Playing games can be addictive, even when you are on the road, you can play your favorite games. However, sometimes you don’t want to use your smartphone while gaming. Thanks to the people who invented these amazing technologies, handheld game consoles or handheld consoles, you can now enjoy your favorite games anytime, anywhere.

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A handheld game console, or better known as a handheld console, is a small, handheld, self-contained video game console with a built-in screen, game controls, and speakers. These portable game consoles are smaller than home video game consoles, but still combine game consoles, displays, speakers, and controls in one unit. These devices are the best portable consoles and their compact design allows people to carry and play them anytime, anywhere.

Although not all handheld game consoles are loved by all gamers, some people think that handheld game consoles are the best gaming device they can have.


The idea of ​​having the best portable handheld console that you can take anywhere, anytime is amazing. Handheld gaming has come a long way, and it’s amazing to see how it is compared to 30 years ago.

If you are a big fan of handheld game consoles, then you may have wonder what kind of handheld console was the first invention. As a gamer, you must want to know how we got here, and that gaming on the go has become such a big deal.

beginning of console

Let’s know some of the best handheld consoles in every generation as we travel back in time and dig deeper on some of the best handheld consoles of all time that became known to the people and the changes it takes over the years.

The Start of an Evolution


The Start of an Evolution

When we talk about handheld consoles, the first thing that comes to mind is the handheld Nintendo and Sony PSP consoles. The two best handheld game consoles have been vying for supremacy. However, before Nintendo and Sony PSP become famous, let’s go back to the handheld game consoles that were created and the more popular games back then.

Mattel Electronics

Mattel Electronics

The first handheld console that was launched in 1976 was made by Mattel Electronics and was called the Auto Race. The game was controlling the red dots while maneuvering to pass the other red dots. Mattel also made similar handheld game consoles, and companies such as Gleeko and Bendai began to unite.



One of the best handheld consoles during 1979 that stood out from the rest was the Microvision by Milton-Bradley designed by Jay Smith. The first portable console in history to use interchangeable cartridges for the first time.


Nintendo Game & Watch


In 1980, a game designer named Gunpei Yokoi created Game & Watch, which was released by Nintendo. Yokoi became one of Nintendo’s leading designers, helping the company become the gaming giant we know today. Nintendo and Yokoi released the Game Boy in 1989. This is the first handheld game console in history, it works with batteries with games like Super Mario Land and Tetris. In those years, this was the best handheld game console for 10-year-olds.

Atari Lynx

Atari lynx

In the same year, a competitor to the best handheld game console Nintendo was released, the Atari Lynx. It was more advanced than the Game Boy. Compared to the Nintendo Gameboy, which only has a monochrome screen, it has more powerful graphics and a color screen. A handheld console with games suitable for adults. It was the best-selling handheld game console at the time, with sales of more than 150 million units. But Lynx didn’t last that long as it doesn’t reach the critical mass needed to attract high-quality third-party developers.


Nintendo’s other competitor, Sega’s Game Gear, was released in 1990. Thanks to its advanced technology and graphics technology, it has become one of the best-selling handheld game consoles. In 1995, Sega released another portable game console, Nomad, which was another version of Genesis that used the same cartridges.


However, Nomad can’t compete with Nintendo’s new franchise “Pokémon” because the handheld console consumes a lot of battery and it’s running high-power games. The first Pokémon game was released in 1996. In the same year, Nintendo updated the Game Boy with the Game Boy Pocket. This handheld console requires fewer batteries and is lighter than its big brother.


Another handheld game console launched in 1997 is from Tiger Electronics. The first handheld console with a touch screen and stylus. It also has two game cartridge slots and can also be connected to the Internet via a modem, but regardless of its function and features, it did not last long after Nintendo updated the Game Boy again in 1998 and released the Game Boy Color.


Best Handheld Console in the Modern Generation

Best Handheld Console in the Modern Generation

Now that handheld game consoles have entered the modern world, there is still a battle for the best handheld game console invention. Now, let’s take a look at the best modern handheld game consoles of the early 2000s and how they affect people playing games on the go.


Game Boy

Back in 2001, Nintendo once again updated the Game Boy handheld console and released the Game Boy Advance, and then in 2003, they release the Game Boy SP. But Nintendo wanted to try something different, so they released a handheld console with two screens and a touch screen. This is, of course, the Nintendo DS released in 2004.

Game Boy advanceAfter the Nintendo DS was released, the company upgraded the Nintendo DS, and release the DS Lite in 2006. It has a larger screen and a smaller case. After the release of Nintendo DS Lite, the game company once again released an update, now DSi, which has advanced cartridge compatibility and has a digital camera with better online connectivity and a larger screen. However, Nintendo is still not satisfied with the screen size of the DSi, so they released the DSi XL with a pair of 4.2-inch screens.

nintendo ds series

The Nintendo DS sold like crazy and became one of the best selling handheld game consoles of all time. But after more than ten years of reign, Nintendo met its true competitor after Sony launched the PlayStation Portable or PSP.

Sony PSP

sony psp

The Sony PSP handheld game console utilized the use of a Memory Stick Pro, which also has a Sony UMD format that supports games and movies.

Nintendo and Sony competed for a year across different versions of the PSP and DS. However, when companies like Apple and Samsung became part of the handheld gaming market, the competition between the two most popular handheld consoles was questioned.



After the smartphone was released, it became the best handheld game console for games such as “Angry Birds”, “Candy Crush” and “Minecraft”. Using the Internet, you can download unlimited games to your phone through the Apple Store and Play Store.


Nintendo Switch

Smartphones have become the most popular handheld game console. Although Nintendo has been successful on 3DS for many years after the launch of Wii U, the competition has become fierce and Nintendo realized that they needed a new device.

In 2017, Nintendo put the best of both worlds and created the Nintendo Switch, which is a portable hybrid console. The handheld console is optimized for both TV and handheld mode.

nintendo switch

Nintendo Switch has an incredible range of games, including “Breath of the Wild” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.” The removable Nintendo Switch joy-con controllers are suitable for single-player and multiplayer game modes.

Switch proves that Nintendo can still surpass the mobile community and achieved great success, and it made Nintendo back into the board as one of the best handheld game consoles ever.​​​

handheld console nintendo

Handheld game consoles certainly bring benefits to our lives. It will make you entertained anywhere. Whether you are flying to an exciting new destination, the handheld console is the best device to keep you busy during the journey.

Since most of the first handheld game consoles invented are out of date or not available in the market, it is best to buy the best handheld game consoles from Nintendo and PSP to enjoy while traveling or for the kids to be entertained while at home.

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