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Origins of the Handheld Game Console

In the past, people play video games by attaching a video game console to a television. Now, just like the once bulky computers that have now transformed into compact netbooks, video game consoles have also become small enough to be carried wherever people want to go, whenever they want. Today, we have handheld game console, a lightweight, portable electronic entertainment device that has its game controls, speakers, and screen built into a single unit.

It is difficult to imagine that the portable game console has humble beginnings. During the 70s and 80s, they come as electronic devices that can only play a single, simple game. They used primitive liquid crystal display (LCD) screens like the ones you see in old calculators. In that decade, they were categorised as non-TV games because they do not require the use of a TV screen. Then during the late 70s, an LCD-based company developed the first handheld game console that can use interchangeable game cartridges. The company also introduced the concept of a directional pad aside from the action buttons.

As technology advanced during the 80s and 90s, the handheld game console got better, particularly with the introduction of backlit LCD screens that can generate colour graphics, use lithium-ion batteries that last longer, and employ processing systems that are vastly more powerful and responsive than their predecessors. Today, these devices offer more than just allowing you to play your favourite games. Modern portable video games can now store and play video and music files, browse the Web, download and install software, engage in voice over Internet protocol, and organise schedules, becoming extremely versatile gadgets.

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