Handheld Gaming Consoles
A handheld gaming console is a lightweight mobile device with game controls and built-in video display and audio outputs designed to play games while on-the-go. It differs from your conventional game consoleAn electronic device that pairs with a display device (eg. monitor) to display and play video games. Examples include the Sega Dreamcast, Xbox, Nintendo 64, Wii. in that it functions as a single standalone unit which runs on either interchangeable or rechargeable batteries.
Handheld gaming consoles are enjoying their golden era in the 21st century. Mobile gaming has become ubiquitous and is expected to garner more attention than game consoles in the foreseeable future. The ease and convenience of simply carrying a self-sufficient device without the constraint to be attached to an external unit, coupled with increasing small factors due to miniaturization, improved processing power (a consequence of Moore's Law) and more graphics/3D intensive display, availability and better collection of multi-player network-ready games are all contributing factors lending to the popularity of handheld gaming consoles.
While such consoles may seem to appeal more to the younger generation who often pursue the latest technologies, it would be no surprise to find adults, or even the elderly, investing time and money on such gadgets which provide a good alternative to leisure. Hey! Even my grandmother has one! She says her favourite game is 'Brain Age' because it can prevent her from developing dementia. [More on this in 'Positive Effects']
Handheld gaming consoles are a prevalent force to be reckoned with and will probably impact our lives in many unanticipated ways simply due to people's natural desire to relax and have fun.
1. TedsBlog for image. (28th March 2009)