2020 is the year of the PlayStation 5, the Xbox X series, the S series (and, for me, the Oculus Quest 2), and a whole host of other huge, high-performance sports gaming consoles. But 2021 is the year when new sports go hand in hand. Once again, welcome to the world of gaming on the go.
Portable video games have been around for years. Nintendo 3DS, DS before it, PlayStation Vita, PSP, Entertainment Boy, Game & Watch, etc. But in the meantime, there has been a renaissance. Most of them include one-of-a-kind devices, promised for years and finally launched after the production delays caused by COVID in 2020.
More importantly, two products are at the heart of the “year of the handheld”: the phenomenal Steam Deck from Valve, a portable PC console similar to the Nintendo Swap, and Nintendo’s latest Switch, released over four years ago. It features an enlarged OLED screen.
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I’ve always loved portable gaming consoles. I hate having to stop by the TV door and decide which room I want to play in. When I start driving to work, I think I’ll take video games with me. In the year I’ve been at home, I’ve been able to choose which room or place I want to play in.
For more than a decade, cell phones and tablets have provided many people with portable gaming devices, but this new wave of devices has two characteristics: novelty and specialty items, and multi-functional and switchable items.
Like the Swap, the Steam Deck can be used to play games on the go or connected to a TV or monitor. The same goes for the upcoming “Analogue Pocket” handheld console, which will allow you to play older sports cartridges such as Recreation Boy Advance and Recreation Boy) on a monitor or TV.
Does this contradict the wave of high-end gaming consoles in 2020? In my case, absolutely not. I don’t play games for the sake of high-end graphics. The gaming industry has exploded with a million sub-genres and media types, from retro games and emulators to AAA games from independent studios, online multiplayer and immersive VR/AR experiences.
I’m happy to report that the revival of the handheld gaming concept that took place at Nintendo Exchange 2017 has made a new wave. Frankly, I predicted the recent multi-mode mobile explosion a few years ago, but “better late than never” Fall 2021 could prove to be quite eventful …….. If you can find a single real pre-order in this So far, many of these laptops are either offered regularly or the delivery dates have been pushed back to 2022. Here, we’re going to meet those expectations.
Nintendo Switch OLED
Nintendo Swap is not a new invention, but it has received some interesting improvements. The Swap dock, which is pretty much unchanged from 2017, gets a larger 7-inch OLED screen, higher audio, larger support for desktop gaming and an Ethernet dock. Nintendo is confident that the game is worth its $50 price tag. For avid Nintendo gamers, this is a bargain, but in other cases, you might look favorably on the trade-in you have.
Valve’s Steam Deck
Valve’s Linux-based handheld gaming console is like an interchangeable SteamOS from Nintendo: the $399 handheld not only lets you play video games on the go with a stick, trackpad and buttons, but it can also be docked and used as a monitor. It can also be docked and used as a computer connected to a monitor. But it also has some interesting advantages, such as the relatively low cost and the flexibility it offers as a Linux-based machine. Reservations are already open, but the launch has been pushed back to mid-2022.
This black and white toy from the makers of Untitled Goose Entertainment looks like a boy’s toy crossed with pikachu and tamagotchi. It is a brand new system with its own video game, which is regularly put into the machine as part of a subscription when purchased. The whole concept is clever, fun, retro and quirky. Also, and we haven’t reported this yet, there is a handle on the side that can be used for special video games. It is already available for pre-order and the first buyers should have it in their hands by the end of the year …….. However, others have been delayed until 2022.
Speaking of Recreation Boy, the invention of the Analog Pouch was designed as a participant in the restoration and improvement of an authentic retro sports cartridge. Compatible with the Recreation Boy, Recreation Boy Advance and, with the help of adapters, the Sega Recreation Gear, Neo Geo Pocket and Atari Lynx cartridges, the $200 Analogue Pocket features a brighter screen, can be charged via USB-C and is connectable and playable via HDMI. The Analogue Pocket is also scheduled to hit the market this fall.