Forums - Gaming Discussion - Best Handheld Game System

What's your favourite handheld game system?

Playstation Vita 136 24.16%
Playstation Portable (PSP) 40 7.10%
Nintendo 3DS/2DS 209 37.12%
Nintendo DS/DSi 83 14.74%
Gameboy Advance 53 9.41%
iPad/Android Tablet/Phone 8 1.42%
Open Pandora 4 0.71%
Classic Handheld ie. Game... 22 3.91%
Obscure Classic ie. Wonde... 2 0.36%
Other (Please State) 2 0.36%

This is something I've been wondering for a while as I've grown quite attached to my handhelds of late. I'm playing them more than my consoles by a long margin. So I wanted a thread where we could discuss gaming on the move, somewhat similar to the intent behind the [Insert] Nation threads.

Currently I have a PSP, 3DS, Vita, Android Phone, and Pandora. I have in the past owned a Gameboy Colour and GBA-SP, but never had an original DS, DS Lite, DSi or other variant on the DS, nor did I own any of the older handhelds like the original Gameboy, Game Gear, Lynx or Nomad. At the moment I have l very little bad to say and a whole lot good to say so I'll give them all some attention I think.

Playstation Portable - Exactly what it says on the tin. It's a portable playstation, with a great selection of games and the often mocked UMDs which if you have the AV cable you can always watch on your TV if you want (something the people mocking seem to forget). This is the system that kept me sane. At one point many years back I was made homeless due to unforseen circumstances. I had friends store my stuff, I sofa surfed a fair bit, and I even slept rough a few times until I found somewhere new. During that time my PSP with GTA: Liberty City Stories, Breath Of Fire 3, Tekken: Dark Ressurection, and the Mega Drive Collection was literally the only thing that stopped me cracking. It was my MP3 player and with Lord Of War, Serenity, Bottom: Season 1, and Men Behaving Badly on UMD I had what passed for entertainment. I'd charge it in the library during the day and watch/play during the night. Sure it's not perfect, but damn I have some great memories of it, and I still have that same PSP to this day. Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VI Complete, and a few other games have ensured it has a place. Granted I could get the games on my Vita as digital games; and admittedly the PSP is now obsolete if you have a Vita, but it means a lot to me so I don't think I'll ever get rid of it.

Nintendo 3DS - What can I say really. I got this as a free gift as part of my phone package two years ago. I had the choice of a Vita or a 3DS and I chose the 3DS because I already had a PSP and the 3DS was backwards compatible. Knowing how awesome the Vita is I probably made the wrong choice, but still the 3DS is a damn fine machine with some of the best games I've played in a long time. One of the few systems to genuinely get social interaction going as me and my friends actively use StreetPass, this has changed the way I game. I now feel more enticed by portable gaming than I ever did with console gaming, and I strangely enjoy online features on the 3DS despite never normally gaming online. So far I've played the Nintendo staples, Pokémon, Mario, Zelda, and I'm looking forward to more. Deserving of all the praise it gets, this is probably my most played system of 2013.

Playstation Vita - My new favourite I'm sure. This is what I call portable gaming. While it's own library admittedly needs some beefing up, (and is a little disappointing for a two year library), the PSOne back catalogue, PSP digital back catalogue, and the massive library of indie games makes the Vita one of the most varied systems I own. There's some genuine treasures on the Vita though, and a lot of 6th gen games have moved to the Vita so we can play them in portable form which makes it awesome. If you've yet to get a Vita and plan to great, though set up an American PSN account if you want all the features, no Netflix outside USA is a massive shame with that gorgeous OLED screen. YouTube and Facebook however work brilliantly, and I genuinely find myself using the browser. The few great games that shine on the Vita, such as Tearaway, Persona 4 Golden, and Gravity Rush, coupled with the Jak & Daxter HD Collection, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Collection and more, make the Vita the perfect portable system for someone who wants to be consumed by their games. For me it's become the 'Final Fantasy Machine' as it has Final Fantasy 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and X-2 on it, that's a lot of Final Fantasy and that alone justifies the system for me.

Android Phone - People scoff at mobile gaming but they shouldn't. Sure there's so much shovelware it's not even funny, but some of those casual pick up and play games can be quite good. I've really enjoyed Temple Run 2, Plague Inc. Plants vs. Zombies, Rayman Jungle Run, and even the admittedly overly viral, but still pretty damn good Angry Birds games. It'll never replace the handheld gaming device for me, but with decent emulators for 16-bit consoles, and a few home ports like Max Payne and GTA 3 on Android now, there's still plenty on there. Add in a great browser, apps for YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, and of course the functionality of a phone and you've got a pretty awesome peice of tech; let's be fair.

