We are in the middle of a pretty sweet generation: the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 are finally available readily, and the Switch is still alive and kickin’. Valve also broke into the handheld market with the highly anticipated Steam Deck last year. While much of video game hype for 2023 has primarily been on software, there are a small number of pretty neat tech that dropped. They all may not be for everyone, but here are the top video game hardware that released (or will release) this year.
5. Xbox Series S- 1TB
There’s technically nothing very “wow” about number 5; however, Microsoft released this slim console to provide next gen capabilities with more storage on September 1st, 2023. Upon initial launch of this generation, only the Series X had 1 TB storage while the S had 512GB. This version comes in a sleek black and retails for $349.99 USD. It makes sense as the “affordable” model compared to the $499.99 Xbox Series X. While diehard hard fans may scoff at the Series S, it is still a viable option for those that do not need the barely noticeable 120 FPS (we all know that 60 FPS is just fine for us average players) and have a tighter budget.
4. PlayStation Portal
Formally known as Project Q, this was announced by Sony earlier this year. It is a handheld meant to stream your PlayStation games on an 8-inch LED screen with 1080p resolution at 60FPS. It will retail at $199.99 USD on November 15th, 2023. Many have already criticized the PlayStation Portal because it is stream only, among other things including the lack of Bluetooth capability. Others also sneer at the design, calling it a tablet sandwiched by a DualSense controller cut in half. Since the PlayStation Portal has received a lukewarm reception thus far, and it has not dropped yet, this goes toward the bottom of this list; however, it does not mean it has no place in a gamer’s hands! This seems best for a Sony die-hard who would rather play their games handheld and isn’t really picky about much else.
3. PlayStation VR 2
Sony continues to champion VR as something that is here to stay. While only time will tell, the VR2 has generally been well received since its release in February 2023. A PushSquare blog reported PS VR2 sold up to 600,000 units within six weeks of launch, which already outperformed its predecessor. It has an OLED display, six-axis motion sensing system, and USB-C connection to the PlayStation 5. It also has a decent library of games to entice anyone into VR such as Horizon: Call of the Mountain, Resident Evil Village, and Beat Saber; however, not many can fork up an addition $549.99 after paying a similar amount for the actual PS 5 console. Like the PlayStation Portal, it may be for specific audiences, but it’s neat tech otherwise!
2. Analogue Pocket
Holy smokes. THIS got me excited. Now that I’m entering my mid-thirties and I reminisce about the “good ol’ days”, I have been revisiting retro games. A friend recommended the Analogue Pocket instead of a refurbished Game Boy Color. The Analogue Pocket is a portable handheld that can play Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games. There are also cartridge adapters that will allow you to play other systems like the Neo Geo Pocket Color and Game Gear. It has a 3.5″, 615 ppi, LCD screen with 1600 x 1440 resolution. Yes, improved resolution! It has sleep/wake modes, original display modes, and much more. This is pretty revolutionary (and convenient) to preserve and play older handheld games. The kicker is that all units are sold out, but the developers are looking to restock “ASAP”.
1. ROG Ally
This is the new handheld powerhouse on the block by ASUS, and it’s here to kick a** and take names. Considered a true Windows 11 gaming machine, it comes with a 7 inch touch display with 1080p and 120Hz refresh rate. It also has dual front-firing Smart Amp speakers with Dolby Atmos and 512 GB storage. You can stream and also play natively. What I personally like is that is is lighter than the chonky Steam Deck. It currently is priced at $699.99, so it’s an investment for sure. Overall feedback has been positive, providing another option for PC players to game on the go aside from a gaming laptop and the Steam Deck. However, some do complain about Windows and it may not be the best for tech illiterate individuals.
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Featured Image Source: Analogue Pocket