List of handheld game consoles

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This is a list of handheld game consoles, portable video game consoles with a built-in screen and game controls and separate games. It does not include PDAs, smartphones, or tablet computers; while those devices are often capable of playing games, they are not primarily video game consoles.

For handheld dedicated consoles, which only play games built into the system, see list of dedicated consoles.

Consoles[edit]

Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Manufacturer Generation Notes Picture
Microvision 1979[1] 1981[1] Milton Bradley Second
notes
  • The very first handheld game console that used interchangeable cartridges
  • Only 12 games known to exist for the system
  • Contained no processor; all computation was handled by the game cartridges themselves
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
Milton-Bradley-Microvision-Handheld-FL.jpg
Children's Discovery System 1981 N/A Mattel Second
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
Select-A-Game 1981 1982 Entex Industries Second
notes
  • Contained no processor; all computation was handled by the game cartridges themselves
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
Entex-SelectAGame.jpg
Adventure Vision
Entex Industries Second
notes
  • Contained an Intel 8048 CPU, cartridges consisted of 4k ROM chips (2532 EPROMs)
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Set on tabletop rather than held
  • Sold over 50,000 units[2]
Entex-AdventureVision.jpg
Super Micro 1983 N/A Palmtex Second
notes
  • Only 3 games known to exist for the system
  • Plays monochrome games from cartridges with built-in LCD screen that had color overlays to display color
Palmtex-SuperMicro.jpg
Gamate 3D 1983 N/A VTech Second
notes
  • Only 3 games known to exist for the system
  • All games also released for the ProScreen
Variety 1983 N/A VTech Second
notes
  • Only 6 games known to exist for the system
  • Plays cartridges with built-in LCD screen
Digi Casse 1984 N/A Bandai Second
notes
  • Only 4 games known to exist for the system
  • Plays cartridges with built-in LCD screen
  • Variant under the same name released by Lansay in Europe
Colorvision 1984 N/A Romtec Second
notes
  • Only 5 games known to exist for the system
  • Plays cartridges with built-in Color LCD screen
  • Set on tabletop rather than held
  • Some variants under different labels.
Game Pocket Computer 1984 N/A Epoch Second
notes
  • Only 5 games produced for the system, in addition to the built-in puzzle game and paint program
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
Epoch-Game-Pocket-Computer-FL.jpg
ProScreen 1984 N/A VTech Second
notes
  • Combination Projector and handheld game console
  • Only 3 games known to exist for the system
  • All games also released for the Gamate 3D
  • Variant under the same name released by Ludotronic
Etch A Sketch Animator 2000 1988 N/A Ohio Art Company Fourth
notes
  • Only 3 games produced for the system, in addition to a memory expansion type of cartridge
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
Oaetch2000.jpg
IM-26 1988[3] N/A Electronika Fourth
notes
  • Only 5 games known to exist for the system[3]
  • Plays cartridges with built-in LCD screen[4]
  • Games also individually sold as dedicated handheld consoles
Игра электроника ИМ-26.jpg
Light Games 1988 N/A Grandstand Fourth
notes
  • Combination Projector and handheld game console
  • Plays cartridges with built-in LCD screen, which is projected onto any flat surface for display
  • Other variations released in Europe
Playtime-LightGames.jpg
PreComputer 1000 1988 N/A VTech Fourth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
  • The successor PreComputer 2000 plays PreComputer 1000 cartridges
Game Boy
  • JP: April 21, 1989[6]
  • NA: July 31, 1989[5]
  • EU: September 28, 1990
  • WW: March 23, 2003[7]
Nintendo Fourth
notes
  • First release of the Game Boy line of handheld consoles
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Smaller version named the Game Boy Pocket released in 1996
  • Version with a backlight named the Game Boy Light released in 1998
  • All Game Boy versions combined sold 118.69 million units[8]
