Nintendo consoles

best handheld game consoles of all time

The best thing about portable consoles is that you can take them anywhere and they can keep you entertained for hours with your favorite games before running out of battery. Portable consoles are light, powerful and easy to carry.

The first successful handheld console, released in 1978, was called Merlin and sold over five million units. The market was then revolutionized with the release of GameBoy in 1989, which sold over 115 million units before being discontinued in 2003, and today is an antique to own.

Handheld consoles are not the biggest problem due to the introduction of smartphones owned by everyone today, with mobile games holding the largest market share in the gaming industry with millions of players per day .

History was written with legendary consoles that created memories for gamers around the world playing games on a device in their hands.


Handheld consoles paved the way for the gaming industry

1) Nintendo GameBoy

The second best-selling handheld console of all time (Image via Nintendo)
The second best-selling handheld console of all time (Image via Nintendo)

This console offered gamers some of the most legendary games in the industry, including Tetris, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and more. It changed the way an entire generation spent their free time, which had a huge impact on society itself.

It’s been 33 years since its release and it’s a nostalgic device for a lot of people considering they’ve spent countless hours playing and replaying video games on it. This console was so popular that the console’s default sound effects created a whole genre of music, called “Chip Tunes”, which is the creation of music using old game sounds.


2) NintendoDS

The best-selling handheld console of all time (Image via Nintendo)
The best-selling handheld console of all time (Image via Nintendo)

Released in 2004, the Nintendo DS sold 154 million units worldwide and was hugely popular due to its innovative dual-screen design. The bottom screen was a touchscreen which blew people away at the time as it was new technology available to the public at an affordable price.

This console introduced memorable games including Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, and more. It also introduced unique ways to play with friends and interact using Wi-Fi for the first time on a handheld console.


3) PlayStation Portable

The most successful handheld console of all time (Image via Amazon)
The most successful handheld console of all time (Image via Amazon)

Sony needed to get into the handheld console market quickly after the success of Nintendo and Sega, and they did that with the PSP, which had all the latest technology packed into a compact package that could run big games without no problem.

The best titles this console introduced to the industry were God of War: Chains of Olympus, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, Gran Turismo, and more.

The PSP was released in 2005 and sold over 80 million units. Users can use it for anything like watching movies, listening to songs, browsing the web, and playing video games. The console has accessories that enhance its functionality, including a camera, stereo docking station, GPS receiver, motion sensor, long-lasting battery, and more.


4) Nintendo Switch

The most innovative and versatile handheld console (Image via Nintendo)
The most innovative and versatile handheld console (Image via Nintendo)

Nintendo Switch is a practical, intuitive, innovative and beautiful device that allows users to play it handheld or on the big screen, and Nintendo has achieved the best of both worlds with this console. The console was released in 2017 and sold over 84 million units. It has a Lite version and the latest OLED version which came out last year.

Users can dock the console and connect it to a TV and play after removing the Joy-Con controllers from the main device. It was the first time a manufacturer had tried this, but Nintendo took a risk and reaped the rewards. The best games released on this console are Animal Crossing, Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros.


5) Playstation Vita

The PlayStation Vita never got the hype it should have (Image via Sony)
The PlayStation Vita never got the hype it should have (Image via Sony)

The PlayStation Vita followed a similar design to the successful PlayStation Portable and was released seven years after its predecessor in 2012. The console did not have the best sales, with 10 million units sold. It was Sony’s least successful console, but even then it made leaps in technology and had an innovative design that deserved more appreciation than it got.

There were several reasons why it didn’t do well, one being that it came out around the same time as the Nintendo 3DS, which was tough competition, and it quickly died out in due to the low number of games developed after its release.

It still has a place on this list because it’s spectacular technology with an OLED display, touchscreen and dual analog sticks.

The top games released on this console were Uncharted: Golden Abyss, Gravity Rush, and Mortal Kombat, which gradually became a platform for indie games that received strong development support from the indie community.


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