Valve is planning to release it’s own dedicated handheld console, the Steam Deck, at the end of the year. Any gamer worth their salt has a Steam account so the community is extremely excited. Excited enough to play all those untouched games in our infinite libraries? Only time will tell.
While we wait impatiently for December, here’s a rundown of the best handheld consoles on the market today. This list could easily have been Nintendo from top to bottom, but I’ve called out some other worthy competitors for good measure.
For my money, in a very competitive field, the Switch Lite is in a league of its own. A road-trip essential: it runs perfectly, it’s lightweight, and it’s seriously cheap compared to the other consoles in its lane. It doesn’t have the Switch’s dockable feature but that really doesn’t bother me – we’re gaming on the move, and we’re having a blast doing it!
Mobile tech is so advanced that I had to pick at least one phone here, even if it’s not strictly a console. The Galaxy S20’s specs are, frankly, superb – it puts some laptops to shame. The display is magnificent, it has a great battery life, and it’s by far the most compact entry on this list. Better still, the arrival of the Galaxy “ultra” models has slashed the S20’s price considerably. If you’re a keen mobile gamer, this is a really excellent choice.
Tech Radar once proclaimed the 3DS XL to be “the best handheld console Nintendo has ever made”. To be fair that was before we had the Switch to contend with, but it’s still a wonderful piece of kit. With better performance thanks to a more powerful CPU, and an extra directional stick, the XL is a much-improved version of its predecessor – the 3DS. The original was great, so that should tell you everything you need to know.
If you can find it, the Vita is a great little console – especially considering its age. It won’t quite compete with more recent releases in terms of graphics, but it has an amazing catalogue of available games to choose from. There’s no other way to play iconic PlayStation franchises like Killzone, Uncharted, and LittleBigPlanet on a handheld console. That’s why the Vita deserves your attention and a place at the top.
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