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The best handheld gaming consoles will offer you great entertainment and easy portability. As you may already know that the best gaming PCs and consoles such as the Xbox Series and the PS5 offer top-notch gaming experience, you cannot exactly take them anywhere you want to go like the portable handheld gaming consoles.
Even more, you cannot play these consoles when you are in transit, at work, or in class, and you need to tuck something fun out of your pocket. The best gaming consoles are devices that will offer you great gaming experience and the ability of being packed in your pocket or backpack.
In the past, the likes of Nintendo Game Boy and Sega Game Gear were the kings of the hill. Today, however, the specs of these gadgets will not offer you anything great. They had too many restrictions like game titles, low specifications, poor power consumption, among others.
The gaming gadgets on our list are undoubtedly the very best that you will find in the market. Whether you have to play a fast game while you travel, or you just want to lie on the couch catching some good fun, you will find the perfect gaming console to do just that.
The Best Handheld Gaming Consoles
If you go back 10 or 15 years ago, the handheld gaming industry was dominated by Sony and Nintendo. The likes of Sony PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS were the supreme handheld gaming consoles.
Now, we have modern consoles that have some of the most fascinating titles and features in the market. While Nintendo may have cornered the market with the Switch, there are many other handheld gaming consoles that are just as good as the Nintendo Switch.
This article also covers some mobile devices such as the Apple iPad Air that can effectively double as handheld gaming consoles when you need them to. Let us dive into the article.
1. The Nintendo Switch
Quite easily the most popular handheld gaming console, the Nintendo Switch offers you a seamless gaming experience no matter where you are – seated or on the move. This hybrid console can be played at home as you can plug it into a Dock and connect it to your TV. You can also play the Switch with its Joy-Con controllers and have fun as you move around.
You can rest assure that you would find no great difference in experience between the two modes. You won’t also lose any part of your gaming session.
You will find a plethora of interesting titles in the library including Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Breath of the Wild, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing New Horizons. Please, note that more demanding games will require greater battery consumption. You will also need to pay for the Nintendo Switch Online subscription service if you want to back up your saves and game progress.
2. The Nintendo Switch Lite
Among other differences, the first thing you will notice is that the Lite is smaller than the original Switch. It also doesn’t give you the option of docking it to your TV. Those are the first things you may notice when you purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite.
As the Switch has become Nintendo’s most popular handheld console, and in fact the most popular handheld gaming console, the Lite is offering many of the features you love about the Switch including excellent gaming titles and third-party games.
You can play such titles as Assassin’s Creed, Bayonetta, Zelda, Animal Crossing, and Doom without experiencing any dip in motion or graphics. What’s more, the Nintendo Switch Lite is super portable and can easily fit in your pocket or backpack.
Despite the pros, there are a few cons that you should be aware of before buying the Nintendo Switch Lite. For example, it has a smaller battery compared to the original Switch. This is in part due to its smaller frame and body.
The Lite doesn’t have any detachable joy-con controller. So, multilayer sessions will be a tad difficult to perform on this console. You won’t be able to transfer save data files between the Lite and the original Switch. So, you really need to know what you are getting into before going ahead to purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite.
3. Apple iPad Air 2019
While the iPad Air isn’t built as a gaming console, it has so many features that make it an incredible handheld gaming console. And in reality, many iPad users own it as their primary gaming device. For some reason, the App Store is filled with an excellent range of gaming titles. This makes it super easy to find a game that actually fascinates you.
Some titles such as Minecraft, Fortnite, and Hearthstone are darlings of millions of gaming enthusiasts. Indie titles such as Threes, Monument Valley, and Florence are also unbeatable titles that are much adored in the gaming community. These titles and more are readily available when you visit the App Store.
Beyond App Store titles, the iPad Air wins over any Android tablet thanks to Apple Arcade. This is a subscription service that offers its users access to over 100 games for just $5 each month. Apple Arcade offers some exclusives that you cannot get on any other platform (Windows, Android, PS, Xbox, Nintendo, et cetera). Some of these titles include Dear Reader, Lifelike, What the Golf, and Sayonara Wild Hearts. These are excellent titles you cannot find anywhere else.
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4. Asus Rog Phone 5
The best handheld gaming console might be the oneyou are scrolling through at the moment. The Asus Rog Phone 5 is so versatile that many have made it their dedicated gaming device. It is large enough to fit both hands while playing your chosen games.
When you bring the range of titles on the Android platform into the equation, you will recognize instantly that you have a mobile game station in your hands.
The Play Store is home to millions of apps, many of which are games from renowned studios like Gameloft. You also have the possibility of downloading and installing apk files on your device. Whether you want to play Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Cross Road, you have exactly the right device to perform the job.
You should remember that Android devices now have access to a plethora of cloud gaming services from Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming to Nvidia GeForce Now. The Rog Phone 5 also has a big screen excellent refresh rate that will help you play as many titles on your phone.
5. Nintendo 2DS XL
Thanks to its large and colorfulscreens as well as an astute design that gets noticed when it’s in your hands at any given time, the Nintendo 2DS XL is an incredible handheld gaming console that will fit into your backpack and give you ultimate entertainment on the go.
You will find such titles as Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Animal Crossing in the huge game library. You will also find some third-party titles from studios such as Atlus, Square Enix, and Capcom.
Nintendo doesn’t seem intent on making any more 2DS XL as the console keeps getting scarcer each passing day. If you do not already have it, it is probably time to go find yourself one.
6. Fire HD 8
At under $100, the Amazon Fire HD 8 may be the right gaming console if you are looking for a budget-friendly gadget. Among the many things that are going right for it include its battery life, storage, superior display, great speakers, and speed.
Like the other devices that have been recommended, tree Fire HD has numerous downloadable titles in the Amazon Storefront. While this may not be the all-powerful gaming console that you may dream of, you will play good enough games and cut back on expenses.
This can also great gadget for kids who haven’t been introduced to the world of big games.
7. Steam Deck
While its release date has been scheduled for 2022, it has already got people talking. Steam Deck has been front-page on innumerable review sites, gaining momentum even before release. If we do not add it to this list, it would be a disservice to the ecosystem.
Valve has scheduled to release Steam Deck sometime in 2022. It will be a handheld gaming device borrowing some of Nintendo’s design and appearance.
Its right side left side controls, central screen, HDMI docking Station, horizontal layout, and big screen connectivity have rendered it a possible Switch rival. However, it will be even more powerful in terms of its specifications than the Switch with a faster GPU, CPU, and Ram (which could be four times faster than Switch’s).
The Steam Deck will make us of Valve’s Steam Platform for its game library. With more than 50,000 modern, retro, and soon-to-be-released titles, the Steam platform is the biggest PC gaming library.
If you want excellent performance as you are on the move, you may have to wait for the Steam Deck’s 2022 release. Otherwise, the original Nintendo Switch is just great.