Discovering the First Handheld Video Game Consoles


In the beginning, the first handheld video game consoles were mistaken for toys.

Today, video gaming is the most common form of entertainment.

You can learn, be entertained or gain skills through gaming.

However, there are several ways you can enjoy playing games.

From PCs to consoles and handheld video games, there are many ways to enjoy your favorite video game.

At first, gaming was only available on computers.

This means games were available in floppy disks and could be copied from one computer to the other.

Later, gaming consoles were introduced that allowed people to use a monitor or a TV to play their games.

Then the handheld video game consoles arrived.

They invented the first handheld video game devices in the 1970s.

They were black and white and later with full color.

Some gaming companies also designed their own version of handheld video game gadgets that needed cartridges for larger video games.

What are handheld video game consoles?

It is a small device portable with an inbuilt screen, speakers, and video game controls.

A handheld console is smaller than a normal video game console.

Availability of the screen, console, controls, and speaker in one unit allows gamers to carry them and play the games at any place or time.

There are various reasons many players prefer handheld games over consoles.

Some reasons include:

The hardware–handheld game devices are built for gaming.

This means they design the hardware for gaming and nothing else.

Some features include 3D screens, graphic chips, and others that make gaming entertaining.

It also designs them to fit comfortably in the user’s hands while playing.

The games– another reason gamers prefer handheld games consoles is because of the unique games.

Although there are great video games on tablets, smartphones, and consoles, there are astonishing games on most handheld consoles.

Availability of free games–another reason to have a handheld video game device is the availability of free games.

There are huge titles available for free.

Buttons and thumb-sticks–a true gamer will always look for a gaming device that gives the ability to control every action within the game.

Without physical buttons or thumb-sticks, you cannot respond well to the game.

Happily, a handheld video game console has all the physical buttons and thumb-sticks for an amazing experience.

Who uses handheld video game consoles?

They have confirmed that most people love to play video games on portable devices such as tablets and smartphones.

However, kids, teenagers, and young adults prefer a handheld video game console that is specifically built for gaming.

Nothing can compare to having a device specifically designed for gaming.

Even though some people think handheld consoles might be replaced by smartphones and tablets games, real gamers would rather have a gaming console in their hands.

The history of handheld video game consoles

Handheld video games are not new. They have been here for a long time.

Actually, the first handheld video game consoles were invented in the 1970s and 1980s.

So, when you are enjoying your Sony Vita or Nintendo Switch, it is important to understand where these devices originated from.

Over the past 35 years, handheld video games have come a long way.

Although tablets and mobile phones have changed the way we live, handheld console devices are gadgets that host some greatest games.

Below is a brief history of handheld video games.

1980–Game and Watch

In the 1980s, everybody wanted to play Game & Watch on the school bus.

Although the LCD display and the sound were not good, the device was the best handheld game player.

It had a long battery, and they designed it to fit in your pocket.

However, the games were predictable. Mario Brothers was the best game.

1989–Nintendo Game Boy

Another great handheld video game console was Nintendo Game Boy.

The battery life was also long-lasting.

It had a large library of games, and people could easily import it from Japan.

However, the screen was not as clear as expected.

Some best games on the device included Pokemon Red and Green.

1989–Atari Lynx

When Atari was introduced to the market, it made Nintendo Game Boy look bad.

Atari had great graphics, and the sound was marvelous.

But some people complained about the expensive price.

1990–NEC TurboExpress

Another great handheld console was NEC TurboExpress.

The LCD screen was lovely and the library of games was enormous.

1990–Sega Game Gear

The device had great games, and it was compatible with the master system because of the availability of an extra device.

It was an amazing entertainment platform.

1997–Bandai WonderSwan

Bandai WonderSwan was a great console compared to the previous devices.

It was a small and had a nice design.

It is among the best handheld game consoles in the history of gaming.

1998–Neo Geo Pocket

Metal Slug and King of Fighters are some great titles you could find on the Neo Geo Pocket.

The device was well-designed and a fantastic upgrade from the famous Game Boy.

But one of its disadvantages was that the video game library was small.


Gizmondo is another great handheld console that sold around 25,000 units.

The best game was Sticky balls.

2001–Game Boy Advanced
The device offered a deep and fun strategy experience that was not available in the gaming industry.

However, most gamers complained about the device’s screen.

2003–Nokia N Gage

It was a Nokia phone and a console.

However, you were required to open the back for you to change gaming cartridges.

2004–Nintendo DS

Another amazing innovation was the Nintendo DS.

The layout and the library of the games were outstanding.

But the device’s hinges were not as strong as expected.

2004–Sony PSP

The wireless multi-player handheld console had a solid design and astonishing graphics.

It was the perfect device to carry around and play games anywhere.

2011–Nintendo 3DS

The design of the device was awesome, and it also had a bigger display screen.

Some best games included Super Mario and Pokemon Sun.

2011–Sony Vita

The same year Nintendo released their handheld game consoles, Sony introduced Sony Vita.

It was beautiful and a well-crafted system. The graphics and the controls were something to behold.

2017–Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch is one of the greatest handheld video game consoles.

From the design to graphics and size, it is the perfect device for gamers.

It also has a large library of various types of games.

Last Updated on October 25, 2019 by Tony

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