Handheld Gaming

Mobile or home console – it’s your choice

Ever since the Nintendo Gameboy came out way back in the 1980s, handheld games have been a must have for all serious gamers.

Mobile game consoles are just as popular as regular video games consoles these days – whether you play games on a handheld machine, your phone or your iPad, they are just great for helping to kill time while travelling, or taking with you whenever you go somewhere you would rather not be!

Nowadays, handheld games have come a long way from the old black and white monochrome of the original Gameboy, and there’s a huge choice of consoles to buy – so which is best for you?? Read on to find out…

Types of handheld consoles

Right now, there are four main contenders: Nintendo owns three of them – the DSi, the DSi XL and the 3DS. Then there’s the PlayStation Portable, better known as the PSP, which claims to be the world’s most popular handheld console.

Each one of these is powered with a rechargeable battery, allowing them to be taken absolutely anywhere.

The Nintendo DSi XL comes with two 4.2 inch displays, while the regular DSi comes with two 3.25 inch screens, but apart from that these two are more or less the same. Both devices come with features including a camera, an SD card slot which stores game data and can also hold photos and music, and they are both Wi-Fi enabled so it’s possible to connect and play online, while games can also be downloaded direct from the DSi Shop.

As for battery life, both do quite well on this count. The larger DSi XL boasts between 13 to 17 hours of battery life (depends on the game, screen brightness, volume etc), while the regular DSi will last for between 9 and 14 hours.

Nintendo’s latest offering however is the Nintendo 3DS, which is the first handheld console that offers 3D graphics, although at the minute there are not too many 3D games available, though this will surely change as it becomes more popular. The 3DS features a large display, two stereo speakers, Wi-Fi, and a small touchscreen. Perhaps the best feature however, is its motion and gyro sensors, which allow you to interact with games just by moving the console in your hands (such as twisting it left or right in racing games) – something that promises to take handheld gaming to the next level.

The Sony PSP-3000 is the daddy in many gamers’ eyes, however. It comes with a 4.3 inch display, stereo speakers, and can play games from either UMDs (Universal Media Discs), or straight from the memory card. Like the Nintendo consoles, it can also connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. But while its specs may not be much different, where the PSP really stands out is with its game

What games do you want to play?

The PSP has absolutely thousands of games, and is aimed at hardcore gamers and adults, hence its more sophisticated games line up. Its library of games includes just about every genre you could imagine: RPGs, shoot ‘em ups, platformers, sports, simulators, flying games, racing games and more…

Nintendo consoles for the most part are more suitable for younger gamers, and although they have some adult-orientated titles such as Brain Training, its games lineup is dominated by Nintendo classics such as Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and an assortment of cutesy Japanese games.

Where to Buy

BestBuy is a great place to buy PSP consoles, with prices starting at $129.99 and increasing with different add-ons and accessories.

For the Nintendo DS consoles and the Nintendo 3DS, the best place we found was EBGames, with prices for the DS staring at just $69.99, while the 3DS can be had for $169.99.