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A Handheld console, like a home console, is differentiated from other handheld video games in its ability to play multiple games, usually through inserting cartridges or other media. These can be portable versions of normal consoles (such as the Nomad or the TurboExpress) or standalone systems with their own unique media and library of games (such as the Game Boy or Game Gear). These consoles are designed to be entirely self-contained (with input and display all contained in one unit) and are designed with portability in mind, allowing the gamer to play away from home. The most recent handhelds to be released are the New Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita, with the Nintendo Switch scheduled to be released in 2017.

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