of trying to beat the rush was a recipe for disaster.). The little known Zodiac was its name and it was one of the first true 3D hand held systems.
I remembered seeing the advertisements in Play magazine and decided to try one. There's a reason why Tapwave only sold 20,000 units before it went under. It had a nice little joystick (unheard of at the time), and two expansion slots for SD cards at the top. It ran on palm software so you could play palm games (woo hoo) on it in addition to games made specifically for it.
It was an interesting experience. There were two decent sized message boards with a close knit community to boot for the zodiac and everyone was always trying to find new ways to make the system better. In the beginning, the promise of Neverwinter Nights and Tombraider 2 made people hopeful, but it soon faded when not even a single screenshot of either emerged. As the years ticked by, the systems degraded forcing tapwave to replace the defective parts and ultimately leading to its demise.
The Zodiac was a fun little toy from an overly optimistic company. The fact that it was very open to homebrew spawned a lot of aspiring modders (zodttd anyone?) but it honestly was a total waste of hard earned cash. If you do meet a person who owns a zodiac still, smile at them, tell them everything is okay and treat them like a leper. (I mean that in the kindest way, I am one of those people)

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