Remember the time when we could not wait to go home from school and get our homework done early so that we could play games on our Gameboys or PSPs?
When powerful gaming PCs or next gen consoles were not in the picture, most of the 90s kids began their gaming journey with simple handheld gaming consoles of that generation.
We used to play all our favourite games on those portable handy consoles and it was pretty much the only source of gaming we could think of. Gaming was simple and relaxing during the 90s and was nothing near as intense as it is today.
However, the definition of gaming, over time, has changed to the extent that handheld consoles are almost on the verge of being forgotten, maybe forever. For many, gaming now means having powerfully built computers with high-end GPUs or dedicated gaming consoles like the PlayStation or PlayStations series have to offer.
Evolution of handheld gaming consoles
Looking back at the transformation, we can figure how popular handheld gaming consoles used to be.
The LCD-based "Microvision" and "Game & Watch" by Nintendo marked the inception of first-generation handheld gaming consoles. As interesting as it may sound, the idea of the very first Nintendo handheld console came from a calculator.
The second-generation handheld consoles came with upgrades; better screens and enhanced battery life. Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear, and Neo Geo Pocket were some of the most noteworthy gaming consoles back then. Yet, all of these handheld gaming consoles could merely compete with Nintendo's Gameboy, which is arguably the best handheld gaming console ever made.
Nintendo ruled over the handheld gaming industry singlehandedly with its long-lasting battery life and a solid game library until 2004, when it finally met its worthy opponent - the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Sony Computer Entertainment' PSP is considered one of the most exciting gaming consoles of all time.
It was the first handheld console to use an optical disk format. A large viewing screen, GPS, multimedia capabilities and connectivity with other Sony consoles and the internet made it a true fan favourite during that time. Some of the most iconic games that got kids drooling over the PSP were God of War, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, Tekken, and many more.
Sony took another shot at the handheld consoles with the PlayStation Vita's debut in 2012 but mobile gaming had already gained popularity, resulting in handheld gaming consoles' demise.
Nintendo bringing back handheld console gaming to life with Switch
Despite the downfall of handheld gaming consoles, in 2017, Nintendo came up with the latest addition to its line of handheld consoles - the Nintendo Switch.
It is more of a hybrid console rather than a classic handheld. The console itself is basically a tablet with removable joy cons that can either be docked into a TV for use as a home console or used as a portable device.
Since its release, the Nintendo Switch has sold over 90 million units worldwide and currently holds the seventh position on the list of best-selling gaming devices. The Nintendo Switch and its different models like the Switch Lite and the most recent OLED version are the only handheld consoles you can get brand new in shops.
The original Nintendo games like Super Mario, Pokémon, Zelda got major updates on the Switch and the urge to play these mind-blowing games once again on an advanced console drove the fans crazy. Nintendo Switch games and software are available on both physical cartridges and digital distribution via Nintendo e-shop.
The Switch is equipped with an ARM 4 Cortex-A57 cores GPU powered by an Nvidia Custom Tegra Processor. It comes with 32GB of internal storage. The 6.2-inch LCD screen is multi-touch capacitive with 1280 x 720 resolution.
It has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, and a USB Type-C for charging and connecting docks. Its Lithium-ion 4310 mAh battery lasts for approximately four to nine hours.
The Switch is a must buy for all the Nintendo fans from the 90s. Especially for those who want to do some light gaming on the go and do not want anything too extreme.
So, if you call yourself a true Nintendo fan you might as well get one for yourself right away.
Where to buy
There are a number of shops in Bashundhara City Shopping Complex and Shimanto Square like Game Spot – Bangladesh, Plug and Play, and Imam Exclusive Games Zone where you will find Nintendo Switch and all the games and accessories as well.
Some of the most loved gaming titles of the Switch are Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokémon Sword and Shield, Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Luigi's Mansion 3, and many more.
You can get a new Nintendo Switch around Tk30,000 and a Switch Light around Tk20,000.