Portable gaming has always been a hit for younger audiences. In the past, Nintendo ruled the market with the Game Boy and Nintendo DS. While Nintendo has continued the DS-saga with the 3DS, Apple has been gaining marketshare with the iPod Touch. If you’re in the market for a portable gaming system for your kid, this article is for you. Below I will be explaining why I think the iPod Touch is a better choice over the Nintendo 3DS.


While the Nintendo 3DS has many famous titles such as Pokémon and Mario, these games usually cost upwards of $29.  The iPod Touch, which runs iOS, features over 300,000 apps, many of which of are games. Most iOS games are relatively cheap at $0.99 to $9.99. Another nice thing about iOS gaming is the fact that many games are free or “lite” versions of paid games. This will allow your child to be entertained for little to no cost on the iPod Touch. Since children tend to get tired of games easily, the iPod Touch will allow them to try out new games for free! They can pick from a wide variety of genres–from puzzle games to action games. These games are available in the iTunes App Store.


While the Nintendo 3DS features two screens, one resistive touchscreen and one 3D, these screens are extremely low resolution compared to the iPod Touch’s Retina Display. The 3D effect on the 3DS is not safe for kids under six years old and can give older children headaches. Finally, the 3DS features a cheap, plastic construction while the iPod Touch is built from glass and metal, making for a solid and durable build.


The Nintendo 3DS costs $169 for the system and a 2GB SD card. While this may undercut the iPod Touch by $30, the iPod Touch features 8GB of storage for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. When you pay for the iPod Touch, you’re not just getting for a game system for your child, you’re also getting for an MP3 Player and video player! While it is true that the Nintendo 3DS can play videos and music, file support is limited and there is no native media store. The only way to remedy this is by becoming a Netflix member, which will allow you to watch Netflix’s library of movies and TV shows.


While the iPod Touch features a full touch screen, this may make gaming tough for some kids. The Nintendo 3DS offers a a touch screen, slide pad, and a plethora of buttons, making gaming easier for some kids. This is because of the tactile response the buttons give so that your child know when he/she has pressed a button.


Personally, I think the best choice for most children is the iPod Touch. This is because of the excellent build quality and outstanding choice of low-priced games. While the iPod may seem more expensive initially, you will definitely save money over time with free and low-priced games from the App Store.

When purchasing this new device for your child, make sure to pick up a case to ensure it stays scratch free. Check out our case guide if you need help deciding!

Update: Title change, sorry for any misleading information.