You may have noticed a drop in productivity when you utilize consumer-friendly and artificial intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML) tools. This may be due to the perceived time you know you’ll be saving with the aid of these applications.
A great example of this is the service called Craiyon, an app that simulates the experience of drawing with crayons. Aside from this, there is a plethora of chatbots and AI-generated art. They abound, and you can find no surprise in them. However, what’s shocking is the sophistication that they come with and the general public’s acceptance of them.
Microsoft’s Massive Investments
The purchase of Nuance, a voice technology company, by Microsoft, shows the tech company’s massive investments in this industry. This sale has given Microsoft control over some of the most controversial tools that power Apple’s Siri. Microsoft’s research lab, Redmond, has been building its own internal tools and features quietly. These tools are expected to be the next big technology for businesses and individual use.
How Machine Learning in Video Games Will Change the Industry
Today, machine learning techniques are used in almost every facet of our daily lives. How it merges with the gaming industry has enormous implications for Microsoft as a business. The video game industry’s primary issue is the gap between expectations and investments.
Video games have become more complex to create, fund, and manage. The reason behind this is its explosion in exponential complexity and graphical fidelity. Photorealistic demos such as the ones made by Unreal Engine are one such example.
It has scenes and graphics that are insanely amazing. However, when we look deeper into its creation, we’ll find that the manual labor involved is genuinely palpable, both regarding the time spent to produce it and, of course, the expenses.
In gaming, the definition of AI isn’t what it means in a general context. Video game NPCs or non-player characters and their enemies typically run on a rules-based model. It often has to be manually crafted by a programmer. This differentiates machine learning models as they are more fluid and capable of creating their own rules within parameters.
They also respond dynamically to new data quickly and easily. This can be seen in everything: the NPC’s behavior or content generation. When you ask a GPT-3 ML text model to create a quest for you in World of Warcraft, it uses random and unfiltered information from the internet, and the results are “fun.” It recontextualized it and repackaged the date based on the request it received. In fairness, the system wasn’t designed explicitly for these requests.
Gathering its context from the internet, the AI model produced a practically infinite quest dialogue. It has drawn information about the game from websites and wiki entries to create realistic objectives, including real place names and enemy types.
How Can A Game Developer Help
Imagine the results if direct access to better data and personalized context by a skilled game developer is added. We can anticipate better and more dynamic content from these models. Take the case of DALL-E and other similar models that can produce several variations from any given prompt. Then, they will refine them with details that are short of magical.
These models are capable of remixing existing images, what more with variations of game monsters and other in-game behaviors and animations. While these developments are expected to be the future of gaming and AI, human intervention is still a requirement for future cases and situations.
In the coming years, this proves that handmade content will still be the core foundation of the best video games.
Top 10 Handheld Gaming Devices Under $300
Handheld gaming devices are all the rage for online gamers. Some want to recapture the magic of the old days, where you could play a game anytime anywhere. However, some want to experience the portability of playing PC or desktop games without losing significant game progress. Whatever your reason for buying a handheld gaming device, we’ve narrowed down your options in buying the best handheld gaming devices under $300!
1. Retroid Pocket Flip
If you’re looking for a handheld gaming device that’s light on your pocket, literally and figuratively, why not go for Retroid? The Android-powered gaming device lets you play your favorite games anytime or launch an emulator, too! But you can dock the Retroid to your TV or PC to play your game on a bigger screen! The Retroid company offers three devices:
- 2S Handheld
- Pocket 3+
However, the best option for any gamer is the Flip. Its active cooling system lets you play games for a long time. It has 128GB of storage, allowing you to store all your favorite games on one device. Plus, it has a touchscreen and customizable buttons!
2. Retroid Pocket 3+
The Retroid Pocket 3+ is another handheld gaming device under $300 to consider. Like the flip, it also has a touchscreen and a game launcher with emulator. Unlike the Pocket Flip, this one has passive heat dissipation, which doesn’t fully cool your device. However, it’s still worth a try since it’s slightly more affordable than the Flip. Plus, with the Retroid Pocket 3+, you have color variants to choose from!
