originals\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Top 5 Handhelds of All Time


The history of handheld consoles is one of epic failures and triumphant successes, hopeful introductions and tearful goodbyes. So many memories, good and bad, of handhelds weigh in the hearts of gamers who reminisce about video game accomplishments, like the first time they held a GameBoy and the day they threw away their N-Gage with sly grins on their faces. Moments like these should not be forgotten, but among those memories, which handhelds hold the dearest place in your gamer heart? GameZone takes you back and finally settles the heated debate of which handhelds tickle the most fancy.

5. PSP

Surprised to see the PSP on this list? Don’t be. Sure, the PSP has endured its ups and downs and trials and tribulations since its release in 2004, but it also brought a competitor to Nintendo and new features never seen in a handheld before. For this, we respect what the PSP brought to the table. When the PSP graced us with its presence for the first time, the consensus agreed that it was the next big thing. The most powerful handheld gamers had ever seen--packed with the addition of Wi-fi capabilities and extreme multimedia functions--the PSP made a case for itself as being a front runner in the handheld race. However, its price tag, smaller library compared to the DS, and the failure of the PSP Go has left Sony in catch-up mode to the Nintendo DS series and now Nintendo’s next generation handheld, the 3DS.

4. GameBoy Advance

Years had passed since Nintendo broke into the handheld console market with its ridiculously popular GameBoy. They had tinkered with upgrading the original GameBoy by making it smaller (GameBoy Pocket) and giving it some color (GameBoy Color). Then the rumor came that Nintendo was working on a 32-bit processing handheld that would be their next generation handheld. Given the codename Project Atlantis, the GameBoy Advance would elevate Nintendo even further into the handheld world. The strength of the processor was now the most powerful we’d seen at the time, and the library was absolutely fantastic. Being able to play games as powerful as Super Nintendo titles in the palm of your hand while still playing ports of classic 8-bit games is something we will never forget.

3. iPhone

What to say about this guy? You either love him or you hate him. Fortunately for most people and gamers, they do love him. In the past, we thought something like the iPhone could never be done. With such failures as the Nokia N-Gage, gamers had already been disappointed and weren’t looking to spend loads of cash on something as disastrous as that was. However, with the popularity of the iPod came a new hope in technology. People started noticing Apple devices again, and the iPhone was born. It could do it all. It can make phone calls, it can run games, and it can run apps. There is almost nothing it can’t do. And with a million-plus downloads in the application store, including games and apps, the iPhone is one of the best competitors to Sony and Nintendo out there.

2. GameBoy

Sometimes numbers just don’t lie. The GameBoy along with the GameBoy Color sold 118 million units worldwide--quite a success. Although Nintendo had the Game and Watch series before the GameBoy and many successors to it, it is arguably the most popular and successful system to date. Nintendo completely changed the handheld world by introducing a system that was portable and had actual decent 8-bit games you could play on the go. Upon the release of the GameBoy, other companies tried to compete. Sega came out with the Game Gear and Atari came out with the Lynx. Both had better updated features such as color screens but also had steep price tags and shorter battery lives. The GameBoy’s price, library and battery life just couldn’t be beat, and today people still reminisce about the system that started it all.

1. Nintendo DS

Once the GameBoy’s popularity turned a little stale, Nintendo wanted to take the handheld world by storm again. They proved they could do it a third time. When the Nintendo DS was released, people (including myself) were a little bit skeptical. The fond memories of the GameBoy Advance were still running through people’s minds, and they weren’t ready to give it up yet. Fortunately for us, Nintendo had created a better system that would go miles beyond what the GameBoy Advance did. Offering a dual set of screens, a new cartridge system, and a touch screen, the Nintendo’s new handheld again became the handheld to beat. The library for the Nintendo DS is extraordinary, and Nintendo noticed the growing popularity of the DS and came out with three more versions--the DS Lite, the DSi and the DSi XL--before just recently introducing their new next generation handheld, the Nintendo 3DS.


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