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TIME 1996 MACHINE OF THE YEAR

It's been another hot year for consumer electronics, one that saw Toshiba release an impressive desktop PC, Sony take a first crack at a personal computer and a swarm of companies come out with hand-held devices, including the first really usable palm-top computer from U.S. Robotics. The year also included the nearly incessant squeal of Internet hype--and a stock market that couldn't get enough of hot-concept technology issues. It was all enough to send droves of Americans out to buy...a game machine?

Yes, a game machine. In this year of Internet-TV terminals, PDAs and cell phones, we've settled our prize for...

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