Generations of Handheld Gaming Available for the Retro-Savvy

Generations of Handheld Gaming Available for the Retro-Savvy

It’s unbelievable how far portable console gaming has gone since the 90s. What’s even more interesting, there’s an entire generation of gamers who are still committed to retro consoles and portables. Would you believe there are gamers who prefer their first Game Boy to a newer console, say a PSP Vita? If you’re grasping to comprehend reasons why retro gaming is in, then hopefully this overview will finally convert you. There are plenty of incentives to go back to basics. It also pays to milk retro gaming consoles for all their worth. It’s good to note that a PS Vita memory card has way more storage capacity for the best PS Vita games, but few consoles beat the Game Boy in nostalgic charm.

In this article, you’ll find out more about handheld gaming devices for retro-savvy gamers. So keep reading and know more.

Handheld Consoles Used to Be Future Tech

Portable playability was largely unheard of in the 80s, at least in the sense it’s known now. Many of the home consoles were heavy and bulky and needed time to set up. There was the Atari 2600 and its multitude of clones that hardly ever leveraged ergonomics. Games were as simple as moving dots across lines on a TV screen, which for many were enjoyable enough. Even role-playing games were text-based or had graphics that left a lot to the imagination. In a way, the bare-bone gaming design nurtured imagination, ensuring each player has a unique experience.

The video game crash that followed was hardly a footnote in gaming history. Eventually, there was too much variety in the available home consoles on the market, and the flood of mediocre games didn’t help. It would have been easier to weed out the best from the riff-raff, but the Internet as it is known today didn’t exist. Most of the gamers played it safe and bought the console everyone else on the street had. This didn’t spare many from all the subpar games that overwhelmed the market, though.

Console Gaming Revival’s Saving Grace

It took time for the gaming industry to reboot after the crash. The saving grace was owed largely to a little-known gaming company called Nintendo. Nintendo released its Famicom in Japan, which, to its credit, finally featured an intuitive and serviceable control pad. The Nintendo Entertainment System eventually launched in the US with well-deserved hype, and the industry was back on its feet. Competition followed suit from Sega with its Master System and Genesis consoles, which kept Nintendo and competition on their toes.

With the home console market covered, there’s still the untapped portable gaming market to claim. Nintendo’s Game and Watch series were huge hits primarily because of portability and replay value. But gamers were itching for complex play to be experienced on portable consoles. To even have a game like Super Mario Brothers on a gaming console you can take anywhere with you would have been a treat back then.

Finally, True Portable Gaming

The Nintendo Game Boy was nothing short of revolutionary upon launch. The control panel sported the same interface as the Nintendo Entertainment System, with the viewing screen immediately above the layout. Sure, the display could have used more color and a higher resolution, but the real kicker is the long battery life. The Game Boy was a true portable gaming console kids could dive into for hours, especially with rechargeable batteries.

Many portable gaming consoles came out after the Game Boy, for better or worse. The upgrades and adaptations contributed to the variety of portable gaming options available today. Apart from dedicated gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch or PSP Vita, smartphones have also joined the competition with overwhelming support from gaming communities. It’s not a surprise few people remember Pong was the game to beat, involving two lines and a bouncing dot.

New Generations in Portable Gaming

Handheld gaming consoles currently come in a variety of iterations, with competition primarily revolving around the available library of games. Previous-generation portables like the PlayStation Portable and the Nintendo DS targeted different gaming niches but with considerable overlaps. Current-generation handhelds are expected to have first-party titles like Zelda or Super Mario Kart along with solid third-party ports.

If you want to experience retro portable games without being a purist, you can experience re-released titles on current handhelds. Emulation of previous-generation consoles has also evolved to perfection, so you can now play console games on your smartphone. If you’d rather collect old handheld consoles and games, you can do this on a budget through online auctions. Make sure you check the condition of pre-loved consoles, accessories, and games before you purchase. Brand-new items command high prices, especially for limited release or rare stock.


There are so many choices in handheld gaming now, it’s difficult to bet on a console when you’re on a budget. If you’re not yet keen on spending money, the best thing to do is enjoy emulated games on your smartphone. You’ll be surprised at the variety of titles you can enjoy, coming from previous generation home and portable consoles. The App Store and Play Store are also chock full of titles, many of which are direct ports of console games you might know.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *