A new playstation handheld is not out of the question
Though it seemed unlikely a very short time ago, Sony is thinking of throwing its hat back in the ring of portable gaming. After the lackluster sales of the Vita, it didn’t seem like there would ever be another handheld PlayStation to be had. That is not the case anymore. Though there has been no announcement of new hardware, it is no longer something that Sony would be unwilling to consider.
Back in 2017, Andrew House was very open about portable consoles not being economically viable. Looking back at the success, or lack thereof, of the Vita it really wasn’t a surprise. Why put a large amount of effort and money into something that will likely not benefit you?
However, the year is now 2018 and Sony has a new head of their Gaming Division by the name of John Kodera. According to him, Sony is at least looking into the possibility of a new handheld system. This is something that will likely connect to the PlayStation 5, and I mean that literally.
It is hard, impossible even, to ignore the success of the Switch that Nintendo has placed before us. It truthfully is a marvel considering many in the industry thought the time for portable consoles was behind us. The Switch has proven that to be a fallacy and Sony and Microsoft would be insane to not look into it themselves.
Microsoft has said nothing of a handheld gaming device and probably won’t for the foreseeable future. The reason for that is they already have a play anywhere feature that allows you to play Xbox One games on a PC Laptop. At this point in time, Microsoft has no need to venture into anything else. They will probably be focusing on that feature throughout the next generation.
Sony, on the other hand, has nothing in the way of portable gaming aside from remote play on the Vita. That was not something that went over very well, however that doesn’t mean that Sony didn’t have a good idea. I personally have used the remote play option quite a lot and I did like the idea of it. The problem was how this thought was executed. It mostly felt that this was simply a gimmick to sell more Vitas and not really something that they wanted to pursue. The connection was glitchy, the graphics significantly worse, and was overall a bit underwhelming.
What Sony needs to do, in my humble opinion, is take what they did with remote play and build off that. Taking inspiration from the switch would be fine, but trying to copy it would be suicide. They have to make it their own and somehow work the hardware so that you can play the new God of War so that it actually looks like God of War. That is not easy on a handheld because of the size it has to be.
If they can make the PlayStation 5 and a new handheld connect through the cloud (and have a physical option) so that games and save data can be transferred, that would be great. The memory on the small device would not have to be huge, leaving room for better graphics and controls that aren’t so fidgety. And for the love of god, have the setup of the portable console mimic the console controller. The touchpad on the back of the Vita was not an acceptable substitute for the R2 and L2 buttons.
All of this is pure speculation and hope on my part. The PlayStation 5 is nowhere near ready and there may be no portable console whatsoever. But it could happen and it is merely something to keep in mind and be open mined about. Sony made a mistake with the Vita, but that doesn’t mean they will with their next attempt. Hopefully, something will be announced closer to the release of the PlayStation 5 in 2021.
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