Here are my top console picks for gaming on the go

Gaming on the go - Cover Image

Today I wanted to talk about some of the consoles I like to use when I am out of the house and I want to do some gaming; or gaming on the go if you will. If I am going on holidays or if I am just out and about somewhere and I want to do some gaming these are the consoles that I choose from. It’s important to note that I don’t own all portable hand-held consoles (unfortunately) which is why not everything is accounted for in this list. Please bare that in mind when you are reading this post.

To keep things interesting, I thought I would take a look through each console under each of the following sections:

  1. Game Choice
  2. Portability
  3. Battery Life

Hopefully doing things this way will give you all a better idea of how these consoles work for me and how they could work for you. So lets get started.


Nintendo Switch

My Nintendo Switch Console

My Nintendo Switch Console

GAME CHOICE – good selection of games but too pricey for me right now

First up, and the largest in this list of consoles is the Nintendo Switch. Released on the 3rd of March 2017, this console already boasts a large library of games after just over a year of its existence and it doesn’t show signs of stopping. With popular titles such as Monster Hunter, Zelda and a potential Pokemon game on the way there is a lot to be excited about with this console. Mainstream releases combined with the indie games on the Nintendo store provide a range of games for all interests.

As of writing this post, the Nintendo Switch has recently been hacked by.. well.. hackers I guess? It is now possible to put the homebrew channel on your Switch to play emulators and other various hacks. However, it is still early days on this so there is not a lot working great as of yet. It will be interesting to see how this evolves though and to see what kinds of emulators and hacks will be tried out. I always like seeing Pokemon playing on any and all consoles!

For me though, I think the games are just too expensive to buy right now so I don’t exactly have many games which is quite limiting in terms of gaming on the go. I suppose this is the norm for new releases for other consoles right now but it just seems like the prices stay consistently high and aren’t coming down.

I will say though, the game I do have: “Zelda breath of the wild” has a vast amount of gameplay to keep me occupied so depending on where I go, I have enough gameplay with this console.

Nintendo Switch Game and Cartridge

Nintendo Switch Game and Cartridge

PORTABILITY – large screen but still light and thin, always transport this with a carry case.

I have really grown to appreciate this console over the time that I have had it and I love how portable this is especially with such a seemingly large screen. The console itself is nice and light and I enjoy the size of the screen when I am in the midst of gameplay.

There are a number of ways of playing this console when you’re on the move. You can have the joycons attached to the sides of the screen, which is probably the best for portability. You can also pop out the joycons and lean the switch on a flat surface with the scarily thin stand that pops out of the back of the console. Personally I don’t trust this and when I am in the car as I can’t exactly lean this on the dashboard and game; that just doesn’t work for me so I prefer the good old joycons attached to screen approach. Safer.

In terms of travelling with this console, I invested in a carry case which I found on Ebay for about €5 and a screen protector to avoid damaging it which I am very thankful for doing. The carry case was a great investment. It carries the switch console and has space for 10 switch games and a little pouch to pop in whatever else you need in terms of switch accessories. I would definitely recommend buying a carry case to transport this around.

Side view of the Nintendo Switch

Side view of the Nintendo Switch

BATTERY LIFE – pretty good battery life but console can heat up quite a bit. Charge in advance to ensure maximum gameplay.

The battery life on the Switch is not too bad overall with continuous gameplay. The console itself can get quite hot over time and if I know I am travelling in advance and I want to bring the Switch with me, then I am sure to charge it fully the night before. However, if I am going on a longer hall travel or what not, I bring the power adapter with me which adds slightly more load to my bag but what can you do. The advantage of the switch is that when you come back home from your day of travelling and you want to keep playing, you can simply dock it back in the Nintendo dock, continue playing and the console starts charging!

Docked Nintendo Switch

Docked Nintendo Switch


SONY PSP

Sony PSP Console

Sony PSP Console

GAME CHOICE – PSP games are pretty cheap to buy now and you can play your roms via a memory stick.

ah the Sony PSP. I picked up my PSP on DoneDeal about a year a go or so. Done Deal is essentially an Irish website for buying or selling various odds and ends. This console is not in the best condition but I have definitely gotten my money’s worth with the amount I have played this since I’ve gotten it.

