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  • Thanks to handheld gaming, it's possible to game everywhere.

  • Nintendo is dominating the handheld market,

  • and has produces 6 out of 7

  • of the best-selling handheld consoles of all time,

  • Consistently revolutionizing the industry

  • and creating iconic gaming devices,

  • as well as cherished memories, for people of all ages.

  • This is the evolution of Nintendo handhelds!

  • The company's first venture into handheld electronic gaming

  • came in 1980 with the Game & Watch.

  • The product derived its name

  • from featuring just a single game,

  • as well as a clock on an LCD screen.

  • Multiple series of the Game & Watch were made

  • Some looking drastically different,

  • like the Multi Screen that featured

  • two screens and a clam-shell design

  • that would later be replicated

  • in future handheld Nintendo consoles.

  • Until 1991, Nintendo released

  • around 60 different Game & Watch games,

  • like Ball

  • Parachute

  • Snoopy

  • Donkey Kong Jr

  • and Mario the Juggler.

  • To keep gamers entertained,

  • most games came with two modes

  • 'GAME A' representing the 'easy mode',

  • and 'GAME B' representing a faster,

  • harder version of the same game.

  • The Game & Watch sold 43.4 million units worldwide,

  • making it the 7th most sold handheld console.

  • Fun Fact

  • Gunpei Yokoi got the idea to create the Game & Watch

  • when he saw a bored man play with his calculator in the train.

  • In 1989, Nintendo offered more versatility to gamers

  • with the handheld, brick-like Game Boy that used interchangeable cartridges.

  • This meant that gamers could simply buy a game,

  • rather than a new device,

  • each time they wanted a different experience.

  • Remaining popular until this day,

  • the Game Boy was portable, durable

  • and came with hugely popular titles like

  • Super Mario Land

  • Kirby's Dreamland

  • Pokémon Red and Blue

  • and Tetris.

  • Nintendo released a compact version,

  • the Game Boy Pocket, in 1996.

  • It was notably smaller and lighter,

  • and came in different colors.

  • This Game Boy had a black-and-white display,

  • rather than the green-tinted display of the original Game Boy.

  • The battery life however was decreased

  • from 15 hours for the original to roughly 10 hours.

  • Two years later, the Game Boy Light hit shelves exclusively in Japan.

  • The Game Boy screen was difficult to see in the dark,

  • and the Game Boy Light fixed that problem with a backlight.

  • Next came the Game Boy Color released in 1998.

  • It came in colorful colors and like the name suggest,

  • the Game Boy Color could display games in color.

  • Many games were re-released with color like

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

  • and Tetris.

  • Other games included Pokémon Gold and Silver

  • Super Mario Brothers Deluxe

  • and The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Seasons.

  • Needless to say but the Game Boy and the Game Boy Color

  • were a massive success.

  • In total 118.7 million units were sold,

  • making it the second most sold handheld game console.

  • Fun Fact

  • In 1993 a Russian cosmonaut, named Aleksandr Serebrov

  • took his Game Boy to space to play Tetris.

  • The Game Boy is said to have orbited earth 3000 times

  • and was sold at an auction for $1,220.

  • In 1995 the Virtual Boy was released,

  • but it was a commercial failure.

  • You had to put your head in a mounted display,

  • which was like a VR headset.

  • VR didn't add to games at all, it was just a novelty.

  • It was also uncomfortable to wear

  • not portable, too expensive,

  • and games were not in full color,

  • but in black and red.

  • Those colors were just unappealing,

  • especially when compared to the colorful games

  • in other Nintendo consoles.

  • It featured a number of games, including

  • Mario's Tennis,

  • Wario Land

  • and 3D Tetris.

  • But those games weren't played that much,

  • since people experienced dizziness and headaches from this thing.

  • The Virtual Boy is one of the worst-selling consoles of all time,

  • with roughly 770,000 units sold.

  • Fun Fact

  • Nintendo claimed that a color display would have made the system too expensive

  • and that it would result injumpyimages,

  • so the company opted for a monochrome display.

  • Three years later than planned, in 2001,

  • the Game Boy Advance hit store shelves.

  • It had a landscape design and incorporated shoulder buttons,

  • which is why they called it the Advance.

  • With processing power similar to that of the SNES,

  • the Advance's game library was full of SNES ports,

  • allowing gamers to play the same epic titles while on the move.

  • This, of course, included the greats like

  • Super Mario World

  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

  • and games from the 'Final Fantasy' series.

  • Pokémon games, like Ruby and Sapphire

  • were also big hits with the Advance owners.

  • A compact, foldable version of the Game Boy Advance

  • came out in 2003, known as the 'SP'.

  • The original Game Boy Advance received complaints

  • due to the dark screen,

  • and the SP fixed that problem

  • using a significantly brighter LCD screen

  • and an internal front-light.

  • It was also the first of Nintendo's handheld lineup

  • that had a rechargeable battery.

  • The Game Boy Advance Micro came in 2005

  • and was much smaller than the original.

  • The design could be changed with interchangeable faceplates.

  • The Game Boy Advance Micro did not sell well,

  • because the Nintendo DS was already released at this time.

  • In total, the Nintendo Advance family sold over 81.5 million units globally,

  • placing it fourth in the list of best-selling handheld consoles.

  • A console you probably never heard of before

  • is the Pokémon Mini, released in 2001.