Game-Boy-Original.jpg
Lynx
  • NA: October 1989
1995 Atari Fourth
notes
  • First handheld electronic game with a color LCD
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Smaller and lighter version named the Atari Lynx II released in 1991
  • Sold fewer than 500,000 units[9]
Atari-Lynx-I-Handheld.png
Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Manufacturer Generation Notes Picture
Game Gear
Sega Fourth
notes
Game-Gear-Handheld.jpg
TurboExpress
NEC Fourth
notes
  • Portable version of the TurboGrafx-16 home console
  • Some games allow multiplayer options by connecting two TurboExpress consoles with a TurboLink cable
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Could be connected to a TV with a TurboVision TV tuner
  • Sold 1.5 million units[9]
NEC-TurboExpress-Upright-FL.jpg
Gamate 1990 1993 Bit Corporation Fourth
notes
Gamate.jpg
Game Master 1990 N/A Hartung Fourth
notes
  • Known by different names in different countries, including Systema 2000, Super Game, Game Tronic, and Game Plus
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
Supervision 1992[15] N/A Watara Fourth
notes
  • Releases in different countries were by different suppliers with different names similar to Supervision
  • Screen could be tilted relative to controls via flexible connection
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Could be linked up to a television via a link cable
  • Version without a tilted screen released
Watara-Supervision-Tilted.jpg
Mega Duck 1993 N/A Welback Holdings Fourth
notes
Mega-Duck-Handheld-FL.jpg
Game Wizard 1994 N/A MGA Entertainment Fifth
notes
  • Plays cartridges with built-in LCD screen
  • Cartridges bundled with system and not sold separately
  • Similar handheld game consoles released in the UK as the Game Player by Grandstand and in Japan as the Triple-In by Epoch
Virtual Boy
  • JP: July 21, 1995
  • NA: August 14, 1995
  • JP: December 22, 1995
  • NA: March 2, 1996
Nintendo Fifth
notes
Virtual-Boy-Set.png
Nomad
1999 Sega Fifth
notes
  • Handheld version of the Sega Genesis that played the same cartridges[17]
  • Early version for use on Japanese airplanes was named the Mega Jet[17]
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Sold 1 million units; considered a commercial failure[9]
Sega-Nomad-Front.jpg
Design Master Senshi 1995 N/A Bandai Fifth
notes
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
R-Zone 1995 1997 Tiger Electronics Fifth
notes
  • Displayed graphics via a headset; the cartridges contained an LCD screen which the headset reflected from a transparent viewing screen.
  • Plays red monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Version that plays color games named the R-Zone Super Screen released in 1995
  • Version that did not use a headset named the X.P.G. Xtreme Pocket Game; games were instead reflected onto a mirror on the console itself
Tiger-RZone-Headset.jpg
PasoGo 1996 N/A Koei Fifth
notes
Game.com
  • NA: September 1997
Tiger Electronics Fifth
notes
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Could be connected to a 14.4 kbit/s modem
  • Smaller version released as the Game.com Pocket Pro
  • Cheaper version without the frontlight released as the Game.com Pocket
  • Sold fewer than 300,000 units; considered a commercial failure[9]
Tiger-Game-Com-FL.jpg
Game Boy Color
  • JP: October 21, 1998
  • NA: November 18, 1998
  • PAL: November 23, 1998
  • AU: November 27, 1998
2003 Nintendo Fifth
notes
  • Version of the Game Boy capable of displaying games in color; the Color is backwards compatible with the original Game Boy games
Nintendo-Game-Boy-Color-FL.jpg
Neo Geo Pocket
  • JP: October 28, 1998[19]
  • NA: June 1, 1999 (Color)[18]
  • PAL: October 1, 1999 (Color)
SNK Fifth
notes
  • Part of the Neo Geo family of consoles
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Version that plays color games released as Neo Geo Pocket Color worldwide
  • Neo Geo Pocket was quickly discontinued in favor of the Neo Geo Pocket Color due to lower than expected sales[9]
  • Color version is backwards compatible with Neo Geo Pocket games, but is considered part of the Sixth console generation
  • Pocket and Pocket Color combined sold 2 million units; resulted in SNK leaving the hardware business completely[9]
