5 popular portable consoles

Portable consoles are very much alive as recreational devices. They are light and portable with rich graphics and countless features. Playing alone or with virtual companions using these devices is common with the internet connectivity. There are several choices when it comes to portable consoles but there are two big names in the game industry, with Nintendo and Sony dominating the scene.

The top of the list

1. Game Boy Advance - Featuring a 'clamshell' design, this model is the successor of the Game Boy Colour. It has a wide, colour lit screen and big buttons. The console is also backward compatible with older versions of the device such as the Game Boy. An upgrade to the version is the Game Boy Micro which is lighter and smaller. Its size was reduced to make way for portability and better graphics.

2. Nintendo DS - First released in 2004, the DS was the first series of portable consoles that feature double screens. Upgraded versions came out in 2006 with the release of the DS Lite, featuring richer screens, lighter weight, and longer lasting batteries. This time, there is internet connectivity as well as an online link to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. In 2008, a new version came out in the form of the DSi with its 3.5-inch screen and SD card slot. The latest version is the Nintendo DSi XL that is larger and favoured by game-playing adults.

3. Nintendo 3DS - Successor to the DSi light series, the 3DS features 3D graphics without needing special glasses to visualise the effects. It is also backward compatible with older versions of the series, meaning that older games played on the earlier models are compatible with the device.

4. Playstation Portable - Boosting top-notch graphics, the PSP is the first handheld game to use an 'optical disc format'. It has a large screen and several capabilities: multimedia, wireless connection, and connectivity with the PSP 3 and other PSP devices.

5. Playstation Vita - The newest to hit the market, Vita replaces the PSP. It is the first of its kind with a touch pad at the back of the device.

Future trends

As with all devices and gadgets, newer models are designed and developed all the time. The market for portable consoles is still expanding as there are only a few company names that made the cut in the fickle game industry. When the time comes for newer and better models with fresh functions and options, there is a rush again to buy these devices. From the casual player to the hardcore gamer, portable consoles are still making the news.

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