  • It was the smallest game system Nintendo created

  • and themed around the Pokémon franchise.

  • In total only 10 games were released for the Pokémon mini,

  • most of which were only available in Japan.

  • Although it's unknown how many units were sold,

  • the Pokémon mini certainly wasn't a success.

  • It was discontinued a year after its release

  • 2004 welcomed the arrival of the Nintendo DS,

  • the 'DS' standing for both 'Developers' System'

  • and 'Dual Screen' according to the company,

  • as it featured a bottom touch screen

  • in addition to a top display screen.

  • The DS came with a stylus for finer touch screen control,

  • a built-in microphone that allowed

  • for voice recording and voice recognition,

  • as well as Wi-Fi capabilities.

  • The cartridges were made much smaller than

  • the cartridges of the Game Boy Advance.

  • It had two slots so games of both cartridges

  • could be played on the DS,

  • making it backwards compatible.

  • When playing games, one screen is used to show the main action,

  • while the other is used for things like a map,

  • inventory or secondary viewpoint.

  • Due to its unique dual screen action,

  • many new titles were unveiled by Nintendo,

  • like Nintendogs

  • and Brain Age.

  • Other popular games for the DS were Super Mario 64 DS

  • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl

  • and New Super Mario Brothers.

  • In keeping with tradition, a refined version of the DS came out in 2006

  • named the 'DS Lite'.

  • It was slimmer and lighter.

  • It had a longer lasting battery and a brighter screen.

  • It was not the slimmest of the DS range though,

  • because in 2008 the new 'DSi' model

  • had an ultra-slim build, plus larger screens.

  • It also introduced two digital cameras,

  • but it wasn't backwards compatible.

  • One year later, the 'DSi XL' further improved upon the handheld's specifications

  • by increasing the screen sizes once more.

  • It also had improved speakers and a longer battery life.

  • The PlayStation Portable or PSP was released

  • in the same year as the original DS

  • and became its main competitor.

  • PlayStation managed to sell 82 million units,

  • making it the 3rd most-sold handheld console.

  • However, it was no match for the Nintendo DS,

  • which became the highest-selling handheld console of all time,

  • selling more than 154 million units around the world!

  • Nintendo next introduced 3D gameplay to their DS models.

  • Regarded as a brand new console,

  • the Nintendo 3DS was released in 2011.

  • The bottom screen was a touch screen similar

  • to the ones seen in former DS models.

  • However, the top screen was wide with better graphics

  • and had an autostereoscopic 3D LCD design.

  • This meant that gamers could turn on 3D effects

  • without the need of 3D glasses.

  • The console itself had multiple cameras,

  • a circle pad alongside the traditional D-Pad for easier gameplay,

  • and internet connectivity with an improved online experience.

  • Games that could be enjoyed on the 3DS were Mario Kart 7

  • kemon X and Y

  • New Super Mario Brothers 2

  • and Animal Crossing.

  • More models of the 3DS were released.

  • In 2012 came the '3DS XL'

  • which had much larger screens and an improved battery life.

  • Nintendo released a 2DS version in 2013,

  • taking away the 3D graphics, but making it more affordable.

  • The New Nintendo 3DS was introduced in 2014.

  • It fixed the problem that you had to face your 3DS directly from the front,

  • or else the 3D effect would become blurry.

  • It also had a more powerful processor and additional shoulder buttons.

  • At the same time a larger version, the New Nintendo 3DS XL was introduced.

  • And finally in 2017 Nintendo made the New Nintendo 2DS XL,

  • featuring additional hardware features, but without the 3D functionality.

  • To date, the total sales of the 3DS and 2DS handheld consoles are

  • 75.8 million,

  • making it the 5th most sold handheld console.

  • Now we come to the most recent Nintendo handheld console,

  • which is actually a hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch.

  • Since it is also a home console,

  • I've already covered the Nintendo Switch's features

  • in Part 1 of this mini-series,

  • so I highly recommend giving that a watch if you haven't already done so.

  • To briefly recap though, the Switch was released in 2017.

  • It has detachable, Joy-con controllers.

  • The console can be docked and played through the TV

  • or used on the go.

  • A more affordable 'Lite' version of the Switch came out in 2019,

  • with the limitation that it can only be played as a portable device.

  • It can still play pretty much all of the same games

  • as its older brother though,

  • except for a few games like Ring Fit Adventure

  • and Super Mario Party,

  • since they are largely motion control-based.

  • Besides the amazing titles already out for the Switch,

  • Nintendo also announced some new exciting titles for the future,

  • like Immortals Fenyx Rising

  • and a new Zelda game,

  • Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

  • Oh man I can't wait to play this!

  • So far, sales of the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite

  • have surpassed 61.4 million.

  • Making it the 7th most-sold Handheld console.

  • Nintendo is also releasing a new console in November 2020:

  • The Game & Watch!

  • Wait what?!...

  • That's right, the first console Nintendo created in 1980 is back,

  • this time it features Super Mario Brothers.

  • Going forward, it'll be interesting to see what the next major development

  • or addition will be when it comes to handheld gaming.

  • One thing is for sure,

  • Nintendo isn't afraid to get creative

  • and introduce exciting new technology.

  • Let's hope Nintendo can continue

  • creating innovative entertainment

  • for many years to come.

  • Click the video on the left to watch

  • the Evolution of Nintendo Home Consoles.

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Thanks to handheld gaming, it's