Neo-Geo-Pocket-Anthra-Left.jpg
WonderSwan
2003 Bandai Sixth
notes
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • Version that plays color games released as WonderSwan Color in 2000
  • Redesigned version of the console with a better LCD screen released as SwanCrystal in 2002
  • Sold 3.5 million units: 1.55 million WonderSwans, 1.1 million WonderSwan Colors, and 0.95 million SwanCrystals[21][22]
WonderSwan-Black-Left.jpg
Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Manufacturer Generation Notes Picture
Cybiko
2003 Cybiko Sixth
notes
  • Combination PDA and handheld game console[23]
  • Features an included stylus for keyboard[23]
  • Plays digital games via internet download from PC[23]
  • More than 430 games and applications produced for the system, all were free[25]
  • Improved version named Cybiko Xtreme released in September 2001[23]
  • Sold over 500,000 units by the end of 2000[26]
Cybiko.jpg
Turbo Twist 2000 N/A LeapFrog Enterprises Sixth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
Game Boy Advance
Nintendo Sixth
notes
Nintendo-Game-Boy-Advance-Purple-FL.jpg
Pokémon Mini
  • JP: December 14, 2001
  • NA: November 16, 2001
  • PAL: March 15, 2002
  • JP: December 2002
Nintendo Other
notes
Pokémon mini system.jpg
GP32
  • KOR: November 23, 2001
  • PAL: June 15, 2004
N/A Game Park Sixth
notes
Gp32.jpg
iQuest 2001 N/A LeapFrog Enterprises Sixth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
Kasey the Kinderbot 2002 N/A Fisher Price Sixth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
Pixter 2002[31] 2002[31] Mattel / Fisher-Price Sixth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus.
N-Gage October 7, 2003[32] N/A Nokia Sixth
notes
  • Combination game console and phone
  • Plays MultiMediaCards
  • Redesigned version that made changing game cartridges easier and moved the earpiece off of the side of the device released as the N-Gage QD in 2004
  • Sold 3 million units[9]
Nokia-NGage-LL.jpg
Leapster October 2003 N/A LeapFrog Enterprises Sixth
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
  • Redesigned version with TV output named Leapster L-Max released in 2004
  • Console version named Leapster TV released in 2005
Zodiac October 2003 July 2005 Tapwave Sixth
notes
  • Combination PDA, handheld game console, and mobile entertainment device
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus and an MP3 player
  • Plays digital games via internal memory or SD cards
  • Sold fewer than 200,000 units; Tapwave declared bankruptcy in July 2005[9]
Tapwave-Zodiac2-FL.jpg
GameKing
N/A TimeTop Other
notes
  • 8-bit monochrome console designed to look like the Game Boy Advance, released solely in Hong Kong
  • Plays monochrome games from ROM cartridges
  • A redesigned version of the console intended to look like the PlayStation Portable released as the GameKing II in 2004
  • A redesigned version of the console with support for color games released as the GameKing III in 2005
  • A fourth version of the console which takes different cartridges released as the Handy Game in 2007
  • Almost all games for the system are clones of third generation games, such as Nintendo Entertainment System games
Gameking I.jpg
Nintendo DS
  • JP: December 2, 2004
  • NA: November 21, 2004
  • PAL: February 24, 2005
2016[33] Nintendo Seventh
notes
  • First console in the Nintendo DS line
  • Uses two separate screens
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
  • Backwards compatible with Game Boy Advance games
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Lighter version with a brighter screen released as the Nintendo DS Lite in 2006
  • Smaller version with cameras and without Game Boy Advance compatibility released as the Nintendo DSi in 2008
  • Larger version with larger, better LCD screen released as the Nintendo DSi XL in 2008
  • Sold over 154 million units[34]
Nintendo-DS-Fat-Blue.jpg
PlayStation Portable
  • JP: December 12, 2004
  • NA: March 24, 2005
  • PAL: September 1, 2005
  • JP: June 2014
  • NA: January 2014
  • PAL: Q4 2014
Sony Seventh
notes
  • Features interactivity with PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 consoles
