Wow, what a week! Sega Genesis Mini! Nintendo Switch Lite! Apple Arcade! It's been very, very busy, and we're doing our darndest to keep up.
Today, in honor of the Switch Lite's release—we'll have a review next week for it, by the way—we think it's a good time to look back on our favorite console revisions. So let us know, are you a fan of the weird ones like PSP Go? Or something more practical? Tell us in the comments what your favorite video game console revision is!
Console revisions have been a weird subject lately, thanks to the "pro" models that can sometimes make me feel like I'm missing out on better experiences by still using my base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A good revision, in my opinion, isn't just a beefier upgrade, but some level of form factor that demonstrably changes how you interact with something.
I think handheld revisions have always been in front of the pack in that regard, and the Game Boy Advance SP is the clear winner. You could fold it! It was backlit! It instantly became twice as portable and way more functional. The SP is still the best update to any console because it understood what the Advance was, and where it could be even better.
I waited to get a 3DS until after Nintendo released the 3DS XL and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. Nothing about the handheld's line-up wowed me until then, but I love a good 2D Zelda (hello, Link's Awakening for Switch) and vastly preferred the heft of the 3DS XL to the original model. I should've known there'd be yet another 3DS revision within the year, but I'm still plenty happy with all the use I got out of it—plus, after getting hooked through Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, my partner uses the 3DS XL to play New Leaf on the regular.
I'll always have a soft spot for the Game Boy Color. There was an unspeakable satisfaction in upgrading from the ol' gray brick to the smaller, lighter Color. Plus, its screen is an infinite improvement, and the system only requires two AA batteries that last for ages. Throw in a strong library of under-appreciated exclusives, and you've got yourself one of my favorite handheld systems ever. Now I just need to know when Nintendo plans to give us a translucent purple Switch.
Honorable mention: The Game Boy SP. Once we all made the jump to backlit portables with lithium-ion batteries, nobody was in a rush to go back to disposable batteries and screen-lighting accessories.
The Game Boy Advance SP was the GOAT, to be clear, but I also have a soft spot for the New Nintendo 3DS. Y'know, the one with the changeable faceplates. I'm glad I waited on upgrading my 3DS, because the smaller New 3DS eventually did come stateside. I got really into collecting faceplates, mostly importing them from Japan. I had those cute Kyary Pamyu Pamyu-inspired ones; I had Animal Crossing ones. The faceplates were a really fun way to make the 3DS more personalized, and I wish it took off, popularity-wise. It never did though, and now my New 3DS is gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. R.I.P.
My honorable mention goes to those cute pastel PlayStation Vitas that never officially released here. I always wanted one!