The rapid advance in technology over the years has made way for millions of people to enjoy multiplayer gaming. Despite these changes, many gamers today still prefer the good old-fashioned gameplay that handheld game consoles have to offer.
The First of Many to Come
As early as the 1970s was when the handheld game console market began to develop significantly. Ralph Baer’s first creation of a video game for commercial home use in 1967, the concept was born from the ‘Brown Box’ video game. An interesting fact to note is that in 1982 the first solar-powered gaming device was created by Bandai, with a release of several games in two different series.
Nintendo’s Success Story
Nintendo, initially founded in 1889 as a playing card company, eventually moved towards the video game console market with quite a successful bang. From 1980 onwards, Nintendo had released a couple of electronic games which were designed by Yokoi. However, the company made the hand-held game console famous thanks to the development and release of the Game Boy on the 21 April 1989. One of the successful electronic games that were developed by Yokoi for Nintendo was the Game & Watch device. Yokoi decided to combine the concept of the Game & Watch device with the Famicom console resulting in the Nintendo Game Boy. The success of the Game Boy was attributed to the battery-friendliness of the device due to its monochrome graphics.
The Nintendo DS range was released in November 2004. Features included two screens, a touch screen, wireless connectivity, and a microphone port. The wireless connectivity featured wireless networking for multiplayer games for up to sixteen players.
In January 2006, Nintendo released an updated version of DS which was the DS Lite. It became an instant success as this game console was 42% smaller and 21% lighter than the original Nintendo DS. The design was sleeker coupled with better quality displays and brightness and a longer battery life. December 2009 saw just over 125 million units of the Nintendo DS range combined sold worldwide. Viva handheld gaming!