If you want an old-school gaming experience, check out Playdate! It’s reminiscent of the old Nintendo Gameboy devices. You can only play 8-bit games, but it’s still enjoyable! So far, you can play up to 24 games, which you can purchase on the official store. One advantage of this handheld device is storing it in your pocket! Plus, it has a pull-out analog controller from the side to help characters move and do other actions on selected games!
4. Anbernic RG552
Here’s another option to consider if you want old-school-style gaming devices. Anbernic has various models and gaming models to choose from! Most devices are compatible with emulators, allowing you to play games from the past.
But if you want their state-of-the-art device under $300, you can buy the Anbernic RG552. This device has Linux and Android systems, allowing you to play simulators, Android games, and other simulators! Plus, you can expand the storage to play more games.
Here’s another device paying homage to the old Game Boy models. Their Analogue Pocket model is compatible with your beloved Game Boy games! You can stick a cartridge and play like the old days. Unlike other devices on this list, they don’t have emulators.
Despite the 8-bit gaming style, it boasts a high-res screen (1600×1440). Plus, the Pocket is protected by Gorilla Glass, too! However, Analogue isn’t just a gaming system. You can also create music and connect it to your other devices! Additionally, they have a multi-player option, letting you play with your friends!
6. Powkiddy Max2
If you also want to select from various models, Powkiddy also offers them to avid gamers like you! Powkiddy has designs that will remind older gamers of their child. Meanwhile, their devices could also be great to let kids know about handheld gaming devices.
Most of their handheld gaming designs have smaller screens but can accommodate simulators. Additionally, some of their handheld devices have a fast-charging option, allowing you to play games for four hours, even on an hour’s charge. But you have to go with one of their bestsellers, the Max 2.
It has an ergonomic grip, providing comfort when you play for long. It’s compatible with various simulators. Plus, it’s expandable to 128 GB.
Pricing: starts at $154.99
7. Ayn Odin Lite
The Odin Lite is the affordable option of their flagship, Odin. However, it’s still a powerful handheld gaming device. You can customize the game launcher and set the screen mapping. Additionally, you can have fun playing your favorite online games from the Xbox and PS5 with integrated gaming apps to bring them anywhere. Finally, you have two options when buying the Odin Lite: the 4+64GB model or the 6+128GB version.
Pricing: starts at $237
8. Nintendo Switch Lite
Nintendo Switch Lite is a must-have for gamers who grew up playing the Nintendo consoles. Even if you didn’t play the original Nintendo games as a child, it’s also one of the best handheld gaming devices under $300, especially if you want to play various games with friends. You can browse their library with thousands of games compatible with the Switch Lite. Moreover, you can get the latest updates and store screenshots to share with friends.
9. Portal Retro
Pimax also has a handheld gaming device under $300. They specialize in VR gaming, but if you don’t need it, the Portal Retro is the best device. It’s decent with an LCD 2K screen and is lightweight, weighing around 306 grams. Plus, it has a storage capacity of 128 GB with 8GB memory.
10. Evercade EXP
The Evercade EXP is another handheld gaming device to consider, especially if you’re a fan of cartridge-based gaming systems. This is the best gaming console for Capcom fans since it has 18 built-in games from the video game company. However, it’s not only 8-bit games you can play. In fact, you can also play 3D games with this device! Plus, you can turn it vertically for games meant for vertical gaming. Finally, you can play for up to 5 hours and have 4GB built-in RAM.
Nintendo’s handheld gaming consoles aren’t the only ones dominating the market. Your gaming experience can still be exciting when choosing any of these handheld gaming devices under $300. They provide value for money. Plus, some devices make you look back with nostalgia. Nevertheless, you have various options to choose from, considering some have 8-bit capabilities while others have RGB and 3D options!
Top 10 Handheld Gaming Devices in 2023
Don’t lose your gaming progress when you’re out and about or nowhere near your PC. Use a handheld gaming device to play anytime and anywhere. Check out selections for the best handheld gaming devices in 2023!
