Sony rumored to be working on a new handheld
by Danny Craig ·
Rumors of a new handheld from Sony have begun circulating, leading many to believe that a successor to the PlayStation Vita could be on the way, but it appears that Sony is going the streaming route.
- On April 1, industry insider Tom Henderson mentioned the existence of an in-development piece of hardware at Sony that was said to be released ahead of the yet-to-be-revealed PlayStation 5 (PS5) Pro. Henderson did not go into much detail about the new device, but he did say that he plans to discuss it "very soon." Since then, ASUS has revealed the ROG Ally, a handheld PC designed to compete with Valve's Steam Deck, and with the reveal came a Reddit post claiming to have heard from a source close to the ROG Ally's development that Sony was also working on a similar device.
- Many speculated that the Japanese tech company may be planning a return to the handheld market following the underwhelming performance of the PlayStation Vita in 2011, possibly with a more modern system more in line with the capabilities of the Steam Deck, allowing fans to take PlayStation titles on the go. Dreams of such an independent handheld could be crushed, as insider Jeff Grubb took to Twitter to tell everyone to "scope down those expectations" and that he had only heard rumors of the company's cloud-streaming handheld.
- Henderson has since published a report claiming that the handheld, codenamed the "Q Lite," actually uses the PlayStation's remote play function to stream games. Because it relies on the system to stream the games, it will require the PS5, and the portable will be an all-in-one shaped similarly to the PS5 controller, with an 8-inch 1080p, 60FPS touch screen included. Many have pointed out that remote play is already available on mobile devices, and it's unclear why Sony would choose not to use its existing streaming service through PS Plus, even if it doesn't yet support PS5 titles.
- Sony’s previous attempt, the PS Vita, was abandoned soon after its release after experiencing low unit sales due to the high cost of the system and its proprietary memory cards, so a cloud device could be a way for Sony to reclaim its place in the portable market, which it once dominated alongside Nintendo. Microsoft has successfully pushed into cloud gaming with its Game Pass service and is now said to be working with ASUS to provide full support for its services on the ROG Ally, so Sony's new system will be facing strong competition.
More Sony news:
- According to research firm IDC, the PlayStation VR2 is underperforming in terms of sales. The headset sold 270,000 units in its first month, but the company claims that the $549.99 price tag will need to be reduced to avoid a "complete disaster." Hiroki Totoki, Sony's Chief Financial Officer, previously stated that he believes the new headset will outsell the first PlayStation VR, though official figures have yet to be released to determine whether the headset has a chance.
- PlayStation’s rumored showcase is reportedly happening before Summer Game Fest on June 8th. Sony is expected to reveal some of its biggest games, as well as future hardware such as the new model of the base PS5 and its upcoming earbuds.