Summer has just arrived and while we, gamers, love to have some sun during the warmer months, we are always thinking about our playing time and mostly: How are we going to play?
Gaming has cut through culture rapidly during the last decades and it’s getting stronger year by year. Back in the 80s and 90s gaming was more of a niche hobby, giving popularity to the so-called Nerds, and it was more of a boy’s thing. Now, these term has become popular between gamers, even becoming them in professionals of games.
Nowadays, women are on a par with men in gaming. Of course, as in every form of art taste varies from gender to gender and there are some popular games among female players that stand out as thefrisky.com says, but the passion for games is equal among genders.
The handheld world
Handhelds started as back as the 8-bit era. While not first, it was the Gameboy that sets the bar high enough for others to try to top it. The console was launched in the late 1980s but it wasn’t until the 1990s that Nintendo decided to release the same console in colour. Gameboy colour is considered one of the most loved consoles by gamers, as it was arguably the first colour handheld console around the world.
During the 80s and 90s, there were many companies offering different devices. Fast forward to 2015, sony.com confirms the end of PS Vita support (something that we all saw coming) which was unfortunate given the quality of the product and games the system offered.
Cell phone gaming was Sony’s excuse and they said there was no market for devices that would only play games. Obviously, Sony was looking at its own belly button instead of what the market wanted. Nintendo 3ds was rocking store shelves and it continue to do so for years to come.
1. Nintendo Switch
This console was developed over the ashes of the Wii U. Some say it is what the Wii U should have been. It’s a hybrid console, which you can dock and play on your TV or take it on the road and use in portable mode.
It’s definitely a revolutionary system that many others tried to copy after its launch. The console is a huge success, and a Lite version was a release that works in handheld mode only.
Its price is a bit more affordable than the hybrid version and the size has been reduced considerably. It’s a great option for playing Nintendo IPs and many indie games that skipped the Wii U due to low sales.
2. Steam Deck
The steam deck was launched a month ago and it’s already giving a lot to talk about. The handheld was developed by Valved and it runs on SteamOS. Valve is the company behind Steam, the biggest gaming store today, and it runs a lot of games from its library.
Besides, it’s open-source so you can do much more than just running SteamOS. You can run RetroArch, the retro emulator, PS1 emulators, PS2 emulators, GameCube, Wii and even emulate Switch games at full speed (Sorry Nintendo, we know you don’t like this).
Pricewise, it’s very competitive with Switch and it appeals to more experienced gamers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
3. GPD XP
GPD XP is an Android-based handheld console for convenient Switch-style mobile gaming.
The company has also indicated that its new handheld console is based on the latest version of the Android operating system and that it has moved away from the foldable design of its previous console, which bore a striking resemblance to the Nintendo 3DS XL. One feature worth noting is that, unlike Nintendo’s hybrid console, the GPD XP can only have the right-hand controller detached and replaced with a different one.
4. Cell phone and xCloud
While Sony used cellphone gaming as a lame excuse when putting the final nail on Vita’s coffin, it is true that there’s a huge market for this type of gaming.
Cellphones today have sharper screens and offer higher resolutions than ever before. Gamers no longer play with mobile phone keys, but with screens. Most games are reasonably priced in the App Store or Google Play Store.
The good thing is we all have a cellphone regardless of our gaming habits. Also, if you are a sports gamer, you don’t have to worry, given that you have different sports games such as Football Manager or even FIFA; for those bellicose lovers, they can choose games like Call of Duty on Mobile. On the other hand, if you prefer playing casino games, you can play free online slots on websites like vegasslotsonline.com. You can play their games while lying on the beach by connecting your tablet, smartphone, or hotel television to the internet. They provide games including Blackjack, Roulette, and Baccarat in addition to the most well-known online slot machines.
Now, if you have really good internet access you can, from your phone, also get a subscription to Microsoft xCloud and stream AAA games and play a controller or just stick with some of the many games that offer touch controls.
The experience is lagged-free if you have a decent internet connection and, while 5G is still green, you can always find a WIFI spot to play your favourite games, as most establishments now have one.
There’s something very unique about laying back on the couch and playing with your handheld device. Even if you have access to a big console, sometimes it is just nice to play on those tiny screens. Outside of the house, doesn’t matter if you are on the road or waiting at any place, they help you kill time or just catch up with your gaming buddies.
Handhelds and cell phones are becoming a way of playing games on a par with computers and consoles. A new world of gaming has been open to us for years and we should definitely embrace it.