1. Nintendo Switch
Nothing beats the good ol’ reliable Nintendo Switch. It’s one of the best handheld gaming devices in 2023 and beyond! You can choose from three models and gaming modes when playing.
The original Nintendo Switch and the OLED models have the following features:
- Play modes – TV, Tabletop, and Handheld
- Joy-con controllers available
- Handheld device size
- Battery life is 4.5 to 9 hours
However, the OLED model has a leg up over the original model since it has a LAN port and a bigger storage space (64GB).
Meanwhile, the Nintendo Switch Lite is available handheld only with a 7-hour battery life.
If you’re buying the Nintendo Switch Lite, it doesn’t come with the Joy-con controllers. However, if you decide to buy the original or OLED models, you can customize your Joy-con controllers and bring them along with you.
As for buying games, you can buy a physical copy or buy online in the Nintendo store. However, not all games are compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite.
2. Steam Deck
The online game distribution service has also released its handheld gaming device, so you don’t have to stay on your PC all day.
The Steam Deck has three storage options with two screen types, two being OLED (512GB and 1TB) and the other one being LCD (256GB). It comes with an advanced AMD chip, allowing you to enjoy performance on the best online games on the market.
The service guarantees faster downloads on your handheld gaming device, so there are fewer wait times! Plus, you don’t have to worry about overheating it since it has a fan to cool the device during gameplay. Finally, the trackpads provide comfort, so your hands don’t strain all day long!
Logitech is no longer just a computer peripherals company. It has also tapped the gaming market with the Cloud Handheld Gaming device. This is ideal for multi-console gamers since they integrate the Xbox and Steam Link apps without losing gameplay on any consoles.
Like other handheld gaming devices on the list, you can play AAA games without fail or delay. Play anytime, anywhere, without losing progress! You could also play it for up to 12 hours if you keep it under optimal conditions (50% battery and brightness). It has an internal 64 GB storage, but you can expand it to add more games! Plus, it comes with the state-of-the-art Quantum Snapdragon 720G chip and boasts an Octa-core CPU!
If you’re looking for a Windows-operated handheld gaming device, ONEXPLAYER is one of the best options for avid gamers. ONEXPLAYER offers three different devices:
- ONEXPLAYER 2 Pro
- ONEXPLAYER MINI PRO
The MINI PRO comes in three models with the processor being different. This model offers affordable options among the others. However, if you want more than just a gaming device, The 2 Pro model will also help you get work done! Finally, the ONEXFly promises performance and personalization to help you get the most out of this device.
It’s one of the most expensive handheld gaming devices on this list, but if you want a supercharged gaming experience, investing in this isn’t a bad idea.
If you want various gaming device options from one company, GPD should be on your radar. One notable feature of this device and its models is the attached keypad. This allows you to browse the internet and play games without switching devices. Additionally, you can dock your GPD device to a computer for enhanced gameplay.
Like ONEXPLAYER, GPD is on the expensive side. However, you can opt for the Android-powered modular device to play your favorite games anywhere for a cheaper price.
6. Pimax Portal
Are you looking for an all-in-one 4K and VR handheld device? Pimax Portal devices should be on your list! The Portal boasts 4K LCD screens on two devices. On the other hand, the QLED has additional MiniLED lighting, providing better contrast and color to your gaming experience. The storage space is at a maximum of 256GB for the Portal and Portal QLED devices.
You can play games supported by cloud, Android, and VR games. Plus, go back to your childhood to play retro games!
Ayn is a gaming device that resembles other handhelds on this list. However, it packs a punch with the processor and the operating system. One advantage of Ayn over some devices listed here is customization. Plus, their flagship, Loki MAX, can store up to 512GB worth of games, making it the most expensive device in their catalog.
However, there are cheaper Loki models. Plus, you can also consider the Odin models with the same capabilities as the Loki MAX, but the processor makes it two distinct models.
Do you want diverse options on how you want your handheld gaming device to appear? Ayaneo has you covered with various models. They have five models, with some having variations.
