How has handheld gaming changed in the past decades? Technology has taken this gaming niche from the black and white graphics of yesterday to the world of HD and 3D. Take a look at some of the most notable gaming units.

Game Boy (1989)

Game Boy

Via Flickr by Bludgeoner86

Selling over 100 million units, according to PC World, the Game Boy is the classic of all handheld gaming systems. Despite a fuzzier picture than its competitors, at the time, its low price point ($109) and exceptional game lineup allowed it to stand out for years.

Sega Game Gear (1990)

Sega Game Gear

Via Flickr by xabi

The Game Gear was probably the biggest challenger to the Game Boy, while, of course, it did not necessarily succeed. A nice selection of games gave it some favorability for some gamers, as well as its color screen.

Neo-Geo Pocket/Pocket Color (1998-99)

Neo-Geo Pocket

Via Flickr by PaRap

The expensive home system made a portable showing in the late 1990s, first releasing in black and white. A year later it added a color offering, though it never caught much attention from gamers.

Game Boy Color (1998)

Game Boy Color

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It took nine years for Game Boy lovers to get a major change – and it came with a widely-accepted color screen. Backward compatibility and better technical capabilities allowed Nintendo to continue dominating the handheld marketing scene for years.

Game Boy Advance/Advance Sp/Micro(2001/2003/2005)

Game Boy Advance

Via Flickr by digitpedia

A slew of Game Boy Advance products came in the early millennium, which added some unique features to the mix. Significant was the Game Boy Advance SP, which added a front-lit screen for easy gaming.

Nintendo DS/DS Lite (2004/2005)

Nintendo DS Lite

Via Flickr by Mike Rowehl

Nintendo made another big change in its lineup with the DS and DS Lite. Par for the course in the company’s history, gamers loved the games that became available on the device.

Add in built-in WiFi and a thinner version of the DS, and it’s easy to see why the DS models became a hit.

PlayStation Portable (2004)

PlayStation Portable

Via Flickr by JacobMetcalf

A handheld product was only natural for the PlayStation brand, due to the success of its home console product. It was poised for success with its superior graphics and networking features.

It didn’t turn out that way. Instead, the DS outsold the PSP by approximately 2:1, according to PC World. There have also been several updates to the PSP with the PSP-2000, the PSP-3000, and the PSP Go.

Wii U (2012)

Wii U

Via Flickr by ze_bear

The latest handheld gaming system is Nintendo’s Wii U GamePad, which blends traditional and handheld gaming into one.

The Wii U system functions with the Wii. The 6.2-inch, 16:9 LCD touch-screen GamePad  can stand alone, offer a new perspective while gaming on a TV, and even function as a motion-activated controller.

This affordable offering from Nintendo is also fully HD compatible. With 3D images and impressive compatibility, the Wii U is poised to surpass its competition in the handheld and console gaming market.

Overall, the evolution of handheld gaming units has seen an incredibly transformation. At the moment, it seems like the latest major offering (Wii U) will mirror the first (Game Boy) in the superiority of Nintendo’s contributions.

Author Bio: Shaun Chatman is a freelance writer by night and a gym trainer in the day. Happily married and father of two gregarious kids, Shaun lives in Dunedin, FL, and spends his free time playing with his kids, watching or playing sports, or helping people to find more information on anything tech related from cloud hosting to smart gadgets.