  • Plays Universal Media Discs and digital games via internet download
  • Lighter and thinner version released as the PSP-2000 in 2007
  • Lighter version with a microphone and better LCD screen released as the PSP-3000 in 2008
  • Smaller, redesigned version without a UMD drive released as the PSP Go in 2009
  • Cheaper version without internet connectivity released as the PSP-E1000 in 2011
  • Sold 80 million units[35]
Psp-1000.jpg
Gizmondo
February 6, 2006 Tiger Telematics Seventh
notes
  • Features camera, GPS, text messaging, and Bluetooth wireless connectivity
  • Plays SD cards
  • Released in advertisement-supported and ad-free variants
  • Sold fewer than 25 thousand units; considered one of the worst commercial failures of a handheld console[9]
Gizmondo.jpg
GP2X
  • KOR: November 10, 2005
N/A GamePark Holdings Seventh
notes
GP2X 01.JPG
digiBlast
N/A Nikko Seventh
notes
  • Kids media player for music, video games and cartoons videos
  • Cartridge for MP3 playback and a cartridge with a 1.3-megapixel camera were released as add-ons
Thumb-digiblast.jpg
V.Smile Pocket 2005 N/A VTech Other
notes
  • Handheld version of the V.Smile educational console
  • Plays ROM cartridges
  • Redesigned version with a microphone released in 2007
  • Redesigned clamshell version named the V.Smile Pocket Cyber released in 2008
VideoNow XP 2005 N/A Tiger Electronics Seventh
notes
Didj
  • NA: August 22, 2008
N/A LeapFrog Enterprises Other
notes
  • Educational handheld game console aimed at children
  • Plays ROM cartridges
Dingoo A320
  • CHN: February 2009
  • NA: February 2009
N/A Dingoo Digital Technology Company Seventh
notes
  • Combination game console, radio, and media player
  • Plays digital games via internet download
Dingoo A320 White.jpg
GP2X Wiz May 12, 2009 N/A GamePark Holdings Seventh
notes
Gp2xwiz.jpg
Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Manufacturer Generation Notes Picture
Pandora May 21, 2010 N/A OpenPandora Seventh
notes
  • Open source hardware game console only sold online
  • Combination game console and subnotebook
  • Unofficial successor to the GP2X
  • Plays digital games via internet download
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
PandoraFront.JPG
Leapster Explorer July 15, 2010 N/A LeapFrog Enterprises Seventh
notes
  • Educational handheld video game console
  • Backwards compatible with Didj games
CAANOO August 16, 2010 September 2011 GamePark Holdings Seventh
notes
CAANOO.jpg
iXL 2010[37] 2012[37] Mattel / Fisher Price Seventh
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
Nintendo 3DS
  • JP: February 26, 2011
  • NA: March 27, 2011
  • PAL: March 25, 2011
N/A Nintendo Eighth
notes
  • Part of the Nintendo 3DS line
  • Uses two separate screens and is capable of projecting stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses
  • Features a touchscreen with an included stylus
  • Backwards compatible with Nintendo DS games
  • Plays ROM cartridges and digital games via internet download
  • Larger version released as the Nintendo 3DS XL in 2012
  • Version without 3D capability or clamshell design released as the Nintendo 2DS in 2013
  • Redesigned version with better performance and exclusive titles released as the New Nintendo 3DS in 2014
  • Larger redesigned version with better performance and exclusive titles released as the New Nintendo 3DS XL in 2015
  • Larger redesigned version with better performance and exclusive titles released as the New Nintendo 2DS XL in 2017
  • Sold over 60 million units[38]
Nintendo-3DS-AquaOpen.png
K-Magic September 2011 N/A K's Kids Other
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
PlayStation Vita
  • JP: December 17, 2011
  • NA: February 15, 2012
  • PAL: February 22, 2012
N/A Sony Eighth
notes
PlayStation-Vita-1101-FL.jpg
Kids Pad
N/A LG Corporation Other
notes
  • Educational handheld game console
Neo Geo X
  • NA: December 18, 2012
N/A Tommo Eighth
notes
GCW Zero
  • NA: January 17, 2013
N/A Game Consoles Worldwide Other
notes
GCW Zero Front.png
Shield Portable
  • NA: July 31, 2013
N/A Nvidia Eighth
notes
  • Part of the Nvidia Shield line
  • Based on Android
  • Allows the streaming of games running on a PC
  • HDMI port available and the 2nd hybrid game console.
