This is a list of top selling hand-held game consoles, not including home devices. For a list of top 8 Home devices, check it out here! And if you’re too lazy to put the two lists together and figure out top 8 of all time, home and hand-held, then you’re in luck! You can check that list out here!
Without further ado, your list!
8. WanderSwan (3.50 Million Units Sold)
- Released March 4, 1999
- The WanderSwan never had any release outside of Japan, nor was there a variation of it released.
- WanderSwan tried using its low price point and long battery life to compete with the Game Boy.
- It was difficult for the WanderSwan and it’s developers to compete with the Nintendo and all of the Game Boy developers.
- Many WanderSwan developers ended up porting their games to the Game Boy.
This isn’t a hand-held device I was too familiar with, and for good reason it seems! With only a Japan release and competing with Game Boy, not a huge surprise. In 2000 there was an agreement signed to have a North America release but it was ultimately decided against.
7. PlayStation Vita (>4.00 Million Units Sold)
- Originally released in Japan on December 17, 2011.
- Later released in North America on February 22, 2012.
- PS Vita’s main competition was the Nintendo 3DS.
- The PS Vita was aimed to be a bit of an in-between from the PlayStation Portable to the PlayStation 3. It aimed to be as portable as the PSP with graphics as close to the PS3 without jeopardizing battery life. Tough target!
Though fairly high on this list, the PS Vita is still available for purchase today, whereas others have been discontinued. One day the Vita may find a better spot on this list.
6. Sega Game Gear (10.62 Million Units Sold)
- Originally released in Japan on October 6, 1990.
- Later released in North America in April 1991.
- The Sega Game Gear is an 8-bit console, primarily competing against the Atari Lynx, TurboExpress, and Nintendo’s Game Boy.
- The Game Gear’s price point and game library gave it the edge over the Lynx and Turbo Express.
- Unfortunately the Game Gear lacked in unique titles, short battery life, and little to no support from Sega.
Although this certainly wasn’t the worst of its generation, it’s short comings were enough to stop it from ever surpassing the Nintendo Game Boy.
5. Nintendo 3DS (66.12 Million Units Sold)
- Originally released in Japan on February 26, 2011.
- Later released in North America on March 27, 2011.
- The 3DS left people in amazement when it was announced it was capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D effects without the use of 3D glasses.
Kotaku mentioned the Nintendo 3DS as “possibly the best portable gaming device ever…[and] a well designed machine…”