Handheld Game Consoles
Handheld game consoles are a form of portable video gaming that can be carried and played without the need for an additional screen or stationary setup. In order to be truly mobile entertainment options, handheld consoles integrate built-in screens, controls, and speakers within the handheld unit and can often be augmented with additional optional accessories and add-ons. Popularized by Nintendo’s release of the standalone Game Boy console in 1989, handheld game consoles continue to be reinvented and improved with greater capabilities including internet connectivity, higher resolution displays, touchscreens, and can even double as hybrid home consoles—as demonstrated by the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo has long dominated the handheld gaming industry with both its best selling Nintendo DS line at 154 million units sold, and the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color lines at 118.7 million units sold worldwide. The Nintendo DS is the 2nd most sold console behind Sony’s PlayStation 2 console, with the Game Boy and Game Boy color at 3rd place all time.
Nintendo’s original Game Boy handheld game console boasts many titles that compete for the best-selling game, with the standalone Tetris (1989) selling 35 million units, while Pokémon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow (1996) sold a total of 47.5 million units combined. Pokémon Gold/Silver comes in 3rd place having sold 23.1 million units on the Game Boy Color.
Because the competition in the handheld gaming market has long been dominated by Nintendo’s line of consoles and games, the current Nintendo Switch is easily the best handheld game console on the market. Offering both the Nintendo Switch hybrid console and the Nintendo Switch Lite for purely handheld experiences, the Nintendo Switch lineup offers the best graphics, gameplay, and library options for handheld gaming today.