Most people rely on apps on their smartphones to pass time, but your iPhone or Android wasn’t built for gaming. These handheld game consoles are. They have better battery life, actual buttons, and tons of games that can keep you occupied for hours.
With four portable video game consoles on its roster, Nintendo is dominating the handheld space. Previously, Sony sold a portable PlayStation console, dubbed the PlayStation Vita, but the console has recently been discontinued. Here are all the best handheld game consoles that are worth considering to keep you entertained on the go.
1. Nintendo Switch Handheld Game Console
Nintendo’s latest and greatest gaming console features a unique design that allows it to seamlessly transform from a mobile gaming device to a home game console. When you place the Switch in its dock, it automatically switches to allow gaming on the big screen.
The Switch offers entertainment in any environment, thanks to its portability and wide library of games. You can even kick back and watch Hulu on it! A reviewer at Digital Trends said the Switch can do things the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One can’t, adding that “it offers many appealing titles that will never appear on them.”
The console offers an extensive set of accessories like the one-of-a-kind Nintendo Labo kit, too. If you want to game on the go, you can’t go wrong with a Switch. We won’t travel without it!
2. New Nintendo 2DS XL Mario Kart 7 Bundle
The Nintendo 2DS XL offers gamers dual large screens, a comfortable-to-hold clamshell design, stereo sound, and a built-in NFC reader for amiibo. The console — which is available in white and orange or black and turquoise — may not play 3D videos and games like the 3DS XL, but it’s still compatible with Nintendo 3DS games and software for a cheaper price. It even comes with a free pre-installed game of Mario Kart 7.
3. GPD XD Plus Portable Gaming Handheld
An emulator is hardware or software that lets one device behave like another. The GPD XD Plus allows you play classic games from old consoles like the NES, SNES, PS1, or Game Boy. It’s not as simple as just firing up an App Store to download the games, though.
If you are good with computers and researching things online, the GPD XD Plus is one of the best emulators you can buy. It’s also one of the few that’s powerful and portable. However, we don’t recommend it for people who aren’t good with following directions, since you have to jump through some hoops to install ROMs (games) on the device.
4. New Nintendo 3DS XL Portable Game Console
The newest iteration of Nintendo’s portable game console sports updated controls, face-tracking, a brighter screen, a better camera, and improved CPU performance. This one looks like the classic Super NES console. The new 3DS XL is also available in black or a galaxy pattern. Just make sure you purchase an AC adapter with whichever model you choose, because one isn’t included.
5. Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player Handheld
The Sega Genesis Ultimate Portable Game Player is Sega’s nod to its Game Gear console from the ’90s. If the gamer in your life was a Sega kid growing up, they’ll definitely dig it. The Sega is loaded with all three Golden Axe games, nine Sonic the Hedgehog games, and Mortal Kombat 1-3, among many others, and you can even load more with its built-in SD card slot. The system plugs into your TV for gaming on the big screen, too!