The PSP plays UMD discs which are small in size compared to a standard Playstation disc and they are pretty thin but it can become cumbersome if you’re bringing a bunch of games with you unless you invest in a travel case or similar to store them in.

The PSP is also hackable so you can put your copied roms onto the console or play various game emulators. This definitely increases the portability and usability of this console for me because I can play some of my old Playstation 1 games on here which is super nostalgic. That is never a bad thing. It is also possible to play gameboy advance games / snes games and a wide variety of other games, the only limit really is the amount of space you have on your memory card. I use an adaptor card which fits into the PSP and lets you pop in 2 micro sd cards of various sizes to contain your roms.

Sony PSP Game box and UMD discs

Sony PSP Game box and UMD discs

PORTABILITY – nice size but if you are lugging a lot of games around and a stupid large power supply this approach becomes less portable.

This console is a nice size and is much smaller than the Switch if we are comparing consoles. If you avail of the downloaded rom approach, then you don’t need to worry about carrying an array of games with you. This is handy so that you can just pick up the console and go and not worry about what games to bring with you.

The main negative I have found with the PSP is the damn size of the power supply cable that it comes with.. how is this practical.. I rarely bring this with me to be quite honest. It might be more practical to just buy some spare PSP batteries and replace them as I need them to make things more portable.

PSP in a leather carry case

PSP in a leather carry case

BATTERY LIFE – grand enough battery life but charger is super not portable and you should really buy more batteries to increase gameplay.

The battery life for the PSP has not been amazing for me, though maybe I need a new battery. It does last me for most journeys that I go on though so I can’t complain. I would definitely recommend buying some spare batteries though to increase gameplay time.

The PSP and its very large power adapter

The PSP and its very large power adapter


SONY PSP GO

PSP Go Console with a clear plastic cover

PSP Go Console with a clear plastic cover

GAME CHOICE – same choice of games and emulators as the PSP which I like a lot.

OK I am going to say this outright and spoil the suprise for you but this is my favorite portable console that I have and I am so happy that I managed to pick one up recently for a reasonable price. The PSP Go, unlike the standard PSP, does not have a UMD disc drive at all. The idea was that you would download your games from the Playstation store onto the 16gb storage on the console or onto the micro sd card slot depending on your preference. However, since Playstation ended support for access to the store, the only way to get your games onto it is to connect it to your computer and copy games over. You don’t have to worry about carrying lots of games with you and this is something that I really like.

On the other hand though, this is not a console that you can necessarily collect physical games for, this is not ideal for collectors out there, but for me, I can live without this as there are many other consoles out there to collect for.

This console is hackable in a similar way to the PSP I talked about previously and you can play the same range of emulators and what not on this console which for me lets me relive the nostalgia of Spyro and Crash Bandicoot on my PSP Go which is just the best thing ever in my opinion.

PORTABILITY – super small without losing any game play quality. No need to carry lots of games. Charging / data cable is nice and small.

This console is probably the smallest on this list and I really enjoy how portable this is. I would bring this everywhere with me if I could, like everywhere! The slide mechanism, while it is a very nice thing, I do worry that after a lot of use that this could break which makes me very sad.. but playing it right now makes me happy so I am just not going to think about that..

The carry case I bought and the clear shell makes me feel a lot safer when I’m carrying this around because this could easily get scratched if I popped this into my bag loose. I can also fit the data cable into the carry case so I don’t lose it and so I can easily charge the console if I need to on the go.

PSP Go in hard shell carry case

PSP Go in hard shell carry case

BATTERY LIFE – no issues so far, easy to bring the data cable which serves as a charger.

Though I haven’t played this console for extended periods of time, I have had no complains with the battery life as of yet. My constant Spyro playing doesn’t seem to drain the battery too much which is good. If the battery starts to deplete though you can easily bring along the data cable and a power adapter in your bag to charge this up.

