IN A move that could significantly shake up the portable gaming market, Sony is rumored to be developing a new handheld gaming console, marking its first foray back into the handheld gaming scene since the release of the PlayStation Vita in 2012. According to a report by well-known hardware leaker Moore’s Law is Dead, cited by Insider Gaming, this upcoming device is poised to be a non-streaming, pocket-sized console capable of running games natively, diverging from the streaming-focused PlayStation Portal.
The anticipated device is said to feature a custom AMD APU, similar to the PlayStation 5, indicating Sony’s commitment to delivering a high-performance gaming experience in a portable format. Currently in the high-level design phase, the project is reportedly at least two years from launch and has not yet been officially greenlit.
A look back at the PlayStation Vita
The PlayStation Vita, Sony’s last handheld console, was celebrated for its advanced features, including a beautiful OLED screen, at the time of its release. Despite its technological advancements, it struggled to compete against the Nintendo 3DS in sales, highlighting the challenging market dynamics.
What to expect from Sony’s new handheld
The rumored handheld is expected to support backward compatibility with PS4 games, suggesting a level of power comparable to or exceeding eighth-generation home console. This positions the device closer to the power of Valve’s Steam Deck rather than the Nintendo Switch, potentially offering gamers a more robust portable gaming experience.
While specific details about the device’s specifications remain under wraps, the partnership with AMD for the APU manufacturing hints at Sony’s ambition to create a powerful gaming handheld. This move could set the stage for an intriguing competition with the anticipated Nintendo Switch 2, which is rumored to be in production with a target of 10 million units in its first year.
The competitive landscape
The Nintendo Switch 2 is expected to launch before Sony’s new handheld, with reports suggesting it may feature an OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, although there are concerns it could be underpowered compared to the PS4 when docked. This opens up a potential competitive edge for Sony’s device, depending on its final specifications and performance capabilities.
The portable gaming market could be on the cusp of a significant transformation with the entry of Sony’s new handheld. Reflecting on the past competition between the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS, Sony is undoubtedly aiming for a different outcome this time around. With the PS Vita having sold around 15 million units compared to the 3DS’s 75 million, Sony’s new venture into the handheld gaming market is not without its challenges.
However, with advancements in technology and a potential focus on high-performance gaming, Sony’s new handheld could appeal to a segment of gamers looking for a more powerful portable gaming experience. As the project progresses, the gaming community will eagerly await further details on Sony’s ambitious return to the handheld gaming scene, hoping for a device that combines the best of PlayStation’s gaming ecosystem with the convenience of portable play.
This article was originally published on Cryptopolitan.com.