The Future of Handheld Gaming

At a certain time, it looked like handheld gaming devices were carving the path ahead. The myriad of Nintendo consoles that fell into this category might be the example that you go to first, but there were also contenders, like the PlayStation Portable and the Vita, that made it look as though there would be a large push in this direction from developers.

This didn’t turn out to be the case, and while there are notable entries in the handheld market, it’s something that looks like it’s going in a different direction overall – one that is bound to please some more than others.

Mobile Gaming

The very nature of handheld gaming is something that changed with the debut and popularization of mobile gaming. What was once something that required a dedicated device was now accessible through a commonplace accessory – one that was becoming more powerful by the day. Now, there is an enormous range of games for players to access depending on their preference, and how into gaming they are at all. Online casinos, through platforms like, can showcase a gaming experience that is potentially more casual and universal, while there are also exclusive mobile games that many people might also find themselves drawn to – though these are becoming known for their monetization above other factors outside of the mobile community.

That leaves you with ports of games from other consoles, which are the best example of how far smartphones have come as a gaming medium and indicating where they could go next.

The Switch

The other big example that might come to mind when thinking of modern-day handheld gaming is Nintendo’s current console. Capable of functioning as either a handheld device or a home console, the Switch has seen a swathe of critically acclaimed titles, from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate to The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom. However, the Switch has been around for six years at this point, and the age of the hardware is beginning to show when compared against other consoles – especially Sony and Microsoft’s latest offerings – meaning that some are thinking there will be a new console from Nintendo soon.

It remains to be seen whether the handheld aspect is something that will be carried over, but there is reason to think it might be – seeing as it’s such a strong selling point of the Switch.

The Steam Deck and Others

Another example to make note of throughout all of this is the Steam Deck, Valve’s way of bringing PC gaming to the handheld scene. Obviously, it’s important to recognize that this isn’t capable of playing every game under the sun, as it’s basically a PC with its own specifications. However, it’s something that opens up the field of handheld gaming in a way that didn’t look possible until the Switch opened things up.

There are other offerings, though, including Sony’s recent re-entry. However, this looks to be more of a cloud gaming device rather than something that’s a dedicated handheld – which might come as a point of disappointment to some.