PSP Go with data cable which can be used for charging

PSP Go with data cable which can be used for charging


NINTENDO DSi

Nintendo DSi Console

Nintendo DSi Console

GAME CHOICE – good choice of games overall and not too expensive to buy games.

The Nintendo DSi is a console I definitely like playing, especially when I am out and about. This console will play Nintendo DS games which are reasonably cheap to buy these days especially second hand and its pretty easy to get your hands on a nice games collection in no time. If you wanted to go down another route with this, you can buy something like an R4 card or similar which allows you to insert into it a micro sd card and then lets you play copied DS roms. This is a big plus as it adds to the portability of this console for gaming on the go.

The only downside is that you can only play DS games using this method as there is no slot for gameboy cartridges. I would definitely like to be able to play gameboy games on this console but what can you do. Fortunately I haven’t played a lot of the newer Pokemon games yet so I can live with this for now!

Nintendo DSi Console and its cartridges, as well as an R4 card

Nintendo DSi Console and its cartridges, as well as an R4 card

PORTABILITY – super small, light and portable. Depending on if you bring a lot of games cartridges or just use an R4 card.

This is a nicely sized and portable console which I love bringing with me on car journeys. The console is pretty small and compact but it is still great to play and I have had no issues with extended game play in terms of hand cramps or things like that.

Side view of the Nintendo DSi

Side view of the Nintendo DSi

BATTERY LIFE – The battery life on this console has been great for me and I rarely bring the charger with me on shorter journeys or day trips out.

This console has a great battery life as with most portable Nintendo hand held devices. I have had no issues playing this regularly for days without having to charge it up. I rarely bring the charger with me on day trips and what not but obviously if I’m going for longer holidays or things like that then I bring the old charger with me which itself is not too large to carry with me.

Nintendo DSi and Power Adapter

Nintendo DSi and Power Adapter


NINTENDO DS Lite AKA frankenstein DS

Frankenstein DS Lite Made from the souls of other DS consoles... Spooky

Frankenstein DS Lite Made from the souls of other DS consoles… Spooky

GAME CHOICE – great choice of games, relatively easy to find and buy. Can avail of an R4 card or similar to play lots of games without carrying lots of cartridges.

This crazy device is my Nintendo DS lite which has been made from a combination of parts from about 3 other DS consoles, because why not. As you can probably see from the photo, this console has definitely seen better days. The screen is quite beat up and scratched and the overall console is just a mish mash of colours which is different but I think it has grown on me over the few years that I’ve had this. I really should get a nicer one though.. someday.. anyway in terms of games this console lets you play DS games, and gameboy games, so quite a range of game choices are available for this console which is excellent in terms of being able to game on the go.

Just like the DSi console you can pop in an R4 card or similar into the card slot to play your copied ds roms. This is quite useful to avoid carrying around a lot of game cartridges but of course you could invest in a carry case to hold the console and its game cartridges.

Nintendo DS Lite console, Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Color Games Cartridges

Nintendo DS Lite console, Gameboy Advance and Gameboy Color Games Cartridges

PORTABILITY – Super portable without being too small and using an R4 card avoids the need to bring lots of games with you.

This console is just a tad smaller than the DSi I talked about previously so its a nice and small thing which makes it great to carry around with you. While this is a small console the screen size is just perfect for playing Pokémon or whatever you happen to be playing. This is a great size for carrying around in your bag anywhere you go for sure.

Side view of Nintendo DS Lite

Side view of Nintendo DS Lite

BATTERY LIFE – Great battery life with this. I rarely bring my charger with me for shorter journeys or day trips.

The battery life on this console is and has always been excellent. I can play this regularly for days and days without a charge which is really what you want with a portable console. I rarely bring the charger with me on journeys so long as I am sure its charged before my trip.

Nintendo DS Lite with Power Adapter

Nintendo DS Lite with Power Adapter


Conclusion

So there you have it. Gosh that was a bit long winded. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on this anyway. To wrap this thing up, my clear favourite portable gaming console that I own is the PSP Go and if you can pick one up for a reasonable price I would definitely recommend it, just make sure you invest in the relevant cases and screen protectors to extend your console’s life span.

Happy Gaming!

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