Monday, May 30, 2011

Top 5 Handheld Game Console 2011

5. Nintendo DS Lite 

Nintendo DS Lite box shot 
The Nintendo DS Lite is the lighter, sleeker replacement for the Nintendo DS. It has a longer battery life by approximately five hours, and the design of the buttons has been changed for greater usability. It can still play Game Boy Advance games and is a great option for a handheld game console.

Physical Features:
It is one of the pioneering systems of handheld gaming devices. The innovative touchscreen is still one of the best on the market, and the games are some of the best available. And for all the Game Boy Advance fans out there, the Lite is undoubtedly the best option for you. The later models, such as the DSi and the DSi XL, do not have the option to play Game Boy Advance games.
One thing to keep in mind is that even though this model is the Nintendo DS Lite, that does not mean that it is lighter or smaller than the Nintendo DSi, which was released later than the Lite. This model is slightly heavier, weighing 9.7 ounces. However, it is still very much a portable device and can easily fit in your pocket.
The portable game console has the largest color selection of all the devices we reviewed. There are more than 10 different colors and styles of products, which is much more than the one or two colors that some of the competitors offer. The battery life varies based on usage. But it can quickly and easily be recharged using a cord that is included with the purchase of the device.
Unlike the later DSi models, the Lite cannot access the online Nintendo store to download games. There is a built-in Wi-Fi that will allow you to connect to other devices in the same vicinity, and if you are in a wireless connection area, you can play opponents online.
The portable game console is also lacking a webcam and a camera. The later models have two built-in cameras that are incorporated into gaming and are also used to take and edit photos. Really, the only redeeming feature the Lite model has against the DSi and DSi XL is that it can play Game Boy Advance games.
You can use this handheld game console to browse the internet with the purchase of extra software called Opera. This program retails for approximately $30 and can be purchased online or at most places that carry video games. The later Nintendo DSi models have the internet browsing capabilities built into the hard drive and no extra purchase is necessary.
There are fewer multimedia features offered with this product than many of its competitors. You can listen to music files that are stored on SD memory cards. However, unlike the later Nintendo models, there is no camera and no photo editing option.
Help & Support:
Nintendo offers superb customer service options. There are online community forums, email addresses, telephone support and video tutorials. There are also millions of other users that have external websites that can provide detailed support.
When we contacted the help and support lines, we encountered friendly and well-informed representatives. Whether by email or by phone, we consistently found quick and comprehensive answers to all our related questions.
There’s no doubt that Nintendo produces some of the best handheld video game products on the market, and this handheld game console is no exception. The lightweight design and high-resolution screen make the Nintendo DS Lite easy to transport and fun to use. However, unless you are looking for a device to play DS and Game Boy Advance handheld video games, later Nintendo models have a more comprehensive feature set. 

4. Nintendo DSi XL 

Nintendo DSi XL box shot 
The Nintendo DSi XL is the latest portable game console from Nintendo. It is easily one of the best handheld game consoles produced. The extra-large screens are ideal for those looking for a better gaming experience who are willing to sacrifice a bit of portability to get it. This touchscreen device is fully equipped with two cameras and a full-size stylus.
Physical Features:
The Nintendo DSi XL is a touchscreen handheld game console with two screens. There are also the traditional Nintendo buttons on the right side and the controlling cross on the left. The portable game console is available in three colors: maroon, black and blue. And unlike the Nintendo DSi, the XL model has both a small stylus and a full-size, pen-shaped stylus. Because many of the games involve drawing or navigating with the stylus, the bigger one can be really handy. One of the cameras is on the back of the device; the other is in the exact middle, on the front. There are several games that use the cameras, and more are coming out as the technology becomes increasingly more advanced. There is also a built-in microphone with sound editing options available.
It is the largest handheld gaming device we reviewed, weighing 11.03 ounces. It is extremely similar in feature set to the Nintendo DSi, but slightly larger. It is almost 95 percent larger than the Nintendo DS Lite system. The battery life varies based on usage. It is charged using a cord that is included with purchase.
Nintendo offers an online store called DSi Ware for its handheld gaming devices. You can download unique games and content directly to your handheld game console. But there are still cartridges available for purchase for most games. We loved the combination of cartridges and online features that Nintendo offers. We were able to share handheld video games and find used cartridges for a discount price that wouldn’t be possible with online games.
There is an incorporated browser installed on each device. You can use it to visit the DSi Ware online store, or you can even browse the internet. Browsing is painfully slow at times and there is no support for flash websites. It is best used to browse news sites and other pages that don’t take long to load.
The device holds 256MB of memory, but you can purchase extra memory for the device. Simply purchase any standard SD card and insert it into your device and you can store any variety of multimedia options and games.
There are a variety of music, photo and sound editing features included with the portable gaming device. It is extremely easy to edit photos taken with the product, and that can be especially entertaining for younger children, or the young at heart. The chat option can contain photos you have taken, edited or drawn. The SD cards can store music, photos or any other compatible multimedia files.
Help & Support:
We contacted the customer service team using the phone support, email address and online boards and received prompt, detailed responses. There are also areas for frequently asked questions, announcements and user forums. And there are hundreds of independent websites that deal with Nintendo-related questions and concerns.
The Nintendo DSi XL is a terrific choice for those who love Nintendo video games and want a larger screen with a wider viewing angle. It also does much more than just play games; it can take and edit photos, browse the internet and download games from the Nintendo DSi Ware store. 

3. Nintendo DSi 

Nintendo DSi box shot 
Until recently, Nintendo was the authority on the portable game console. The Game Boy was the largest force and essentially owned the entire market. For more than a decade of almost pure, unchallenged leadership, Nintendo learned how to create the best handheld game consoles and handheld video games. The TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winning Nintendo DSi is the evolution and next generation for gamers.
Physical Features:
Why upgrade from a Nintendo DS Lite to the DSi? The new model has a slew of brand-new, outstanding features that you are sure to love. The DSi has the addition of a new SD memory card that can be used to store photos, music and games from the new online Nintendo store. The new store—called DSi Ware—has mini-games and other exclusive downloads. The DSi has also added two cameras, one on the back and one on the front. There are some games that use the cameras, and more are being developed. You can also take, edit and send pictures using the DSi. The new microphone allows you to record and edit sound. Also, the DSi’s screen is noticeably larger and is brighter than the older models. The one feature that DSi does not have that the DS Lite does is a slot for Game Boy Advance games.
This handheld game console is slimmer than its predecessors and weighs less. It is even more portable, and due to its extra multimedia features it is an excellent choice for handheld gaming. There are two screens when you fold open the device. The screen on the bottom is a touch screen that uses a stylus for inventive gaming. The battery life changes based on how bright the screen is and can easily be charged using the cord that is included with the device.
The portable game console can perform a variety of useful tasks other than playing terrific and original games. There is a built-in internet browser that can be used to download games from the DSi Ware store or to surf the web. The device browses about as quickly as a smartphone and it does not display Flash applications. We found the device to work best with news websites and blogs. However, unlike the PlayStation consoles, this one is not Bluetooth compatible and it is not Skype enabled. There is no webcam incorporated into the design of the Nintendo DSi. But overall, we found the internet browsing capabilities to be adequate. The handheld gaming device has Wi-Fi to enable multi-player gaming with other people in the room or around the globe.
After purchasing your device, you can quickly set up parental controls to block inappropriate games and internet content. You will be prompted to enter a 4-digit pin which will serve as your password. There are different levels of controls that can be applied, and Nintendo will guide you through to find the settings that are best for your family.
Using the removable SD card, you can use as much media as you’d like on the handheld gaming device. The removable memory cards are available for purchase online or at any electronics store. The prices vary by how much memory you want on the card. You can also use these cards to save and transport photos taken on the DSi as well as audio that you’ve recorded and edited.
Help & Support:
Nintendo provides an assortment of customer service options. From the website you will find email addresses, toll-free telephone numbers, frequently asked questions and community forums. We found answers to all our questions online and when we sent an email, we received an immediate, comprehensive answer. There are also hundreds of independent websites that will help you solve any possible problems you encounter.
The Nintendo DSi is a large improvement on older Nintendo models. With the addition of cameras, built-in web browsing and a larger screen, Nintendo lovers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to play this outstanding handheld game console. 

2. PSP 3000 

PSP 3000 box shot 
Playing the PSP 3000 is essentially playing a PlayStation 2, except on a small, portable screen. This handheld game console has a larger screen than the PSP go. Most of the features between the two devices are extremely similar. One of the main differences is that the PSP 3000 uses Universal Media Discs (UMD) to play games. However, you can download materials from the online PlayStation store and keep them on memory sticks to plug into your portable game console. The mind-blowing graphics, huge game selection and diverse multimedia options offered with the PSP 3000 made earned this device our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award. But it is slightly less portable than the PSP go.
Physical Features:
This handheld game console has everything you have come to expect. You can use the online PlayStation store to purchase games, movies and music, or you can purchase UMDs. The online store is enormous and has content that can appeal to children and adults alike. And because you can purchase physical gaming discs, there usually is a large selection of used games at pawn shops and electronic stores. This can be a great way to stay economical while still playing all your favorite games. You do not have that option with the PSP go system.
You can do so much more than just download games using the built-in Wi-Fi with this handheld game console. There is a large selection of games that can be played online with friends or in other communities. The microphone incorporated into the device makes it possible to communicate with the people you are playing with online. But, there are fewer people who use the microphone on the portable devices than on the PlayStation 3. It can also be used to browse the internet. The browsers are relatively slow and work best on pages without flash applications, like news websites. You can expect the browsing speed to be similar to mobile phone internet browsing speeds.
The PSP 3000 does not use a touch screen like the Nintendo DS devices. It doesn’t have the same sliding screen as the PSP go, either. The handheld game console has a matte finish and does well at avoiding fingerprints, but the screen is still very susceptible to smudges and fingerprints. The screen on this product is much brighter and easier to see in all types of light than its predecessor, the PSP 2000.
The handheld game console is one of the lightest we reviewed; it only weighs 6.7 ounces and fits easily in a pocket. The model is available in black, white and silver and there are covers that can be purchased that are a large variety of different colors. The device has a rechargeable battery that can be charged with the cords included with the purchase. Battery life varies on screen settings and which features are used.
This handheld game console has an assortment of useful capabilities such as a high color support, high screen resolution and a Skype feature. The 32-bit color support coupled with the 480 x 272 screen resolution helps make the graphics on this device almost life-like.
One of the best features of this portable game console is the ability to use Skype to make phone calls and chat online. The Skype application is free and can be used to communicate with anyone that has Skype, not just other PSP users. The PSP go system has this same application, but the Nintendo devices do not.
Because there are so many violent and adult games available, PlayStation includes strong parental controls so you can manage what type of content your child can view. These controls also apply to the internet browsing, downloaded handheld video games, videos and music. There is a tiered system ranging from one to 11, with one being the strictest setting. The user’s manual has detailed instructions and there is a region-specific website to find more information about how to protect your child online.
This handheld gaming device can be used as a storage device and media player. It uses removable memory sticks to store downloaded games, music, movies and photos. This memory is purchased separately.
The interface is extremely similar to the PSP go device. However, the go model has a large internal memory. With the PSP 3000, you have to keep track of the memory sticks as well as the individual UMDs for handheld gaming. After the memory was inserted, it was simple to access the music, movies and other media. The main menu has different options for each media format and all our different media was immediately recognized. The device can also be connected to a TV to play whatever content is displayed on the screen. The cord to do this is the same as the PSP 2000, but the new model can connect to non-HD TVs. The multimedia options help make this a portable entertainment console, doing so much more than just playing video games.
There is a webcam on the device, but it does not take still photos or edit them like many of the Nintendo devices. But we did not miss those features on this device, especially because there are so many other terrific multimedia features.
Help & Support:
There are hundreds, if not thousands of community forums, blogs, Facebook groups and websites devoted to PlayStation games and operations. No matter what question you have, there are answers available online. If you’d rather not wade through all the extra websites, PlayStation also operates an excellent customer support section.
From the website, you will find telephone support numbers, email addresses, sections of frequently asked questions and extremely active user’s forums. When we posted a question on the board, we received several responses within an hour. We also had a great experience when we spoke with a customer service representative on the telephone. And when we sent an email asking a question we received an immediate, detailed response. The support options offered by Sony are marvelous.
The PSP 3000 is an improvement on the earlier PSP models. It has a better screen resolution; you can easily view the remarkable graphics at day and night and the innovative Skype feature makes it stand out. 

1. PSP go 

PSP go box shot

 The PSP go is the latest handheld game console. It combines the graphics, outstanding games and control of the PlayStation, and takes it all on the go. Game cartridges and discs are obsolete because all the games are downloaded and stored on the 16GB hard drive and other removable memory devices. We also loved the Skype, video streaming and music options that are included with the device. The portability and feature set make it stand out from the competition and earn the PSP go our TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award.
Physical Features:
The PSP go is the lightest of all the handheld gaming devices we reviewed. Weighing in at a mere 5.57 ounces, it is the first handheld game console produced by Sony that can easily fit in your pocket. The go model is a full 43 percent smaller than the original PSP device. The design is very similar to the PSP 3000, but the go version incorporates a sliding screen to make it even more compact. However, Sony does not sacrifice quality or feature set because of the condensed size.
The games can be controlled by the analog stick that is on the left of the device. It also has the traditional PlayStation square, triangle, cross and circle available. The controls of the games and the feeling of the device were intuitive, but the analog stick is a little less comfortable than the PSP 3000 and significantly more difficult to use than the PlayStation 3 controller. Also, with the go and 3000 models, there is only one joystick making it more difficult to play first person shooter games, such as Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. But considering the size of the device and the large screen, PlayStation has created a truly fantastic model that is relatively easy to use.
The PSP go is available for purchase in white and black and the matte finish helps it avoid unsightly finger prints. There is also a built-in microphone and webcam that enable a few different multimedia options such as Skype calls. Another important note is that unlike the Nintendo DSi, the PSP go does not have a touch screen.
The handheld game console has built-in WiFi that enables you to download the latest games, music, movies, TV shows and comics instantly. There is no need to wait in lines at the local Wal-Mart for the newest game, and you won’t ever have to worry about losing or breaking your games because everything is stored on the hard drive. This feature also helps the device be even more portable, because you don’t have to remember to carry around the UMD discs or cartridges.
One of the more innovative features included with the handheld game console is a Skype feature. The WiFi, Bluetooth and webcam capabilities enable an effortless connection to Skype. You can call your friends or chat online, all for free. To download the application, simply click on the Sony icon on the Skype homepage and follow the directions. The download process only takes a few minutes.
Browsing the internet with the portable game console is much like it is with a cell phone. The sites are slow to load and there is no Flash capability. That being said, the browsing is as fast on the go model as it is on any of its competitors. Internet browsing is especially fast and useful when visiting news sites and other websites without Flash widgets. You can also read and send emails using the device.
For all the parents considering purchasing one of these devices for their children, PlayStation offers an array of parental control features. These controls can be accessed under the options menu of the system. Use these to manage the type of game that can be downloaded or played. You can stop games geared toward a mature audience from being played. You can also monitor the videos that are played and the content viewed online. PlayStation does its best to help keep your child safe and unexposed to adult and violent material.
The product has more internal memory than any of its competitors, largely because there are no cartridges or discs to play handheld video games. There is 15GB of memory included with the device, but there is more external memory available that can increase the storage capacity to 32GB. You can use this storage to keep games, videos, music, photos, etc. The screen is bright and can be seen in daytime or at night equally as well. The screen resolution is fantastic at 480 x 272 pixels. The 32-bit color support is also excellent. Overall, the graphics on this device are akin to the PlayStation 2 and the screen has an outstanding picture quality.
The portable game console is a terrific multimedia device. The music, movie, TV show and photo storage is top notch and easy to use. With more internal memory than any other handheld game console, you will be able to keep track and enjoy all your favorite multimedia material.
Much like games, when transferring videos or other content to your system, there are three options. You can directly download the video from the PlayStation Network. This process takes only a few minutes and there are thousands of movies and TV shows to choose from. You can also transfer the material from your computer or if you have a PS3, you can transfer content from it to your PSP go system. There are also comics available for download from the PlayStation Network. Downloading media this way is simple and quick.
Help & Support:
Sony provides a large selection of customer service options for all the PlayStation devices. There are detailed instruction manuals that are easy to understand. The manufacturer also offers a section for frequently asked questions and other common issues. You can contact Sony through a variety of ways. There are email addresses, telephone support lines, online forms and you can even contact support representatives via Twitter.
We found most of the answers we were looking for on the website. But when we contacted the customer service representatives through email, we received an immediate response thoroughly answering our questions. When we called the support line we were put on hold for a few minutes before being connected with a friendly and knowledgeable representative.
PSP go is the latest and greatest when it comes to portable gaming. It is a great multimedia handheld game device that can play some of the best games available and store all your music, photos, videos and comics. Its slim, screen-sliding design makes this pocket-sized handheld game console stand out from the competition.

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