History of Hand-held Consoles


For avid video gamers, there is nothing better than taking your game on the go with a hand held console. These hand-held video games have come a long way since the original Nintendo Gameboy was released. Below you can find information of a few of the best hand held consoles that have been released in the last 10 years.

Any discussion of hand-held video games has to start with Nintendo, which basically created the entire market. The first big step up in hand-held console technology came with the release of the Gameboy Advance SP. This console features quite a few games designed specifically for it, as well as many other classic games from both Sega and Nintendo which were redesigned for a hand-held. While not having nearly the features of newer hand-held video games, it is one of the most portable hand-helds and is still quite popular.

Nintendo stepped it up again with the release of the Nintendo DS. This console features two separate LCD screens, one of which is also a touch screen and supports Wi-Fi connections. Nintendo would soon upgrade this console with a slimmer version known as Nintendo DS Lite. Both hand-held consoles have an inbuilt feature that also allows you to play older Gameboy Advance games.

In 2009, Nintendo released a newer version of the DS with more RAM and a faster processing speed, dubbed the DSi. This product was the first to include an SD slot. Overall, the Nintendo DS series has sold more units than any other hand held console and is second only to the Sony PlayStation in overall video game console sales.

Sony PlayStation’s contribution to the world of hand held video games came with the PSP series, of which there are three versions (1000, 2000, and 3000). The PSP has many more features than the DS, as it can also play movies and music and be used to surf the net. However, it is not nearly as portable and the batteries do not last as long. Still, any PlayStation enthusiast will immediately feel at home with controls similar to those on the PS1 and PS2. The screen and graphics and incredibly realistic, featuring the best video quality of any hand-held video game. The only downside to the PSP series is that it requires some constant maintenance, such as updating the operating system, to keep it running properly.

About the Author:

This article was brought to you by George. George is a video game enthusiast and enjoys gaming on a number of different hand held consoles.


  1. timelord70 says

    Without trying to sound negative, this article should have had the words “A Brief” at the start of the heading. Sure Nintendo had a big hand in handheld console gaming since they released the ‘Game & Watch’ series, but surely the earliest options that got biggest releases were the old LED based handhelds like Mattel’s electronic sports games (I still have fond memories of the ‘racing’ game where you controlled a bright red blip that needed to dodge not-so-bright red blips :-)). And what about a mention of the Game Gear and the Atari Lynx?. As far as great leaps forward these left the Gameboy behind in the dust with backlit colour screens, 16bit processing, and even the ability to watch TV if you got the add-on for the Lynx.

    Even considering the last ten years you could have mentioned the N-Gage (sure it flopped, but it was still a well known, if laughable, gaming unit). Who hasn’t played the Tron Light Cycle inspired Snake on pretty much every Nokia phone released? Then there’s the iOS devices, and some of the handheld MAME units that have come out in the past few years (such as the Caanoo). There’s much more to handheld gaming than just Sony and Nintendo, even if those two have been arguably the biggest players in the market.

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