If you’re of a certain age, you probably have fond memories of portable video game consoles. The technology has changed a lot, but chances are the first name that comes to mind is Nintendo.
Nintendo has dominated the handheld console market since 1989, when the Game Boy was first released. They continue to update existing models and release new ones such as the DS and the Switch. This 30-year market dominance means that three generations, X, Millennial, and Z, likely all have childhood memories linked to Nintendo.
Whether you’re looking for a childhood favorite or want to get the latest system, it’s pretty easy to find Nintendo’s greatest hits on Amazon. If you’re buying it as a gift but end up just keeping it, we won’t judge you.
1. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch was released in 2017 to much fanfare, and it’s easy to see why. It functions as both a portable console and as a home console. Plus, motion sensors allow functionality that is similar to the Wii.
Pros: Works as a portable and home console, large library of games available.
Cons: Some users found certain parts to be delicate, and recommended getting a screen protector.
2. Nintendo New 3DS XL
The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the DS, and it features 3D stereoscopic effects. It has backwards compatibility, meaning you can play DS games on the 3DS. We like the XL version for its larger screen and more ergonomic grip.
Pros: Improves upon the 3DS with faster processing power and a larger screen. Backwards compatibility.
Cons: Sold without a charging cable.
3. New Nintendo 2DS XL
The 2DS XL is a successor to the 2DS, which itself is a successor to the 3DS. It may seem confusing that the 2DS came after the 3DS, but the easiest way to remember is that the 3DS has a stereoscopic 3D display, and the 2DS has a 2D display. The 2DS XL brings back the clamshell design that was absent in the 2DS.
Pros: Maintains many of the great features of the 3DS at a lower price point. Comes pre-loaded with Mario Kart 7.
Cons: No 3D display, which may actually be a benefit for some whose eyes easily strain.