10 traditional handheld gaming units that modified the world

Key Takeaways

  • Handheld gaming has seen important developments in recent times and is prospering like by no means earlier than, with a variety of fascinating and vibrant units out there.
  • The Nintendo Sport Boy Advance SP revolutionized transportable gaming with its design and backlight, making it extremely fascinating and simply transportable.
  • The Nintendo Sport Boy, with its international success and addictive gameplay, is a very powerful handheld gaming gadget ever, altering the gaming panorama endlessly.

Handheld gaming has come a great distance – and because of some main developments in recent times, it is thriving in a method that some individuals thought was by no means going to occur once more. For those who’re inquisitive about what units made handheld gaming the fascinating and vibrant area that it’s as we speak, although, you may wish to take a look at this round-up of the ten most vital handheld gaming units in historical past. For one of the best handheld consoles which you can purchase proper now, in the meantime, check out our rolling up-to-date buyer’s guide.

10 Sport Boy Advance SP

Nintendo’s revamped model of the Sport Boy Advance may not have introduced with it any graphical enhancements (which is why you may discover the primary Advance additional down this record), nevertheless it introduced a design that turned unbelievably ubiquitous and fascinating. Including an important backlight to make taking part in in numerous lighting a doddle, this was one of the best little bit of transportable {hardware} Nintendo had ever made at that time, and it matches so simply right into a pocket.

Plus, it had a roster of unbelievable video games to discover, together with a number of the most beloved entries within the Pokémon collection (Ruby and Sapphire, plus the proper remakes Hearth Crimson and Leaf Inexperienced) and cult RPGs like the primary two Golden Solar video games.

9 Nintendo Sport & Watch

Game & Watch

Toni Zaat on Unsplash

Rolling again the years a bunch, the Sport & Watch is a superb showcase of how concepts and designs can typically percolate at Nintendo for many years – these handhelds have been created for almost a decade, every that includes a single recreation, and that concept of a display with controls both facet would resurface method later with the Sport Boy Advance, beneath.

A few of Nintendo’s most well-known video games have been playable on Sport & Watch variations, and it clearly performed a serious half in how the corporate considered transportable gaming. The multiscreen model, in the meantime, meant that specialists have been a lot much less shocked by the Nintendo DS a long time later.

Sport & Watch’s roster of recreation included Tremendous Mario Bros., Donkey Kong II, Zelda and lots of extra, making it a little bit of a traditional for collectors.

8 Sport Boy Advance

Game Boy Advance

The unique Sport Boy Advance may not have the identical lustre because the SP these days, because of its harder-to-use design and a few heavily-aged plastic within the case of my authentic, nevertheless it was an enormous step ahead for gaming handhelds.

It introduced 32-bit handheld gaming to the plenty and crucially modified the show structure from a sq. format to the wider-screen system that’s now ubiquitous. As talked about above, it has some loopy classics, from Metroid Fusion and The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap to Remaining Fantasy Techniques Advance anbd Mario Kart: Tremendous Circuit, lots of which have been blockbuster hits.

7 Sega Sport Gear

Sega Game Gear

Ben Griffiths on Unsplash

It is not all Nintendo, although – for all of the Japanese large has dominated the market, others contributed to its improvement. The Sport Gear is a traditional instance of an awesome little bit of tech with an Achilles heel. It was a 32-bit machine at a time when Nintendo was locked to 8-bit video games, however terrible battery life made it a ache to make use of.

That turned out to be essential, with the Sport Boy Colour’s far-superior comfort issue seeing it win out in the long term. Nonetheless, there is no different handheld that performed host to fairly so many iconic Sonic video games particularly, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on the Sport Gear remains to be a very delectable pleasure.

6 Sony PSP


Sony makes its solely placement on this record because of the PSP, a handheld achieved sufficient that it appeared like Sony and Nintendo may actually compete going ahead, just for the PS Vita to see an finish to the previous’s handheld ambitions (till Project Q, that’s).

The PSP had a beautiful display, strong battery life, nice connectivity and loads of fascinating video games, together with transportable entries in main franchises like God of Conflict (Ghost of Sparta) and Grand Theft Auto (Vice Metropolis Tales and Liberty Metropolis Tales), making it an actual powerhouse on the time.

5 Nintendo Sport Boy Colour

Game Boy Color

The Sport Boy might need already been a smash hit, however the Sport Boy Colour was a tremendous little improve, bringing full color to proceedings and making for a far more vibrant gaming expertise.

For many individuals, it is the default model of the Sport Boy of their head – because you would not ever actually wish to return to the unique in the event you had this in your locker, and that earns it a excessive spot on our record. Enjoying Pokémon Silver or Gold for the primary time and seeing their colors splashed on the display was a life-changing second, as was the enjoyment of exploring The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (or Seasons!).

4 Steam Deck

Valve Steam Deck review photo 9


The Steam Deck is our most up-to-date entrant, and in only a 12 months or so because it launched, it is completed an enormous quantity to invigorate the hand held market by ushering in a brand new period of handheld PC gaming, beforehand unimaginable as a result of energy calls for.

Which means it has to compromise on battery life, however that is nonetheless a magical little bit of {hardware} that permits you to take unbelievably high-fidelity video games on the transfer with you, one thing that was a dream for ages. The likes of Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring run like a dream, making it a severely spectacular little bit of package. It is already spawned imitators like the ASUS ROG Ally, too.

3 Nintendo DS Lite

Nintendo DS Lite

Whereas the Nintendo DS was already a modest success, its first {hardware} revision was a total revelation, shrinking down the dual-screen handheld massively and making it smooth and demure.

With a large life span that noticed numerous wonderful video games launched, it performed a key half in cementing the DS technology as a seismic success for Nintendo and demonstrated that {hardware} revisions did not should imply a completely new technology of console. New Tremendous Mario Bros. and Mario Kart DS might have powered the technology, nevertheless it was the weirder titles we beloved – like Elite Beat Brokers and Resort Nightfall: Room 215.

2 Nintendo Swap

Zelda breath of the wild on a Nintendo Switch with red and blue joy cons

The Swap was a little bit of a lightbulb second – Nintendo demonstrating that handheld and TV gaming can each be achieved with one gadget, and doing so with aplomb. It is a {hardware} legend already, variable and adaptable, and has some actually astonishing video games.

Even seven years on from its launch, titles like Tears of the Kingdom present that it nonetheless has life left in it, whereas the Switch OLED confirmed what a large distinction a display improve may make.

Proper from the beginning of its life cycle, although, true fashionable classics like Breath of the Wild and Tremendous Mario Odyssey instantly made it clear that Nintendo meant enterprise with the Swap.

1 Nintendo Sport Boy

Nintendo Game Boy

Lander Denys on Unsplash

There can solely be one winner while you’re attempting to nail down a very powerful handheld ever, although – the Sport Boy turned a worldwide sensation at a time when there wasn’t actually a marketplace for this sort of product, and adjusted the panorama of gaming endlessly.

Packaged with Tetris, it instantly demonstrated to hundreds of thousands of players how moreish and addictive it might be to have video games in your pocket, and had a type issue and design that has stood the take a look at of time simply.

It noticed the start of a mega-franchise within the type of Pokémon Blue, Crimson and Yellow, and had variations of traditional Donkey Kong and Mario video games for individuals to get pleasure from – as they very a lot did.

Trending Merchandise

Add to compare
Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Corsair 5000D Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower ATX PC Case – Black

Add to compare
CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black

CORSAIR 7000D AIRFLOW Full-Tower ATX PC Case, Black


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart