The best portable game consoles of 2023

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By Webdesk

Sometimes giving in to nostalgia isn’t worth it, but that’s not the case with the 2021 Analogue Pocket(opens in a new tab). It’s not just a handheld that plays classic Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games – it’s a marvel of game preservation and a shining example of how something old can be refreshed in a way that reinforces what made it special in the first place.

To be clear, the Analogue Pocket is not an emulation device. The bag actually runs classic Game Boy cartridges, bringing that retro experience to a brand new console – one with much better build quality, a stunning screen, and a slew of fun extras.

The Pocket’s screen is extremely sharp, offering 10 times the resolution of the original Game Boy and rivaling some of today’s other handheld gaming devices. It even looks great on a TV when you connect it to the analog dock (sold separately for $99.99) à la the standard Nintendo Switch, which pleasantly surprised us. The audio quality is impeccable and expertly recreated from some of our favorite gaming moments from the past. The hardware itself is also incredibly well made – it has a real “premium feel” to it, and each of the buttons is super responsive.

The Analogue Pocket also offers a lot of cool extras, such as the ability to develop your own games with openFPGA and even create 8-bit music. We have no game development experience ourselves, but knowing that anyone with a Pocket can access free programming software is an exciting prospect for us as players. You have the option to apply screen filters that make your games look like they do on original Game Boy consoles, and to pair the device with separate adapters for Game Gear, Neo Geo, Atari Lynx and TurboGrafx-16 cartridges. We wish the cartridge slot wasn’t fully visible, but at the end of the day that’s not a big deal. (Just leave a cartridge in – easy fix!)

The Pocket is truly a unique device and you should get your hands on it if you’re interested in retro gaming or game preservation. Now the debate can finally settle down: the best Game Boy is, in fact, the Analogue Pocket.

Recommended games:

  • pokemon red, BlueAnd Yellow

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

  • Tetris

  • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones

  • Any old Game Boy cartridge you can get your hands on

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