Handhelds have always been a key way that people have played their games. Even before the original Game Boy there were Game & Watch devices. There is something enduring appealing about being able to play a game from anywhere, and have a private gaming experience no matter where you are. So, this week for our poll we put it to people: what has been the best handheld of all time?
Unfortunately, because the poll only allows for four responses, I needed to make some concessions with this one. There have been a lot of great handhelds released over the years. What I’ve done here is pick consoles from three major moments in handheld gaming to focus on. The PlayStation Vita represents the moment that handhelds could offer a genuinely equivalent experience to the home consoles (paired down, yes, but the Vita could do everything that TV consoles could). The GBA was the transition point between handheld games as primitive experiences (as the Game Boy was), and the point that handheld consoles could be considered “uncompromised” as gaming experiences.
And of course the Game Boy and Game Boy Color are deeply nostalgic devices that got a lot of people into gaming and are fondly remembered for that.
– Matt S.
Find me on Twitter: @mattsainsb