Over the past few years, portable gaming has become a big business. Nintendo got it started, but now everyone in the gaming industry wants to participate. From Valve to Sony, many gaming companies are creating their own portable gaming devices. The most recent company to announce is Lenovo, showing off the Legion Go.
The rise of portable gaming
The concept of portable gaming is far from a new one. We've had dedicated mobile gaming devices since shortly after the gaming industry got started. Nintendo had the Game Boy, Sega had the Game Gear, and Sony had the PSP. Plus, a variety of specialty devices were made for single games. But that era slowed down to an almost stop when smartphones became the norm for people.
Nintendo, however, thought that the days of dedicated gaming devices were not over. With that, the Nintendo Switch was created and released to the public. Gamers, both serious and casual, flocked to the device. The success of the console showed that there was a successful market just waiting to be joined. And joined it was.
Valve released the Steam Deck, a portable computer running the previously failed SteamOS (designed for the Steam Machines that were abandoned). Like the Switch, the Steam Deck saw immediate success. Pre-orders sold out instantly, and a long waiting list was created. People waited for months to receive their devices. But, once in hand, gamers mostly loved the devices.
Not everyone seems to have understood what made the Switch and Steam Deck a success, though. Sony just announced the PlayStation Portal, which looks like it will be a big swing and a miss. Unlike the Switch or Steam Deck, the Portal cannot be used away from your PlayStation 5 console. This makes it much more like the failed Wii U tablet than the Switch.
Lenovo Legion Go
The newest kid on the mobile gaming block is the newly announced Lenovo Legion Go. This device looks like it is intended to sit somewhere between the Switch and the Steam Deck. Like the Steam Deck, it is a computer designed to make it a powerful and portable gaming device. But, unlike the Steam Deck, it has removable controllers, more like the Switch. However, unlike both of them, the Legion Go runs Windows instead of a proprietary operating system.
Running Windows means that it is a full PC. Because of that, you'll have the ability to play games from Steam, Epic Games Store, Windows Store, Xbox Game Pass, and more. This makes it a more versatile gaming device right out of the box. But, it can also be used for more than just a gaming device. You can download all of the media apps and use it as a portable media device while traveling. Or, add Word and PowerPoint and use it as a productivity device, as well.
As for specs, the Legion Go stands tall above the Steam Deck. It's 8.8 inch screen comes in at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 with a 144 Hz refresh rate, which is far above the 720p screen on Valve's console. The console features an AMD Ryzen Z1 processor, 16GB of RAM, and up to 1TB of storage. The console becomes available October 23, 2023 with a starting price of $699 with options running up to $999.