Top 10 Best Portable Gaming Console Of All Time
Better track down your link cables and some AA’s. Welcome to Thegamefreakshow and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten portable gaming devices.
For this list we had to add some stipulations. Every entry must have been designed as a gaming device first, so you won’t find any smartphones on the list. Additionally, re-releases such as the PSP Go or Gameboy Pocket are included with the original version of the handheld to keep it fair. That being said let’s get to our first pick.
10: Nvidia Shield (2013-)
Hitting the market in 2013 the Shield offers PC gamers the luxury of streaming their games over Wi-Fi, freeing them from their computer chairs and allowing them the freedom…to use other chairs in the house. HD graphics, a large catalogue of android titles and some impressively faithful ports make the Shield one of the best most advanced handheld devices ever created.
9: Nintendo Game and Watch series (1980-91)
The title says it all folks. The first video game devices developed by toy maker Nintendo, each device played one game and also functioned as a watch. Originally inspired by the designer Gunpei Yokoi witnessing a grown man playing with a calculator on the train, this series of devices we’re hugely popular once upon a time. Nearly 25 different games were released through different system variations, some of which broke ground on dual screen display – a concept Nintendo would later revisit decades later.
8: Playstation Vita (2012-15)
Vita is a remarkable handheld, despite it’s lagging popularity in the marker. With innovative controls and impressive hardware, the Vita presents itself as a luxury handheld. The first portable game console to have true 1080P HD graphics, the Vita was nothing short of breathtaking in its performance. With a handful of memorable original titles and a wide catalogue of indie games available, there’s plenty to play on Vita despite what you may have heard. Combine all this with the share-play second screen feature for PS4 and it’s the closest thing you can get to a home console on the go.
7: SNK Neo Geo Pocket Colour (1999-2000)
A limited North American release didn’t stop this handheld from making it’s mark in gaming history. Fondly remembered as one of the few devices to truly compete with Gameboy’s market dominance, the Pocket Colour launched against the more widely known Gameboy Colour, both in Japan and overseas. Hailed for having a solid control scheme, with its arcade inspired joystick, the Neo Geo is remembered as a solid game boy alternative. It’s shame it didn’t sell so well, as it had some great games and was even compatible with the equally doomed Dreamcast.
6: Sega Game Gear (1991-97)
Inspired by the hardware for the popular Master System, the game gear was one of two portable game consoles developed by Sega. The only console to be considered as an actual competitor to the Original Gameboy, Game Gear let Sega fans play on the go for the first time. With a full colour back-lit screen and the ability to play Master System games on the go if you had the adapter, Sega sold 11 million units against stiff competition. If only it didn’t consume 6 AAs in 4 hours…
5: Nintendo 3DS (2011-)
Introduced in 2011, the successor to the DS now sported glasses-less 3D. With a bump in processing power Nintendo won praise for improving on the successful formula of the previous generation. Now sporting an Analog circle pad, and incredible gaming library, and backwards compatibility with Nintendo DS games, the 3DS was an upgrade that gave you the old and the new. The budget friendly 2DS was also a great alternative for kids, but the real gem of this generation was the vastly improve New 3DS which gave you all the 3D and non of the headache – quite literally.
4: Nintendo Gameboy Advance (2001-08)
This 32 bit console sold an astounding 81 million units over its life cycle. With performance comparable to the SNES, the Advance truly lived up to its name. With ackwards compatible with Game Boy and Game boy Color games, the GBA had a massive library with some of Nintendo’s all time great titles now available on the go. Though the original was groundbreaking, the anti was truly upped with its evolution, the game boy advance SP. Adding a backlight and the now signature clamshell design, The SP was really the star of the Advance show.
3: Sony Playstation Portable (2005-14)
The Vita owes an awful lot to this pick. Sony’s first portable game console was a massive hit upon launch. With performance comparable to a PlayStation Two, Sony let their fans go mobile for the first time. With many ports and entries of home console franchises, the PSP sought to deliver the couch experience on the go. Aimed at a mature audience the PSP also had far more M rated games, like God of War, than the traditional handheld lineup.
2: Nintendo Gameboy (1989-99)
Taking on many competitors throughout it’s life, the Gameboy still stood above the rest. Kids and adults ran out to get one, helping Nintendo grab a foothold in the portable marker they still cling to today. Enhanced with the smaller Gameboy Pocket and brighter Gameboy light in Japan, the success can truly be traced back to its universal appeal. The landmark series Pokemon also debuted on the handheld and extended the aged systems lifespan up until the end of the millennium. Nearly 120 million lifetime unit sales is evidence enough that quite a few of us caught a bad case of Gameboy fever.
1: Nintendo DS (2004-13)
The perfect balance of technology, portability and great games make this titan a measuring stick of success. Adding the second touch screen to enhance controls and an even more interactive layer to their games, Nintendo captivated us all with its sturdy console. Plus, as Nintendo is want to do, it was backwards compatible with the GBA, making early adopters all the more happy. Preceding the DS lite and DSi, our top pick was influential in portable gaming. It’s risky design paid off huge for the portable Giant, selling a jaw dropping 154 million units. The Nintendo DS is the best selling portable of all time, and our number 1.
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