NvidiaShieldPortable.jpg
Nintendo Switch
  • NA: March 3, 2017
N/A Nintendo Other
notes
  • Hybrid console, designed primarily as a home console with the main unit inserted onto a docking station to connect to a television.
  • The individual Joy-Con controllers can attach to the main unit or be used individually.
  • Touchscreen display with 720p resolution, up to 1080p when docked via HDMI port.
Nintendo Switch Portable.png
Console Release date(s) Discontinuation date(s) Manufacturer Generation Notes Picture

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c Forster, Winnie (2005). The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines: Consoles, Handhelds, and Home Computers 1972-2005. Magdalena Gniatczynska. p. 53. ISBN 3-0001-5359-4. 
  3. ^ a b "Электроника ИМ 26". myadel-gimnaz.by. Myadel. 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "NM 26". electronicplastic.com. electronicplastic.com. Retrieved March 28, 2016. 
  5. ^ White, Dave (July 1989). "Gameboy Club". Electronic Gaming Monthly (3): 68. 
  6. ^ "retrodiary: 1 April – 28 April". Retro Gamer. Bournemouth: Imagine Publishing (88): 17. April 2011. ISSN 1742-3155. OCLC 489477015. 
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  11. ^ Forster, Winnie (2005). The Encyclopedia of Game.Machines: Consoles, Handhelds, and Home Computers 1972-2005. Magdalena Gniatczynska. p. 139. ISBN 3-0001-5359-4. 
  12. ^ a b c "Sega Game Gear". Retro Gamer. Live Publishing (17): 26–35. 2005. ISSN 1742-3155. 
  13. ^ a b Beuscher, David. "Sega Game Gear". Allgame. All Media Network. Archived from the original on September 14, 2014. Retrieved July 8, 2013. 
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  21. ^ Wild, Kim (2007). "Retroinspection: WonderSwan". Retro Gamer (36): 68–71. ISSN 1742-3155. 
  22. ^ Brunskill, Kerry (2010). "Swan Song: A WonderSwan Retrospective". Retro Gamer (126): 45–47. 
  23. ^ a b c d e "Chapter 1 : Introducing the Cybiko". Piclist.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  24. ^ Holmes, Paul (July 8, 2002). "Cybiko: Technology for Teens". www.holmesreport.com. The Holmes Report. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Win a fabulous Cybiko Xtreme; READER CLUB". The Free Library. MGN Ltd. 2002. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
  26. ^ Ringshaw, Grant (January 2001). "Vesta pours $9m into new console". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved February 23, 2016. 
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  28. ^ "Game Boy Advance: It's Finally Unveiled". IGN. August 23, 2000. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
  29. ^ Bramwell, Tom (March 21, 2001). "GBA Day: June 22nd". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 19, 2014. 
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  31. ^ a b "Pixter™". Mattel. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  32. ^ "N-Gage". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
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  34. ^ a b "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Nintendo. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 29, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Sony to Stop Selling PlayStation Portable by End of Year". Archived from the original on June 3, 2014. 
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