To love or not to love handheld systems

Started by Seob, August 05, 2013, 10:48:38 PM

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Why is collecting handheld games so great?

Collecting handheld games was always a small part of my collection. Never was really interested in collecting these small gaming on the go devices.
Sure I had a Nintendo Gamboy Color that I used arround 2000 to play games on vacation and during work breaks. I rebought a Sega Game Gear, because I used to have one in 1994 and stuppily sold to buy a electric gitar that I never could play.
And more resent I bought a Sony PSP, so I could play some games on vaction and spend more time down on the couch with my wife. She loves watching tv series, I don't.

I never felt the urge to play long on these consoles, while I had a dozen or so systems that I could hookup to my big tv and play games relaxed on the couch.  But recently I began to give these handheld system a closer look and started to fall in love with them. Why? Let me explain.

It's a combination of things that started me to overthink my previos hasitation towards handheld gaming.

First of, time. Since I don't have the room to have a lot of systems hookup to multiple tv's or just 1 tv, I need to store my home consoles into bins. This means that I have to pick a bin, setup the console and hook it all up, and rebin it every time I want to play a game. Having kids, time is getting scarces , so I don't have the time to put up a system every time I have a few minute to play a game.
Welcome handheld gaming. No need to setup a system. Just grap a handheld, slap in a few batteries plug in a game and off you go.
So now, if I have a few minutes spare time, I just pull out a handheld and I can play almost instantly. And storing is also a mather of a couple of seconds.

Second, space. I don't have a lot of space. I wish I would have my own gameroom, but we don't have the space to have a room specially for a hobby. So I need to share the attic with my wife and kids.
Ever noticed the size of a original Xbox? Do you know you can store a original Atari Lynx (the first model), a Sega Game Gear, a Nintendo Game Boy Micro, a Mega Duck, a Supervision, a Neo Geo Pocket Color, a MicroVision, a original Nintendo Game Boy and 2 Nintendo Advanced SP's in the same place that would be occupied by a single Xbox.
Sure I stacked them all up without protection between them, but you get the point. Handheld consoles don't take up a lot of space.
And of course, loose handheld gamecartridges take a lot less space to store compared to a Neo Geo AES cartridge. Oke, the AES is ofcourse a league on it's own, but even a small Atari 2600 cartridge needs more space.
Collecting boxes is a bit different. Compared to a CD/DVD case a boxed handheld game needs more space, but compared to boxes cartridgegames for homeconsole they need less space.

Third, money. Usually games for homeconsoles cost a bit more compared to handheld games. Why? Maybe because people sometimes have multiple handheld systems for they're kids? A Nintendo DS for every kid, while at home they would have only one homeconsole. Maybe because people collecting mainly focus on homeconsoles, driving prices up for those systems. Less demand usually means cheaper. I don't really don't know, but it's a fact that I appreciate .

So it's all hallelujah for handheld gaming?, No.
A lot of older systems have screens that really show the age of the system.
A working MicroVision, rapidly is becoming rare, because of screenrot damaging the screen.
Ghosting also is a issue that a lot of early handheld consoles feature. Sometimes to a point that a game is impossible to play.
Having good light also is a must for those early non lit screens. Don't you even think about playing you're original Nintendo Game Boy in a dim lit room.
Ergonomics also is a point to consider. Me, having big hands, makes it for me unconfortable to play very long on small systems. I prefer systems like the Atari Lynx, Sega Game Gear or the Neo Geo Pocket, because of the horizontal layout they use. Vertical systems like the original Nintendo Game Boy are to compact for me to play for long. Don't even start on the Nintendo Game Boy Micro. That's a system designed for babyhands.

Most Nintendo releated Game Boy problems can be adressed using a Game Boy Player for the Nintendo GameCube. Big screen, nice controller, play those old Game Boy games in the dark.
And since the GameCube isn't using a lot of space, you still have room for some handheld to store.
8 bits of fun


I have two working Microvisions and all the US released games for it.
All my Odyssey2 projects, now in one place!