All Ayaneo models are powered by AMD Ryzen, the best of the best in gaming processors, except for the Pocket AIR. You can check out the various models and see for yourself which is the best handheld device that fits your needs.
Evercade will take you down memory lane because this is a nostalgic handheld gaming device on this list. You insert cartridges, similar to old Gameboy models. It doesn’t have high-resolution screens, but it’s an ideal device for those who want to relive their childhood by playing games. You can play over 300+ games that will transport you back in time.
10. ASUS ROG Ally
The ASUS ROG Ally is another Windows-operated handheld gaming device that will enhance your gaming experience and let you play all day long. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about playing hours, considering they have an ergonomic playing set-up.
One advantage of ASUS ROG Ally over other handhelds on this list is you can connect it to your TV and play multiplayer games with friends and loved ones! Or, you can even plug it into your computer for an even better experience. Finally, you can play games from Epic, Xbox, Steam, GOG, and other major publishers to get updated with the latest games.
Venture Capitalists Still Pursuing Gaming Companies for Funding
Investors are rushing in to put their money into the crypto landscape. Proof of this is the popularity of play-to-earn gaming companies to these venture capitalists. Making news recently was private Silicon Valley venture firm Andreesen Horowitz (a16z).
The private company dedicated $600 million in funding to gaming startups to level up its stake in Web3 technology, $6 million of it went to startup Halliday. This lets its gaming patrons buy and use digital assets in the metaverse. Andreesen Horowitz wasn’t alone as Hashed, a_capital, and SV Angel also joined in on the funding.
Halliday and Other Gaming Companies
In a Halliday blog post, co-founders Akshay Malhotra and Griffin Dunaif expressed their gratitude to their new backers. They announced the upcoming launch of the first-ever solution that lets people have ownership of blockchain games and other metaverse assets using later payments.
From this, Halliday will be able to empower gamers by giving them access to ownership of game NFTs. Players will now be able to have a new gaming experience by letting them have a virtual avatar. They can also get distinctive skins as a way to express themselves or a great sword to finally beat the last enemy.
The founders also explained how Halliday would integrate with games and marketplaces as the alternative payment option at checkout. This will offer players a seamless method of securing ownership and paying for their NFT purchases over time.
They also mentioned how their solution would be easy and transparent with no surprises or hidden fees. This way, the players can start playing with their NFTs instantly. This will significantly cut down the players’ waiting time.
In an interview, Framework Ventures co-founder Vance Spencer said that gaming companies and startups are still a popular investment for many investors. He stated the reason for this is the three billion gamers in the world. In addition, the half-billion who earn less than $5 a day and have access to the internet.
Outside the Gaming Sphere
There wasn’t much commotion in the crypto industry outside the gaming sphere the past week. Notably, many investors are still seen committing to startups building their bases in the industry. Special mention is Brevan Howard Asset Management which raised more than a billion from institutional investors. This allowed them to launch the most prominent crypto hedge fund ever.
This, from a company that’s previously skeptical of the crypto industry. This latest development has implied that the European hedge fund will soon throw in more substantial support for the advancement and improvement of cryptocurrency startups.
In other news, decentralized BNB and Gnosis chain farming protocol, XION Finance also gave its statement. It announced the $50 million investment commitment it secured from GEM Digital Limited. The latter is a digital asset investment company based in the Bahamas. It claims to have investments in more than 30 utility tokens worldwide.
They are now planning to use the funds to offer everyday users the power to earn high yields. They will also give them the ability to trade assets between multiple chains. They will also be giving them the chance to invest in tier one projects, according to Ron Quarmby, founder and CEO of XION Finance and XION Global.
In addition, GEM Digital committed $25 million in funding to the multi-blockchain platform Geeq. This is the platform that uses a patent-pending blockchain consensus mechanism. Its CEO Ric Asselstine said that with the commitment, they would be ready to bring enterprises and individuals into the metaverse and Web3.
Its parent company, GEM Capital, says it is a $3.4 billion alternative investment group. It manages a diverse set of investment vehicles that have its focus on up-and-coming markets all over the globe.