Open Pandora -  The Pandora, for those who don't know is a linux PC about the size of a 3DS, albeit about twice as thick. It has a full QWERTY keyboard, D-Pad, 6 Button controls, Dual Analog Sticks, and a Touch Screen. In short it's an input paradise with the option to use USB mice also avaliable. It's main uses are as a miniature PC but also as an emulation device. I use it to emulate DOS, Mega Drive, Master System, NES, SNES, GBA and even the occational Neo Geo game. It's pretty good at all of them, near perfect in most actually, and it can even do PSOne and N64 though I don't bother, (I have the Vita for that). The Pandora is basically the retro-gamers perfect system as it can pretty much take practically the entire medium from 1980 to 1999 and store 90% of it all in one place ready to play, with actual physical controls. Remember you also have the full functionality of a Linux PC and it's unsurprising that this is one of my favourite devices of all time. Perhaps it's just the nostalgia here, after all, the Pandora is more than twice the cost of the Vita which could easily run every emulator on this thing if hacked, hell a modded PSP can do most of this stuff adequately, but there's something about the Pandora that I like. It just feels right to have a designated "retro" device. (if you're interested in the Pandora you can find out more at - )

So, that's my take on the handhelds of today. What do you guys think? What's the best? Your personal favourite? Let's give the portable market some love.

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I have every Nintendo system but the 3DS. Also have PSP, Vita, iTouch, iPad, and an Android smartphone.

Vita wins just because of Uncharted Golden Abyss. I bought the system at launch just for that game and I loved it. The only games I bother to platinum are uncharted ones and GA is no exception. I, love, Uncharted!

Gameboy gets second, since it was the first system to have pokemon. I've fallen out with the series but man did I love it as a kid.

I think for me, its between the 3ds and PsP

When I was in highschool and I had to choose between a DS or a PsP, I went for the PsP despite being a Nintendo fan cause the whole DS thing just didn't appeal to me and I never have regretted it since. There were plenty of Jrpgs, shooters and many other types of games that filled the library with decent graphics (which was amazing at the time). The memory cards were expensive but they were competitive with the microsd card's prices. It came with an awesome video and music player but best of all, it had a web browser which for me was the best shitz ever cause nothing else really had that and the list goes on as to why I loved the thing. Heck, I bought the Vita at launch just cause of it

But with that being said, my love for the 3ds is catching up. It has the 3d effect which I personally think is awesome and I use it all the time during cut scenes and important battles and best of all, its cheap and it has all the best AAA games of this generation so far and thats why I love it so much. Every single game I have played so far, from the good to the average has been a cool experience thanks to the 3d effect and most of the games wowed me cause how good they are! And you can't play those key games on any other platform. Also its backwards compatible and has some neat features

As for the Vita. I guess I kinda understand why I didn't like it as much as the PsP. It obviously doesn't have the key games the PsP had but its more than that... The memory card prices are no way competitive, the web browser, video player and music player gets nullified cause my S4 does all those things better and supports way more formats. I do love playing anime games however which is why it has gotten my attention back the past couple of months but the price is still too high. It is a worthy handheld for anyone that owns it however cause it does have some interesting games no doubt and the hardware itself... The OLED version is just pure amazing


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None. They were all behind their time.

Except for the Game Gear of course.

The ability to copy and paste text from Stack Exchange is not a license to be a dick.

3DS is hands down the best handheld i have ever owned, the library of excellent games speaks for itself. Fully backward compatable with DS games make it the definitive handheld device , glasses free 3D , streetpass etc is the icing on the cake.

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Talking about games I mostly like, GBA. Followed by my little Vita :D

3DS, no contest

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PSP, then 3DS.

PSP easily. Great selection of games plus it's the moat awesome homebrew machine ever made. From emulators and apps that let you play all kinds of media up to full fledged games, it's all there. So if you want a system that can play GB, GBA, NES, SNES, PSX and PSP titles perfectly on the go, PSP is for you.

Official member of VGC's Nintendo family, approved by the one and only RolStoppable. I feel honored.

Based on what I own:

Game Gear

I think DS wins by a mile. It's an amazing, truly innovative system with a huge, diverse library of games. I imagine 3DS could claim the top spot at some point if Nintendo and third parties maintain support over the next few years.