Pocket Gamer has posted a brief history of the handheld gaming industry, tracing the evolution of handheld consoles from the early days of the Atari Lynx to today’s industry-topping Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable systems.

While the coverage is brief, links to reviews and relevant articles are included. The article also includes graphs that directly compare the systems in such areas as size, weight and processing power.

Interestingly, the article demonstrates that dominance in the handheld market has little to do with technological superiority: Nintendo’s handheld consoles have never been on the cutting-edge of hardware when released, and yet their combination of marketing and supporting games has proved virtually unbeatable.

The Nintendo DS is the best-selling of the current handheld systems, having sold over 40 million units since its 2004 release. The Sony Playstation Portable, while lagging behind the DS, is also enjoying considerable success, having sold nearly 25 million units over a similar period. Neither system, however, has approached the level of Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance, which has sold 80 million units since its 2001 release.

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