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What is the best handheld console of all time?


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Just to preempt any of you, Switch will not be part of this.  I have handhelds that I love (Game Gear, Game Boy, Neo Geo Pocket: Colour) but I think we an all agree that DS Lite is H.O.A.T.  A great library, backwards compatibility with the GBA and the library is pretty special.  Even writing my non-words about it, makes me want to buy a new one (I last owned one in I think 2009) and indulge in some N64 level, 2 screen gaming. 

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Not counting backwards compatibility features, I'd say the DS. That was the system that got me into handheld gaming and it had soooo many awesome games. I still play my DSi XL, because I don't like the way DS games look on the 3DS. 

 

8 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:


This is the correct answer.  It's pretty much the Playstation 2 of handhelds.

 

I never traded in my XL for the *New* models for that reason.

 

 

 

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but are you saying you don't want a New model because it doesn't play DS games? Because it does.

 

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3 minutes ago, CastlevaniaNut18 said:

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but are you saying you don't want a New model because it doesn't play DS games? Because it does.

 

 

Huh, you're right.  I must have been confusing it with the DSi's lack of GBA compatibility.

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Not sure how to rate this, but I'll rate during the iterations?

 

DS/PSP - I actually loved my DS until only had about like 2-3 games I played consistently and most of them were okayish?  Sold it for the PSP when I found out that Disgaea was being released.  Eventually used CFW but was able to play most of the games in addition to using it as a GBA emulator.  Then I had a DS card, which let me play other games, but despite that, I didn't play many of the games on it?  I'd say it's a tie

 

3DS/Vita - Vita.  I spent so many hours playing on my Vita and getting plats from a multitude of games.  By the time I got my 3DS, I've probably doubled the time spent on my Vita over the 3DS, and now while I touch my Vita (rarely or if ever), I just don't play as much on both handhelds.  Plus the ridiculous backlog on my 3DS is another thing.

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16 minutes ago, Biggie said:

Man every time I think of what the Vita could’ve/should’ve been it makes me sad. 

 

It's interesting as although I never owned one, I always felt the PSP had a great library and was a very good companion to the PS2 with the smaller/off-shoot iterations of major franchises.  I am still tempted to buy one, though more of the reasons for owning them can be found on the PS3 for nothing.  

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2 minutes ago, crispy4000 said:

 

The Vita must have also been a slap to Sony's face.  It flopped about as hard as the Wii U, in terms of hardware sales.

You could say the same for Sony slapping itself for the poor choices in terms of proprietary storage, games, and marketing.

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I am actually leaning towards the Vita on this one... the available PSP library is fantastic on top of a lot of solid high budget titles and some amazing indie ports. I find the 3DS to be very weak and extremely reliant on ports of OLD games. For most people I feel the 3DS is a better choice because of DS BC (which had a much stronger library) but the Vita just has a strong amount of games I go back to not just one and done experiences. 

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8 minutes ago, DPCyric said:

I am actually leaning towards the Vita on this one... the available PSP library is fantastic on top of a lot of solid high budget titles and some amazing indie ports. I find the 3DS to be very weak and extremely reliant on ports of OLD games. For most people I feel the 3DS is a better choice because of DS BC (which had a much stronger library) but the Vita just has a strong amount of games I go back to not just one and done experiences. 

See, I feel the Vita relies too heavily on ports and BC, probably more so than the 3DS. Don't get me wrong, it's a great system to hold in your hands and look at and I love having my PSP library all in one place. But the thing has hardly any true exclusives. I hardly have any Vita games these days, as I've sold most of them because they're on other systems or I just didn't care enough to keep them. Meanwhile, I've still got 59 DS games on my shelf(not counting digital stuff), most of which are original titles for the system. 

 

Sony just dropped the ball with the Vita and it's a damn shame. 

 

Edit: I actually only have 7 physical Vita games, none of which are exclusive. They were either console ports or were ported to other platforms later on.

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14 minutes ago, Littleronin said:

The Vita is the greatest handheld that could have been.

This. The Vita as a console is fantastic. But it lacks so much.

 

I'd have to say the DS because I played more GBA games on my DS than DS games on my 3DS. 

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6 hours ago, mo1518 said:

Vita! Has a great library, and has the PSP and PS1 libraries to lean on as well! And that OLED... 

Every time I powered on my Switch, my first thoight is, I wish it had an OLED display thanks to the Vita.  I still prefer portable gaming on my Vita because of that screen. 

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For me I guess it's the DS (or 3DS, but I never owned one). I was never a big handheld gamer because handheld games just didn't work for me most of the time for whatever reason. But DS did have some games that I enjoyed quite a bit. Fuck those corners and super small form though. Jesus Christ it would hurt my hand after awhile.

 

 

Otherwise, the answer I can't give would win it for me by a landslide :p Switch is an example of why consoles can offer something beyond PC. Otherwise, I'd prefer all games to just be on PC.

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