The best portable game console

    We test the PlayStation Vita, Nintendo 3DS and more to find the console that offers the best screen, controls, and games.


    Video games are welcome at the table of popular art, alongside movies, music, and television. Home consoles get a lot of attention, but portable gaming has done the heavy lifting when it comes to expanding the reach and acceptance of the medium.

    The road to ubiquity began with the peculiar rise of the Game Boy. An outdated piece of hardware upon its release in 1989, Nintendo would nonetheless sell over 115 million Game Boys and Game Boy Colors. Nintendo advertised the portable as a hobby device not just for the kids, but for the family. Countless adults lots entire nights to Zelda and Tetris.

    Since the late 2000s, smartphones have spread across the world at a rate that flounders Nintendo’s hardware. Millions of people who never owned a home or mobile game console now do, and the thousands of good, bad, and somewhere in between smartphone games have become a preferred distraction for grown-ups passing a long commute or a quick smoke break.

    Here’s the problem: Today, most of us play games, but not all of us play the best games on the best consoles that best match our interests. We get comfy with the latest free thing and make do. Why compromise?

    There are four mobile gaming options available, all exceptional. I will be talking about these machines purely as game playing devices, so whether or not the hardware can also make a call or order Seamless is entirely irrelevant.

    I don’t want to settle for okay. I want the closest to perfect mobile video game system.

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